Shopping in the Village

What does it look like to live in a developing nation without electricity, without supermarkets, without automobiles, without all the myriad of things that many people use every day? What does it mean to live in a village where supermarkets don’t exist? A village with very small shops with very few items? This scenario is typical of many small, African villages.

Life can be simplified in two ways: voluntarily, or involuntarily. Simple living asks, how little can a person live with and be satisfied? Or perhaps, how much a person can live without and still be comfortable? Poverty can serve as a strong catalyst in simplification of one’s life. Poverty itself can also be either voluntary or involuntary.

Because of the simplicity of many villages of Africa, supermarket is among the unfamiliar terms which very few people will understand. Small canteens and tiny shops (usually called duka) are what serve the order of the day. Supermarkets are only found in bigger cities and major towns. In the village duka, you won’t find the secondary needs on the display, only the basic needs. You won’t find the luxurious things of life, only the necessities. Here you won’t purchase monthly supplies, only daily supplies. In a supermarket, customers can walk through the aisles and pick up what they need. A duka is usually fully closed-in; customers choose from visible inventory and the shopkeeper passes it through an open window.

Some people in the villages never see the inside of a supermarket

Most villages have at least two to five shops, which meet all the demands of the villagers. These shops sell only basics and primary supplies that are necessary for the welfare of the families. The shops usually all sell similar commodities, which mainly are  food stuffs and other basic needs: sugar, bread, rice, cooking oil, wheat flour, salt, soaps and washing detergents, sodas, tissues, sweets and few other things. The quantity of washing detergent is usually 10 or 20 grams–enough to wash the day’s clothes. Sugar, and even fresh milk, are sold in quantities as small as 1/2 cup–just enough for the day’s chai.

As the old adage says, the earliest bird catches the worm; so, too, are the shopkeepers who wake up early in the morning. Because all village shops sell similar commodities, it is only those shopkeepers who open their shops very early and stay open after the sun sets that will make a higher profit. An average shop will make about 300-500 KSH ($3-5) profit every day, but this profit might change during the harvest seasons as the circulation of money will be higher at those times.

These shops are normally open early in the morning at around 6:30 a.m, and close late in the evening around 8:30. Usually women are responsible for running the shops during the day while men work in different areas, often farming. A shopkeeper can serve a minimum of 30- 50 people every day, depending on the time he/she opens the shop.

In many villages the task of running a shop is undertaken by the average, bright minds who are able to deal with little calculations, keeping records, giving accurate balances and accounting. Shopkeepers are viewed as a life -line of village life and a main cornerstone of the community foundation. These small village shops have uplifted the living standards of the village people, providing sources of employment and boosting the economic growth of the nation.


Man and Food

Naturally, man does a lot of things in his few and brief fleeting moments under the sun. Some of his daily activities seem so mundane yet very vital and important for his survival. Many take the ordinary activity of eating for granted, offering it little attention or reverence. But in reality, food is essential and vital for every living species in the universe. Food is the well spring of life and vitality.

No doubt, both the man in the White House and the poor man in a mud and grass house need food to gladden their souls. A king and a slave both need food to satisfy their hunger. Both rich and poor rise every morning and retire late in the evening to toil and labor for their daily food. Food is the focal point of man’s life; the only point where both races meet, and the vital activity that all living beings share in common.

The entire process of man’s deception, seduction and manipulation revolved and centered on the subject of food ( fruit ) and the eating (see Genesis 3). Crafty serpent fully knew the weakness of mankind laid on their vulnerability and dependence on food;  he deceived where it was hard to resist.When God cursed man, his punishment also rested on the matter of food:

Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it  all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you,  and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow, you will eat your food…

In another ancient account, the man Abraham  demonstrated his hospitality and generosity to his divine guests by preparing and offering a delicious meal,

      So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. ” Quick,” he said, ” get three seahs of fine flour and knead it and bake some bread.

” Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.” (Genesis 18)

Jacob deceived his old father Isaac with a palatable lamb meal, and thus stole Esau’s blessing ( Genesis 27). And again Jacob robbed poor Esau’s birthright with a delicious stew ( Genesis 26:27).

