By Mitchell Buchanan Visiting our friends in Mutunguru is not like a typical Kenyan church visit. In fact, they insist that they are more than a church; they are “a team that follows Jesus.” They are a people who desperately want to learn the Bible. Last year, their teacher Jophet Matouri charged our organization to do something – teach them the Word of God. In response, the community in Mutunguru has partnered with our East African cooperatives in Embu, Kenya who are taking classes from the Institute of G.O.D Int’l on DVD. Every other week, a cooperative comes to teach and facilitate questions after their time of study. According to our friend Simon Njeru, every visit comes with the expectation that there is going to be some serious Bible teaching.
After introductions and a few worship songs, I gave an encouraging sermon from Luke 24, emphasizing our call to be witnesses of what God has done in our lives. A brisk 20 minutes later, I finished my sermon and called Jophet up front to close the fellowship. Instead of ending the service, he actually informed me (along with everyone else) that I did not go long enough and needed to come back up and teach some more. So, for the next hour, I continued from Luke 24 and answered all their questions. I can’t recall any community that I have encountered in East Africa that is so determined to learn the Bible.
I was blessed this past week to visit Mutunguru once more with the rest of the team. We came with cooperatives from Uganda, along with all the cooperatives from Embu and their families. The day was highlighted by the power of women. Pauline Gatanga and Ann Dwega stole the show with solos in the song “Be Holy.” And for the Bible teaching, Megan Fleeman taught on Mark 6 and God’s desire to meet the needs of a community through his people. (And of course, she answered many questions afterwards).
Even though we were only able to visit for a couple of hours, it was a special time. After these visits, I felt just how plentiful the harvest is and how very few the laborers are. We cannot forget these people who have such a heart to be educated in God’s word. Let us be diligent to serve and empower these people of faith. Please continue to pray for Jophet, his wife Risper, and the rest of the community in Mutunguru.