Ministering to Muslim Background Believers

KESM March April 2019

We thank God for His grace and favor as we continue serving. The Orma are a semi-nomadic people group who live in South-Eastern Kenya. They are the remnants of once-powerful Galla / Oromo of Northern Kenya and Ethiopia. They have been pastoralist and predominately Muslim for the past three or four generations.

Literature for sharing the Good News and discipleship has been developed and portions of Scripture been translated into Orma language. Missionaries have been here on-and-off since the 1960s but started to be more consistent in 1980, with requests for translators and field experts. Our ministry started working here in 1994 based in Tana-River county.

It is essential to understand that the majority of Orma rely wholly on livestock, a large river flows through the county and drains into the Indian Ocean just 180KM away. However, this area is one of the poorest regions in Kenya, and most various calamities are experienced, such as flooding and drought. This leaves most of the people helpless and even some deaths. Currently, MKM has five missionaries serving in different locations among this people group. There are now several known believers among the community, which is a majority Muslim.

Muslim Background Believers Empowerment and Adult Education

This year, we were able to organize two Muslim background believer retreats, where 22 Muslim background believers have been consistent in attending our trainings. The trainings brought together believers from different Muslim background communities to be encouraged, molded and taught the word of God.

We have continued with adult education in one village, meeting three times a month to give us more interaction with the people. Those who attend are primarily from our farming groups. In these classes, we teach them how to write and do simple math.

Interaction Through Farming

We thank God for the two groups among the Orma community. Though we faced a lot of challenges during the floods early this year, we lost all the crops and water pumps, which caused many people to need assistance to survive. We are sincerely thankful for the timely support before, during, and after the floods, especially for supporting the groups with water pumps, seeds, and agrochemicals. Through this support, farmers were able to get back on their feet and go back to farming as soon as possible.

One of the groups has harvested watermelons, which gave them a profit. They shared among the profit with each other, each getting an equal amount and using the remaining for the next farming season.

The other group couldn’t do farming since their farms are next to the river and flood season is near, and so it’s wise not to plant the seeds at that time.

We also supported several Muslim background believers with seeds, and some of them are in the process of harvesting while others are preparing their land for planting. We thank God that Communities’ resilience has been built.

Ministry Through School

The school is going on well. We had a successful end of the year closing, we were able to have a parent and stakeholders meeting in our school. Where we shared the school vision, plan, and our next steps for education and development. So far, we have 190 pupils (105 girls and 85 boys) many from different tribes within this people group, this promotes unity. The area has been known to have bitter inter-tribe conflicts, so being able to bring tribes together is a remarkable achievement towards peacebuilding.

The vision of the school is to make the children from different tribes’ study and play together as we lay a firm foundation for their lives. Creating a pleasant atmosphere for us to live together and to share the Gospel. We have six classes, and we are expecting to have a seventh next year. We’re currently using temporary iron sheet classes, trusting God for funds to enable us to improve the standard of the building.

Improved Sanitation

For some time now toilets have been a significant problem for the pupils and teachers. Pupils and teachers have been sharing one, and this delayed the school registration as government regulations require us to have toilets for the pupils and the teachers. Therefore, we thank God and more so our supporters for facilitating us four new toilets – two for the girls and two for the boys. Improving hygiene and fulfilling requirements, God bless you for that. However, there is still a need to have at least one toilet for the teachers.

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