In the gospel account, we also learn of the vital role that food had in the life and ministry of Jesus,

Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, ” Rabbi, eat.”
But He said to them,” I have food to eat that you do not know about.
So the disciples were asking to one another, ” No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?”
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” ( John 4:31-34).

In His compassion to the multitude of the people, He fed five thousand with two pieces of fish and five loaves of bread ( Luke 9:12-17), and four thousands in the second account. In the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus used the celebration and killing of a calf to symbolize the value of food in the spiritual and physical life of a person ( Luke 15:11-12), in the Lord’s prayer He instructed the disciples to remember asking for their daily bread,( Matthew 6:11), He further made it clear the cause of man’s anxiety and worries under the sun, is food and clothing, ” For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” ( Matthew 6:25)

From the Biblical accounts to the present day, food plays a  fundamental role in every man’s life and every community.  Man needs his food to survive; thus, the creator of life has allowed sun and rain to help the land to produce all the food varieties ever known. Every community has their traditional foods, every family their staples, and every person their favorite.  Each food has its unique preparation and preservation.

In Kenya,  food plays an important role in uniting families and enhancing stability in the communities. Urban folks have different foods compared to the village folks. Most average village families, just like those in the West, take three meal a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Breakfast is often milk tea and a few slices of bread. In other homes corn meal porridge is the favorite morning meal. Families gather together for the morning meal. In a Christian family, the father, who is the head, will lead the family in prayer and thanksgiving. In the case of a traditional family, libation will be offered to the ancestors. A normal breakfast will cost at least  50KSH (50 cents) every day. Breakfast is normally eaten between 7 and 8 AM.

A002fter daily tasks and duties are done and the children are back from school, the family will come together again for their second meal. Many families in these villages use githeri (a mixture of maize and beans) as the best meal of the day, perhaps because of its high starch and heaviness. People’s main food, especially for dinner, is Ugali or fufu (corn meal). Ugali is a starch dish made from maize flour, which is stirred in boiling water to make it solid and eatable. It often goes well with greens or beef stew.

Githeri for lunch

Of course, in the village, cooking is done in large pots over three stones (see Water and Fire, part 2).  Even making  a simple meal like githeri requires much time in sorting beans and cleaning maize; to say that many villagers eat this simple meal doesn’t show the many hours of labor involved in these efforts. May this article stir your reverence and appreciation to God for the gift of food for nourishment of man’s body. Remember to share your meal with the less privileged and the hungry.

Kingdom Driven Ministries is blessed to partner with those who care about feeding the poor; we  stock bags of maize (our community’s staple food) in the KDM office, which our church’s deacon gives to those in need (both from our fellowships and in our community). We want to offer a hand up, not a hand out, so we give 1 Kg per person per week, except in special circumstances. Thank you to all those who make this giving possible!



Public Education In Kenya

School uniforms are required, differing based on the school of enrollment

Education holds a great promise for the lives of young people, the growth of nation,s and the strengthening of communities in general. Nowhere will you find more people say that “Knowledge is power” or the promise of a future, than here in East Africa.

Education prepares our youth to be responsible young adults as they look forward to taking on greater responsibilities in the world. Learning how to solve problems, and building desire and capacity to learn, represent the fundamentals of real education. The prevailing view in our area is that education is the means of creating a better nation–free from poverty, diseases and ignorance.

The nation of Kenya has came a very long way in establishing and re-establishing its  public education system over the years. The first missionaries who came to the land, Johann Ludwig Krapf and Johannes Rebmann (in the year of 1728) worked with a Swahili manuscript Utendi Wa Tambuka (Book of Heraclius) and established the first mission schools in the country at Rabai, in the coast of Mombasa in 1846. The zeal and thirst for education was stirred and aroused among the people of Kenya. Both government and non-governmental organizations have given education higher advantage, and invested heavily in its provision.

After the end of colonial administration, Kenya government began a campaign to give free public primary education in 1963. Since then, the system and structure of education has undergone transformation and reformation three times. First the system of public education was established in the format of 7-4-2-3: 7 years of primary education, 4 years of secondary education, 2 years of high school and 3-5 years of university education. This system resembles the British public education,wherein children begin their elementary ( primary) education at the age of 7 and complete at age of 13 after sitting for final examination.

