From the community of Runyenjes
The work of Langham in this city, located about 90 miles northeast of Nairobi, touches more than 14 congregations, training pastors of these churches to preach the Bible. As a result, several preaching circles have formed, community groups of local pastors and lay leaders who continue receiving training and mentoring. It was encouraging to hear story after story of lives being changed – testimonies from people transformed to live with purpose and passion.
OVERFLOWING WITH JOY
I love the joy of the Lord that overflows from each of these men. To the right is Lambert Kubuthi, who stated with conviction, “Through Langham’s training of my pastor, I learned that, yes, there is a God. Now I am learning to pray and see how He answers prayer.” Lambert’s pastor, David Njem, pictured to the left, stated with passion, “Through the Word there is life. I am now studying the Scriptures and able to preach to others.”
BEAT OF A DIFFERENT DRUM
These two photos both tell the story of the body of Christ in action. Elizabeth, pictured on the left, once had a heart of bitterness, unwilling to forgive others. Once she heard her Langham-trained pastor preach the Bible, her heart softened, she began to forgive and pray for others, and her life was “transformed to be a better life.” As you can see, the “beat of her heart” is toward helping lead praise and worship. Purity, pictured on the right, is also exercising her gifts, serving the Lord by reaching out in her neighborhood to share the Gospel and invite others to church. She radiates with God’s light in her community. When the Bible is preached, people like Elizabeth and Purity grow in their faith and become light and salt in their churches and communities.
A FLY ON THE WALL
If you look closely, you can see me in the front row, in the far right, being blessed by the preaching of Pastor John Mugendi of Runyenjes Methodist Church, also a beneficiary of Langham’s preaching training. The message – biblical, relevant and passionate – centered on Mathew 28, and even mentioned how the presence of visitors (myself and others) was in fulfillment of the Great Commission.
From the community of Kitengala
The birth and growth of the church in this community just south of Nairobi, a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in East Africa, is a testimony to what God accomplishes when His Word captures the hearts of people of all ages. Langham’s training of Pastor Kelvin sparked a hunger for God’s Word that has brought new life into the church. One of the members, Elizabeth, described it best, “Coming to church that day transformed my life. My heart was healed, and I was never the same.”
THE REST OF THE STORY
In this photo, you can see the heart for worship in this young church, as the people gather outside to praise the Lord. It was truly a blessing to worship with these believers, and it gave me a picture of how one day the Lord will gather every tribe, tongue and nation together in His name. To the left, you can see the “the rest of the story” of this photo, the frame of a new church being built, a church that the members said “would not exist without Langham.”
CAN WE DO THAT TOO?
The youth were so encouraged by the preaching from the pastor and other leaders of the church that they did something truly remarkable. They asked if Langham would help them form their own “preaching circle,” where they, too, could learn how to study, understand and teach the Scriptures. These young men and women are growing in maturity and mission, sharing the fruit of what they learn with other youth in Kitengela and surrounding areas.
From the community of Katani
I have shared the story of Katani with you before, but it bears repeating. In this small rural village located about 12 miles southwest of Nairobi, training one man, Peter Mwaw, to effectively preach the Bible and spiritually feed his congregation is changing lives and even transforming the entire community. As one of the members exclaimed, “Katani is a new place. The Word of God is penetrating the area!” I was so encouraged by the church members and their desire to grow in Christ and share the Gospel with their neighbors.
“I WAS DOING IT WRONG BEFORE”
That’s what Peter Mwaw said about his preaching before he received training from Langham. Now, he is able to address key issues in the community and shepherd his church to grow in understanding of what it means to follow Christ. I have fond memories of sitting under the teaching of Pastor Peter and echo the words of Josephine, a church member, who proclaimed, “The preacher is using examples of everyday life in this community. I am amazed that the Holy Spirit prompts (him) to address such current problems and issues.”
A SPECIAL PERFORMANCE
We were blessed with a special dance performance from the Katani youth. I later discovered that the young men and women started coming back to church when they heard about the preaching from the Bible that was relevant and interesting. Collins, a member of the youth group, said, “The young people have started coming to church…(they) listen to the messages and they are magnetic.”
I witnessed such a beautiful display of “true religion” by the members of the Katani church. After a series of biblical messages on love, the church started reaching out and caring for the orphans in the village and even taking them into their homes. Florence, one of many convicted to take action, shared, “I’m really touched by the need of orphans.”
From the city of Nairobi
Langham preaching has been actively involved with All Saints Cathedral church in Nairobi for quite some time with several ongoing preaching circles of pastors and lay leaders that are multiplying themselves many times over. It is so encouraging and challenging to see brothers and sisters in Christ sharing God’s Word and advancing His Kingdom.
WELCOMED AT SCHOOLS AND RUN OUT OF BARS
Both of these men, members of a Langham preaching circle, exude joy and passion for the Lord. Gaddiel, pictured to the left, is often invited to preach at school gatherings and school clubs, and does so with great excitement as he opens the Scriptures to share God’s love. William, on the right, is quite a character – as the picture indicates. He captured our attention with a story of a bar owner physically chasing him away because his evangelism and preaching was hurting business. God’s Word took root, and while the bar has closed down, William’s heart to see the Gospel changing and redeeming his friends and neighbors grows stronger.
REACHING THE UNREACHED
I was so encouraged as I met with Joyce, a lay leader who has received training and mentoring as a member of a Langham preaching circle. Joyce, passionate about reaching the unreached, often travels to surrounding areas to share the Gospel. As she shares a story of an entire family that came to Christ, she states with conviction, “If you can reach the father, you can reach the whole family.”
I hope and pray that some of my favorite photos and stories from Kenya were an encouragement to you and a reminder that your support makes a difference around the world. Thank you for prayerfully considering a gift toward our efforts to send more than 1,000 pastors from 12 countries to receive training.