Kenya

The story of RCA's mission work in Africa has often followed the seemingly continuous political upheavals experienced on the continent. When RCA missionaries had to evacuate Ethiopia because of the communist overthrow, some of them crossed the border into Kenya to continue their work among the Daasanech people residing there.

Kenya's population of more than 42 million includes over 70 distinct ethnic groups. The limited amount of cultivable land has encouraged the population to concentrate in those areas, with the result that 75 percent of the people live on 10 percent of the land. Kenya gained independence from Great Britain in 1963. About 80 percent of the population is Christian. There is a strong Muslim influence on the coast and in the northeast.

The Africa Inland Church (AIC) serves as the RCA's partner church in Kenya. The largest Protestant church in the country, the AIC is the result of the work of the Africa Inland Mission (AIM) and is still closely tied to AIM. At the invitation of the AIC, the RCA agreed to undertake two projects in areas where the AIC wanted to work but could not provide personnel or funds. These joint AIC-RCA projects--among the Pokot people in Alale and among the Orma in Waldena, Titilla, and Daba--are among unreached peoples. The projects focus on evangelism and on community development, which includes health, agriculture, animal health, income generation, water development, and education. Because the Africa Inland Church has a strong mission program, both projects have increasingly come under the direction of indigenous staff. The Orma project is now staffed entirely by Kenyan missionaries, and the last western RCA mission staff person handed the Pokot project over to nationals in 2002. The RCA's relationships with and support of these projects will continue, along with thanks for the success stories that enable us to redeploy personnel and financial resources into new, more underserved areas.

St. Paul's United Theological College, another RCA mission partner, trains students for ministry in the church and society. Its diverse student population comes from a variety of church traditions and from countries across Africa. RCA missionaries help with the school's administration and teach classes in economics, theology, sociology, psychology, and pastoral care for HIV/AIDS patients.

In early 2007, the RCA entered into partnership with the Maasai Outreach Mission, an indigenous church started in 1984 that desires to minister to and bring change within the community. The Maasai people live in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya and Tanzania. One of the specific problems they are striving to address is the immense need for clean water. The RCA is partnering with them to build wells, which make it possible to irrigate land for growing crops and to keep livestock from perishing. A readily available water supply also means that when the Maasai were previously searching for water, they now have time for education.

East Africa Partnership

The East Africa Partnership (EAP) works to improve the lives of those living in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda in a holistic and sustainable manner. To fulfill their mission, EAP trains and supports 50 medical dispensaries and 9 hospitals in rural areas, provides scholarships for children to attend high school or trade school, and supports more than 200 orphaned children in a sponsorship program to provide shelter and food.

RCA Global Mission is sponsoring a leadership training program to help rise up the next generation of indigenous leaders.

John Lokeno

It’s the rainy season, and the mountains near Alale, Kenya, are lush and green. Cows, sheep, and goats graze on the slopes that thousands of people call home. Those animals  and crops from the farms are being recognized as an opportunity. In the past, community development programs relied on outside resources. Now, however, a new Bible study, along with a church and community mobilization process, is teaching the community to recognize and use available resources.

Maasai Outreach Mission

Through Maasai Outreach Mission, Pastor Simon Muntolol trains evangelists who reach out to the Maasai with the gospel while still maintaining the Maasai culture. 

Rowland Jr. & Jane Van Es

Students and faculty cluster in conversation, warm cups of chai and mandazi pastries in hand after the morning’s energetic chapel service. Their tea comes from the fields surrounding St. Paul’s University in the misty, cool town of Limuru, Kenya, a short drive up into the hills northwest of Nairobi. Soon, students and professors alike will bustle along to class where they strive to be “servants of God and humanity,” as the university’s motto says.

Pokot Community Development

Through the AIC Bishop Birech College, the Africa Inland Church (AIC) is training African church leaders to proclaim and live the gospel in and through their local churches blessing all in the community. The college teaches courses in transformational development, mission, and other areas that help prepare African church leaders to pursue their calling.

Amos Limo Liang'or

Amos Limo Liang’or grew up among the Pokot people along the Kenya/Uganda border. Because he contracted polio and was unable to help with work at home, he was the only one of his family’s 12 children to attend school. Amos became interested in medicine when he learned that polio can be prevented through immunization. He currently works as a nurse at the Pokot Health Centre in the village of Alale. He says, “As a nurse, I am concerned with more than just my patients’ physical well-being.”