In the year of 1985, a new system was introduced, 8-4-4: 8 years of primary education, 4 years of secondary, and 4 years of university education. Two weeks ago, the ministry of education introduced a new system of 2-7-3-3: 2 years in kindergarten, 7 years in primary school, 3 years in secondary school and 3 years in university.

Public Primary Education

Since 2003, education in public schools became free and compulsory. This resulted in high pupil enrollment, overwhelming the number of teachers. In some parts of the country it was reported that one classroom contained 100 pupils with only one teacher. Primary education is free by law. Parents are, however,  required to provide essential supplements that are needed in the learning environment which Kenya government cannot provide: school uniforms (at a cost of 8000-10000 KSH, or $8-$10), fees for desks (500-1000 KSH), lunch fees (1000 KSH) and extra-curricular activities fees (500 KSH).

Children at our village primary school

Primary education begins at the age of 6-7 after completion of 2 years in kindergarten. The first class or year of primary school is known as standard one, and the final is standard seven. Primary children are called pupils. School semesters at both primary and secondary begin in January and ends in November. Students get three school vacations in April, August and December. The school day starts at 8 a.m and finishes at 4 a.m, from Monday to Friday. Depending on where a child goes to school in relation to home, he may get up while it is still dark to begin the long walk school.

Public Secondary Education

Public secondary schools are divided into three levels: national, provincial and district.. Pupils with the highest scores from primary schools gain admission into national schools, which are more prestigious and offer quality education compared to provincial and district schools. National schools charge higher fees than provincial and districts schools, at least 70,000-80,000 KSH every year. That’s $700-$800; if the average daily wage is 500 KSH, or about $1750 per year, that’s almost half of a family’s annual income! However, if one is accepted into a national school, few parents would refuse to struggle and make payment.

Pupils with average grades will find admission in provincial and district schools, which are still difficult for families to afford. An average provincial school charges 40,000-50,000 KSH ($400-$500) every year, while the district schools might charge only 10,000-20,000 KSH ($100-200) per year. School fees are paid in three terms. In 2008, the government introduced plans to offer free secondary education to all Kenyans, but this has not been successful implemented.

Principal subjects offered in public secondary schools are: English, Swahili, Mathematics, History and Government, Geography, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Religious Education, Business and Agricultural Studies.


Even free primary school has fees that add up and challenge the average family; once one or more children are enrolled in secondary school, paying school fees is a constant challenge and a burden. However, even those we would consider the most poverty-stricken willingly sacrifice to give their children as much education as possible, as an investment in their future. Currently, Kingdom Driven Ministries  does not assist with paying school fees for children, except in very special cases, simply because the need is just too great. However, we ask you to pray for all of the parents in our towns and villages who want to give their children  the very best hope for the future, and struggle so much to provide it through education.

Medical Missions Report–March 2016

The month of March was an interesting one for Mzee Timothy, our church’s deacon who oversees our medical program. Timothy typically goes shopping on Wednesday for the malnourished children that we serve, then packages up their weekly food supplements on Thursday, and distributes them on Friday. All of these steps are more time-consuming than you might think, so he appreciates the help of two of our church’s wazee (“old men”), Cosmos and Samwell, who escort patients to various hospitals or appointments as necessary. However, on one Thursday this month, Timothy’s work of bundling foodstuffs was interrupted by an emergency: a 20 year-old woman with a hand injury. Apparently, she and her husband were visiting Kenya from Uganda and had found day labor; however, they had gotten into an argument and he attacked her with a panga (machete). Timothy reported that the husband had intended to slice his wife’s throat, but “thankfully, she diverted, and he only cut her hand, but very deep!” He added, “It’s very important that we help the foreigner. The Bible says so. But there are no wazee to take her, and I am busy. What can I do?”

I sat and thought about who might be available to bring her to the District Hospital, as our local clinic does not generally do stitching. I offered a couple of suggestions, but it looked like everyone was already busy with patients, or other day-to-day personal tasks. Abruptly, Timothy said, “I will go! I can finish my bundling tonight. I will work late.” (You must understand that when one visits the hospital, there are no appointments, and the wait is long. It was already about 11 AM, so between transport, waiting, and receiving the necessary care, we both knew he’d return late in the evening.) Such is the dedication of our Mzee Timothy! Off they went, and the stitching was gratefully accomplished.

