Nairobi, Kenya — As TMI (Total Member Involvement) catches the fire of the Holy Spirit in East and Central Africa Division, church members are getting more and more inspired for mission. For The Nairobi Central Adventist Church, only Christ’s method will rescue our perishing world. With this conviction, the church organized a holistic evangelistic campaign in the county of Siaya which yielded 273 baptisms.
On the ground, Senior pastor Jean Pierre Maiywa-Massai asserted that his church members decided to try active evangelism by combining the word and compassionate ministry. And this, he added, called for mingling with the community. After choosing Siaya, they dispatched a commission which went and assessed the needs of the people. With their report, the church had an informed planning.
Prior to gathering people, church members were involved in the community and each one according to their talents or profession had to tackle a need. One lady was busy training people on how to grow vegetables. Shehad brought full equipment of water tanks and irrigation hoses. With the local people, she was doing experiments and the beneficiaries were very impressed and ready to apply the methods for their future sustenance.
The initiative was so much appreciated that another church member bought a transformer and installed it in the village of Nyapiedho. That is where the evangelism site was. Through his generosity, people enjoyed electrical light. For the Nairobi Central Church, that is a good analogy of the darkness of sin that was dissipated by the word of God.
Furthermore, the church worked in tandem with local government leaders. They identified the poorest peasants. One of the memorable experiences was the distribution of goats to destitute families. Tugging the tethers of the animals, their minds were dazed but their faces were gleaming with joy, a sign of hope for the future. Praying over those gifts, pastor Okindo Joel, ECD evangelism coordinator congratulated the Nairobi Central Church members for their understanding of TMI and encouraged them to continue availing themselves for the Holy Spirit who will reveal to them more talents for mission.
Sarah Maiywa, the senior pastor’s wife ministered to the children in the community for two weeks. Coming from Nairobi with a group of 20 children and teenagers, they went door to door inviting children and their parents to the meetings. In their visits they were also assessing the needs. They had brought clothes and food. What touched the children from Nairobi she said, was the high level of poverty in the rural area. Some were shocked when they saw that the toes and fingers of their counterparts were so infested with jiggers that they were not able to hold things. The church had come with nurses and children were very instrumental in inviting those other children for treatment. Every day more than 20 were treated. In a nutshell, 350 children were attended to and 60 were baptized. Sarah affirmed that there was hunger and thirst for God’s word among the children.
Brian Ajua, a youth who was part of the committee and who came to the site expressed that God led him to Nyapiedho. “I feel like home and do not want to leave!” he expressed. He was very happy to be involved in helping the needy. “When God is first, there is no difficult place to preach”, he witnessed after bringing a football that he played with the youth and later invited them to the meetings.
Gilford was involved in his capacity as a veterinary doctor. As they were visiting with the people of the village, he assisted a family whose cow was delivering. When they saw the calf and the mother in a good shape after they had despaired, the owners promised Gilford that they would attend the evangelistic meetings.
The efforts of the Nairobi Central Church in Nyapiedho did not end with baptisms as Peter Nyagah one of the pastors declares. He gladly reports that preaching went hand in hand with construction and the church is now ready. He recalls that they sent a missionary six months before the actual campaign who is stationed there for follow-up. He adds that elders have been assigned specific sabbaths to visit and minister to the new members. Finally, he reveals that his church will always organize seminars and trainings on various aspects of church growth.
For pastor Maiywa:
This is overwhelming, we did not have the picture we have today and TMI is not a theory in my church. Nyapiedho has been our laboratory and now we know the secret to succeeding.