SPOTLIGHT ON KENYA
M.P. Muasya interviewed by P. Brink
It was 1903, and Kenya was a mission field yet un-entered by the Adventist Church. That is, until two pastors and their families came from the United States and Malawi, respectively, and settled alongside Lake Victoria. The local community graciously received them and supported the establishment of the mission station in generous and creative ways. One community elder donated land, and another man with a motorboat helped by transporting building materials over from the town on the other side of the lake. The wife of one of the pastors, in anticipation of her husband’s return, would regularly go out as night fell, and light a safari lamp (lantern) and put it up on a tall post outside the building, to guide the boat safely to the pier (See http://www.eau.adventist.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=94&Itemid=27, 2 Dec., 2014).
"There are still people who have not yet heard the good news of Jesus Christ. The Deaf community of Kenya represents one such mission field."
With the Lord’s blessing, and a contagious vision by those early leaders, Kenya, now part of the East Central Africa Division, represents one of the fastest growing areas in the world Adventist church. Nevertheless, un-entered people-groups still exist the world over, and also in Kenya. There are still people who have not yet heard the good news of Jesus Christ. The Deaf community of Kenya represents one such mission field. It is, however, good to report that God’s people in Kenya, are still “lighting the lamp” as that missionary-wife did long ago, to enthusiastically guide people home!
Pastor Muasya, Special Needs Ministries Director, East Kenya Union Conference, says that “Special Needs Ministry is surely a ministry whose time has come. Judging from what is currently taking place in Kenya, nothing will any longer prevent people with special needs from receiving the gospel.”
He asks an important question: “What does the term ‘special needs’ mean?” Special Needs Ministries, a resource useful for this kind of outreach published by the General Conference Sabbath School and Personal Ministries department, tells us on pages 11, 12, that, “A special need is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities which includes breathing, communicating, hearing, learning, manual tasks, seeing, walking or working.”
Pastor Muasya shares further that Special Needs Ministries, and in particular, Ministry to the Deaf in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Kenya, started in April, 2007 at Ziwani Church in Mombasa. It has now spread to over 44 churches, companies and schools, in all the conferences within the local Union.“We are now serving close to one thousand Deaf and 464 of them are already baptized,” he says. “One hundred and three have graduated from the “Discover” program of the Voice Of Prophecy Bible Correspondence School, and 122 are still busy with the lessons.”
“Other news since that report is that from August 24 to 30, 2014, our first camp meeting for the Deaf in the history of the church in Kenya was held at Karura Seventh-day Adventist School in Nairobi. Two hundred and twenty-six Deaf members attended the event. At the end of the camp meeting a baptism was held for 43 Deaf candidates as well as a graduation ceremony for 99 Voice of Prophecy Discover Bible School students. Free, easy-to-read Bibles, donated by the Bible League International, were to be given out to every Deaf person who attended.”
“The first four classrooms have also been completed at the local Adventist primary school for the Deaf, a first in the country, with an enrollment of 18 Deaf children. We have even hosted two Deaf weddings!" We praise the Lord for the momentum that this important ministry has gained, and the faithful workers who are reaching out. We solicit prayers for its continued growth in Kenya, and in the world field.