IMG_0982One Saturday, another of our church’s deacons, Silas, approached us with a unique problem: a 5 year-old boy and his age mates were horsing around and decided to see what would happen if they put some of the milky excretion from a local plant on each other…and it ended up on the boy’s private parts, which almost immediately swelled and became painful. We brought him to a local health center, which referred him to the District Hospital. Silas took the boy (with his mother) for treatment, and by the next day, with some anti-histamine and other drugs, the boy was thankfully feeling better.

We are blessed to see how God has worked through our medical missions team here, to serve the needs in our community and our fellowships. Just this month, our regular budget for medical was doubled through the generous gift of one of our partners; this means that we can do even more! We are happy to report that this month, our regular medical expenses amounted to almost $400, and despite a couple months’ shortfalls for medical, we had earmarked money for all these needs! We praise God and are so thankful for all who make this possible.

We also had some special medical expenses, including ongoing cancer treatment for our brother, Victor, who visited Uganda again for a follow-up with the oncologist.The boy, Esau, with the enlarged spleen, returned to the hospital for blood tests to evaluate for sickle-cell, and received more medicine to treat for malaria, “just in case.” We’re still without a firm diagnosis for this poor boy! Our team also organized treatment for Metrine, a young mother with severe pain and disability and one of her hands. After several scans and a consult at a private hospital, she was diagnosed with a rather generic “arthralgia” an d given several medications as well as some suggestions for ongoing physical therapy that might improve both the pain and her range of motion.We’re still waiting to be able to treat Micah Juma’s badly broken leg. Despite two trips this month to the hospital and being on an antibiotic regimen for several weeks, they still have not cleared him for surgery, due to an ongoing infection. Please keep him in your prayers. These special medical expenses amounted to just over $500, and again, we are thankful that God is meeting these ongoing needs with provision through His people!



Africa Funeral and Burial Ceremony

Every family, community, nation and race, in one way or the other, have a set of values and practices which they adhere to and accept as part of their lives. These beliefs and traditions are what give different groups of people an unique cultural identity.

Culture is simply cumulative experience and knowledge, values, attitudes, religious practices, notions of life and death, and concept of origin of the universe. Tradition implies the handing down and transferring  from generation to generation, either through written records or oral delivery.

Let us cast our spotlight in the continent of Africa. Africa is made up of not less than 53 nations, and each nation is further divided into many small groups known as tribes. Each tribe has its own culture and traditions, which distinguish it from other tribes. In the nation of Kenya, there are total of 43 small tribes which makes the people of Kenya. Each tribe adheres to different and unique cultures and traditions.

Despite all their differences, the tribes have something that they share in common–the rites of passage. Every tribe has a certain evolution, from birth until death. Rites of passage are a very important part of many African tribes; they are considered to be sacred and vital for the survival of the community and identity.

“Rites of passage play a central role in Africa socialization, remarking the different stages in an individual development, as well as that person’s relationship and role to the broader community.”  (Alik Shahadah)

There are four important rites of passages in Africa communities, namely;

  1. Birth
  2. Puberty
  3. Marriage
  4. Death

Today we will focus on death, funeral and burial in African culture and traditions. These rites are among the most sacred and significant in many of Africa’s communities.

African view of Death

African tribes view death as a final rite of passage where the soul is passing into an invisible and continuous phase of existence. Death brings both sorrow and joy to the community. Communities mourn because a member is finally making a sacred transition into the spiritual realm; this member will never be seen again by mortals. These are periods of great distress and bitter lamentation from the community, especially women and children.

On the other hand, is the great moment of joy and gratitude, and is viewed as a blessing for one member to be called by the ancestors to join the company of ancestors, and be among the spiritual protectors and  helpers of the community. Death is a sacred journey from physical reality into spiritual world. That explains why most communities have special preparations for the dead; the process is very crucial and vital. In ancient cultures and traditions (such as ancient Egypt) people would be buried with different objects to assist them in the next life, such as weapons, tools, clothes, money and precious items to take as gifts to the ancestral spirits.

