Kakuma Feature

The long civil war in Sudan caused thousands in the south to flee for refuge in Kenya. The Kenyan government and the U.N. set up huge camps in the Kakuma area of northern Kenya. This has been ‘home’ to South Sudanese refugees for many years. Children have been born and grown to adulthood in Kakuma Camp.

Kakuma Post Office

In 2016, God’s providence led us to a group of South Sudanese. Listening to their stories, we felt convinced that we needed to help them in a sustained manner by making God known through regular missions among them. With the partnership of HeartCry Missionary Society, we identified one of the young men from among the Unity Churches based in Kakuma, who is now receiving theological training at Kisumu Reformed School of Theology (KReST). Babale is our key man on the ground and, through him, we have had opportunities to hold mission conferences for church leaders and others within the Kakuma Camp for a couple of years. We were not able to hold them for the last two years, partly due to COVID-19 pandemic. In early 2021, there were persistent calls from these friends to hold another conference. Our partners, the HeartCry Missionary Society, once again came on board and facilitated the conference. 

Naph Kakuma

 A two-day conference was planned for November 23-24. The Unity Churches had requested to be taught on ‘How does one become a Christian?’ And ‘How should a Christian Live?’ I planned to answer their two questions by teaching them through 1 Peter 1. I felt that this passage would resonate with them – a people far from home and struggling from different angles of life. It was also my hope that by using that passage, I would teach them how to study the Scriptures for themselves. 

Kakuma Teaching

I held three sessions each day with Q&A sessions following. I learned a lot from the questions they raised. The most outstanding questions were asked by a 16-year-old youth called Agayan Simon who is spiritually serious. I have mentioned him in my previous reports. Two of his questions were: 1) Can a person be saved at the last minute of his/her life if they repent of their sins and turn to Christ? 2) What about a person who is in a village where they never heard the gospel but did good things in the community – will they be judged to hell or heaven? 

Kakuma Singing

You will appreciate that these are questions of very real concern. In answering them, I sought to make sure that the listeners personally understood the implications of these questions. Babale and John helped as interpreters to over 120 Murle people who came from various sectors of Kakuma, some of them walking for over one hour to be at the meetings. They sat and listened very keenly through the sessions which took over an hour and a half each. The Murle only have the book of Genesis and the New Testament in their language, and this is only in the hands of a few! 

I had a special occasion to speak with the church leaders, who presented several concerns. I encouraged them to seriously search from among themselves and recommend to us another man who demonstrates a call to the ministry and who can cope with the rigorous standard of studies at KReST like Babale. I also agreed with them that visiting them only once a year for a two-day conference is not enough. I left Kakuma with a deep burden in my heart for them.