Funeral ceremonies

Funerals are taken very seriously. They are sacred, unique, socially binding and expensive affairs. There will be long or short mourning periods for the deceased, based on their age, gender, and prominence in the community. For a child it may take only three to four days of mourning; for women and “ordinary” men, it will take at least a week’s time. For prominent and respected men, like chiefs, senior elders and spiritual leaders, the funerals often take at least two weeks time.

During the funeral ceremonies, lineage rituals are performed and gifts and donations are offered to the family of the deceased to help with the heavy costs associated with the ceremonies. Slaughtering of animals for meat is a very common tradition during funerals. For the prominent and respected members, not less than 10 to 20 bulls will forfeit their lives to feed the mourners and please their ancestors. Unfortunately, this extravagance leaves the families more miserable and poverty-stricken after the funeral ceremony is over. But despite this, it is a sign and mark of respect for the dead, hospitality for the mourners, and reverence for the ancestors.

Burial Ceremonies

Burial ceremonies are done based on the faith and religion of the deceased. If the deceased was a traditionalist, his burial will be conducted in traditional ways; if they were Christian, it will reflect those beliefs, and if they are Muslim, then it will be according to Muslim traditions.

Traditional burials are always led by elders and traditional priests, who will pour libation and offer food to the ancestral spirits, accompanied by rituals and sacred rites performed to express the appreciation and honor for the life of the deceased. Chanting and dancing to invoke the spirits is a significant part of the traditional burial ceremonies. Is good to understand that all these rituals are to venerate the ancestors but not to worship them. Ancestors are not gods, but rather are perceived as the spirits that link the living men with a living God.

In a Christian burial ceremony they will sing hymns, offer prayers at the chapel with the coffin placed in the middle of the chapel. Sometimes the service will be done at the funeral home’s chapel or in the cemetery chapel. The priest or the pastor will lead the mourners in worship and glorify God for the life of the deceased, then preach a sermon of comfort to encourage the deprived family. Special candles may be lighted and passed around, or an icon of Christ or one of the saints may be placed in the hands of the deceased. After the sermon is over, friends and relatives will be allowed to view the body and offer the words of comfort to the family, then the coffin will be carried to the burial site. The priest will make a final prayer before the body is lowered  into the grave.

Muslim burial is very brief and, unlike other traditions, is done immediately after the death occurs. Muslims are encouraged to remain calm and composed after they hear the bad news of death. They will close the eyes of the deceased and cover the body with a clean piece of sheet. Its is forbidden for mourners to wail, scream or lament. The deceased will be washed carefully by one of the family member with clean and scented water. The body will be wrapped in a clean, white sheet, (known as kafan), then transported to the final prayer site (salat-I-janazah). These prayers are often done in open places; in a courtyard or public square, but not inside the mosque. The local Imam will  lead the mourners in prayer, which are silently recited. The body will then be taken to the cemetery for burial. While all the members of the community are allowed to attend the prayer ceremonies, only the men of the community are allowed to accompany the body to the burial site. After the burial is done, the relatives and friends of the deceased observe a three- day mourning period.

Currently, Kingdom Driven Ministries does not use general funding to provide for funeral expenses; however, we have great compassion on those who struggle to provide an honorable burial for a relative. With the cultural tradition of not refusing anyone to attend a burial (and having to feed everyone who comes), the expense is great. When one of our own brethren is responsible for the bulk of funeral expenses, we actively solicit special donations specifically for that need and have our deacon(s) assist with organizational details. If one among our brethren dies, we also will make sure one of our ordained leaders is available to preach at the burial service.





Indigenous Leadership in Action

We’ve shared in recent blog posts the desire of Kingdom Driven Ministries to raise up indigenous leaders in our various fellowships. Absent these key leaders, this has the potential to be a one-generation mission rather than a reproducible, sustainable movement of the Kingdom of God. One of our ordained teacher/evangelists is Lazarus Lordia, from our Bidii fellowship. Not only does he oversee the group in Bidii, but you’ll also often find him on his motorbike, traveling between our various other fellowships: teaching, encouraging, mediating conflicts, and baptizing new believers.

Here’s a report from Lazarus about his activity during the month of March. This will give you an idea of how this dedicated servant of God spends much of his time:

            This month, much of my focus was on building up the local fellowship that meets in my home. I spent a lot of time in discipleship with the young man, Daniel, who was recently baptized along with his wife. He has been experiencing issues in his marriage, and has not had a good example in how to deal with those conflicts.

I personally had some difficulties with my wife a while back, and Marc was able to counsel me through them. I applied some of his advice in how I was relating to my wife and son, and I’m seeing a lot of positive changes in our relationships. I am happy to report that I was able to pass along similar advice, and encouragement, to Daniel, because of what the Lord allowed me to go through. I praise God for how He works in our lives, to teach us and help us to use those lessons for the benefit of others.

I also continued facilitating leadership training classes on a weekly basis at the Kingdom Driven Ministries office. The goal is to give a solid foundation to all our disciples, and equip those who may be gifted as teachers to be able to share the message of the gospel effectively. We continue to go through all four of KDM’s teaching booklets in groups of two, to practice how to present teachings on the gospel; surrender, repentance, and baptism; obedience to Christ; and home fellowship.

I’ve been visiting the growing churches in Saboti, Mroki, Kamkuywa, and Nasianda. One of the highlights was visiting the fellowship of a former imam, who shared Christ with his neighbor. That elderly man, Silas, was baptized this month!

For the first time, I also visited the group of young believers in Uganda, where a fellowship was planted by our brother, Nashon Ouma. I spent almost a week there, developing relationships and evaluating how they were doing with the Discovery Bible Study. We also baptized one new believer there.

We rejoice in what God is doing in and through our brother Lazarus, and are excited to see how God will continue to use him to strengthen the fellowships here and lead new people into the Kingdom of God. Please keep Lazarus, his family, and his work in your prayers.

A Centre Of Hope: Working with Solonamu Clinic

Kingdom Driven Ministries’ goal is to minister first, to people’s spiritual needs, and then, to their physical needs. In fact, one can be a gateway to the other. As Jesus went about teaching, he also healed those who were infirm, and he told his disicples to do the same. We do believe in miraculous healing through prayer, but we also know that many here see it as a “miracle” just to have someone help them with the financial burden of visiting a health center. And the motto of our local clinic rings true: “We care and treat; God heals.”

The local government, non-governmental organizations, health institutions, physicians, local discipleship, and KDM donors all play important roles in our medical missions as we serve those in need in our fellowships and our community..

We, of course, recognize the vital role of physicians and modern medicines as well as the traditional and natural medicines. But as KDM’s Marc Carrier has said, “The only reason that God allowed the physicians and medical institutions to exist, is to give every  man an equal opportunity to invest in heaven. Both the saints and the physicians are the servants of God.”

Also from the ancient text, the Wisdom of Sirach, declares this truth:

Honor the physician with the honor due him,

           And also according to your need of him.” Sirach 38:1

” The Lord created medicines from the earth,

          And a sensible man will not loathe them.” Sirach 38:4

” And keep in touch with your physician ,

      For the Lord created him;

And do not let him leave you,

     For you need him.

There is a time when success is also in their hands,

      For they will pray to the Lord to give them success in

bringing relief and healing, for the sake of preserving your life.” Sirach 38:12-14

Kingdom Driven Ministries is driven by great zeal to alleviate the sorrow and distress of sickness by encouraging healthy living in the villages of East Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. To attain these great goals it a must for us to establish a strong pillar of relationship between our ministry, physicians and donors. Our focus is primarily on quality, affordability and moral values. Our approach is:

  • Creating strong methodology that will help to educate the community on the values and necessity of healthy living (i.e., HIV education).
  • Identifying diverse health care facilities and physicians that are also driven with compassion, quality and morality.
  • Designing, testing, and spreading methods to improve healthy conditions and reduce the risk for  acute conditions, including  preventive care and reducing readmission (such as by encouraging families to use mosquito nets and providing community clean water sources to reduce the spread of water-borne illnesses).

In our mission to improve and boost quality and accessibility of health care, we have been very closely affiliated with a local health center, Solonamu Medical Center, since 2012.


It was founded the same year Kingdom Driven Ministries started its operation in Kenya, 2012. Though it still a small medical center, its dedication and devotion to serving the community and promoting healthy living cannot be understated. In our experience, it has been  the most affordable medical center in our area, with a good price for the quality of care and with capable, concerned workers.

Currently their main services include:

  • Out- and In-patient care
  • Family planning
  • Maternity
  • Laboratory
  • Pharmacy
  • Circumcision (Westerners might not see the value of this service. Male circumcision is a tribal practice that many Christians wish to avoid; however, they also do not want to suffer the stigma of not circumcising their sons at the appropriate age. This service is for them.)
  • Minor Theater (surgical procedures)

Solanamu Clinic is currently a small-sized facility, with 3 wards, a lab, a pharmacy, 2 consultation rooms, a kitchen, and one office. They are  envisioning to expand their facility to be able to meet the growing demands of special treatments, i.e dental and optical services. Currently they have limited health personnel. The staff is made up of three qualified doctors and five dedicated nurses. They provide 24/7 service, which many facilities do not. That has been a blessing to our ministry, as we have addressed many emergency cases in the late hours of the night.

Oftentimes, small-scale facilities such as Solonamu struggle to acquire equipment to provide advanced medical care. Though a relatively new facility, Solona has a microscope for malaria testing, a centrifuge to perform typhoid tests, sterilization equipment, and a suction machine for venom extraction.

In a period of a week’s time, Solonamu will receive at least 5-10 patients from Kingdom Driven Ministries; they keep accounts until at the end of the month, when the ministry will clear the outstanding balance. (This is an unusual arrangement in Africa, where medical care is pay-as-you-go. We are blessed by the cooperation of Solonamu in this regard.) This tiny and efficienct health center serves an average of 20-30 people a day.

This facility has been our a great companion in creating a healthy community, especially dealing with small injuries and minor diseases. In major and chronic cases they will refer us to larger government hospital or private medical facility. By the help of these physicians we have been able to accomplish much good for the community and the people we minister to and serve. They have proof the fact that none can do great things in the world but everyone can do small things with great love.

People of means, or those used to first-world medical care, might enter the doors of Solonamu and reason in their minds, ” What a poor center for the hopeless people!” While on the other hand, the poor and hopeless passing at the gates of Solonamu, reason in their minds, ” What a lovely center! A center of hope for the poor and hopeless.” Indeed, with the resources that they have available, Solonamu is a quality care center in all regards, and we have been blessed to partner with them for the last four years.

020Brigit, a health worker and administrator at Solonamu Medical Center, drive the point home: ” Here at our facility we are driven with a higher and different purpose. It is not about money, it is about service to the community. We give our best of service to both the poor and the wealthy alike without discrimination. We don’t send away the poor who cannot afford to pay their bills. Where will they go? Of course to die and suffer at their homes. Working with Kingdom Driven Ministries has really helped us to learn deeper service and develop compassion for the poor and needy in our community. When we serve the afflicted and the distressed that the saints sent to us, we serve knowing we are serving Jesus Himself.”

Many thanks to all of our faithful supporters who pray for the medical needs in our community, and give so generously to make this work possible! We hope you enjoyed this peek into our partner facility, Solonamu Medical Centre.







Kenya Public Transport

Kenya public transport refers to air, road, railway, and water transport–the means by which people get from Point A to Point B. Of course, not every mode is available to everyone.

KDM's Glenn Roseberry, boarding a small aircraft for inter-Kenya travel
KDM’s Glenn Roseberry, boarding a small aircraft for inter-Kenya travel

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Moi International, and Wilson Airport are the leading public air transports in the East Africa region. These three airports link East African nations with each other and with  the rest of the world. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, earlier known as Nairobi International Airport and Embakasi Airport, is the leading public air transport facility in the region. It serves daily an average of 19,000 passengers from Africa, Europe and Asia. The airport was named after Kenya’s first prime minister and president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

There are also  airstrips that facilitate small aircraft, connecting the capital city, Nairobi, with other small towns: Kitale, Eldoret, and Kisumu airstrips.

Uganda Railways service was the major public transport in the region back in the  ’50s and ’60s. It was managed by East Africa Railways and  served Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. After the dissolution of East Africa Region in the year of 1977, the nation of Kenya took over the management of the Uganda Railway and all of its local branches in Kenya. The most important line in Kenya runs between Mombasa and Nairobi. In many parts of the country you will see rail lines, but you will never see any trains. Railway transport is no longer available in many parts of East Africa. An interesting read in the public domain about the building of these railroads–relating the excitement and danger of running the lines through lands dominated by “the Big Five,” including some man-eating lions–is The Man-Eaters of Tsavo.

Kenya also has a major international port in Mombasa, serving both Kenya and Uganda. Lake Victoria is another big port, which has a ferry that connects Uganda and Tanzania. It is  only Mombasa that has a commercial port that reaches international standards. Mombasa’s commercial port is called Kilindini Harbor. Under the management of Kenya Ports Authority, it is located on the Indian Ocean.

Road Transport–not as Innocuous as it Sounds…

Of course, in our area, the masses are limited to road transport to get from point A to point B. If you live in the West, this sounds pretty innocuous–but let’s take a trip together and you’ll see a few differences in the way things happen here in Kenya.

021Public buses and matatu (mini-bus) are the cheapest and most popular modes of transport in the cities and towns of Kenya. For those who cannot afford to own private vehicles or hire a private taxicab or rental car, this type of public transport remains the best and only option.

Public buses and local matatu provide both short and long distance travel. Buses are mostly found in the cities and major towns of Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret and Kisumu, while matatu are common in small towns and rural regions. Buses are often preferred, as they are much safer, quieter, more reliable, and trusted, compared to matatu, which are filled with loud music to attract travelers and have chaotic road schedules with frequent stops.

Buses and matatu provide express services between major cities and towns across the country. Often fare is paid on board. If you are making a long distance travel then you will  be required to do earlier booking, which can be done at the booking office before the day or time of travel. Buses carry many passengers compared to matatu, which is limited to not more than 14 passenger on each trips. (Of course, this is by law, but many carry more if they can get away with it.)

For many years, the matatu sector was known as the most dark and pathetic industry in the country. It had been linked with violence and reckless driving, resulted in many road accidents and  loss of lives–even  permanently handicapping some passengers who were fortunate enough to escape death. Other criminal activities have unfortunately been associated with the sector, such as mistreatment of the passengers, verbal and physical abuse, theft,  hijacking, sexual harassment, and even murder. At various points, government interventions have tried solve these various issues, but some challenges remain.


Another reliable mode of local transport, particularly within larger towns and cities, and out in the villages, is boda-boda (motor-bike taxis). They often connect small towns with rural villages, where vehicles are scarce or even absent completely. They also provide a quick, cheap, and trusted means of accessing the most crowded and congested cities. Boda-boda industry has been a great blessing for many people by providing a source of employment for thousands  of young people in many African countries

Public road transport in Kenya is one of the most exciting and intimidating experiences you can ever encounter in your  life time! This experience generates both fear, horror and delight in foreigner visitors. These vehicles all travel on rough roads full of potholes and random (unmarked) speed bumps.  Many of Kenya’s major roadways are under construction, with diversions slowing down travel in many cases. Travel by boda-boda in the villages is often on narrow paths, which are downright dangerous to navigate in rainy season. After your travel is over, you may find that you whisper to yourself, “My goodness, it was a nightmare–and  an exciting journey.” Getting around Kenya can be at once horrifying and challenging  for those travelers who are not used to driving in congested and crowded environments, or even rough, dusty, unpaved roads. For those who live here, though, it is an accepted part of everyday life, and we are thankful for the modes of transportation that connect us, as well as the continual improvements that are being made.













Resurrection Day Celebration

Many people in Kenya celebrate Christmas, but not in quite the same way that Westerners do. No Christmas trees, no Santa Claus, no nativity scenes, and (at least here in the village), not even any presents. But it is a good excuse to buy everyone in the family a new set of clothes, and maybe there will even be kuku (chicken) for supper.

Back in December, the wazee (“old men”) were all asking Marc if we were going to celebrate Christmas as a church. (And nothing is a gift quite like something you can eat…at least, that’s how everyone views it around here!) He had to disappoint them by saying that it wasn’t something he felt comfortable doing, given that the early church (Ante-Nicene) did not affirm the “holiday.” He did say, however, that the AN church did consider Christ’s Resurrection day worthy of celebration. Well. Somehow, that turned into a “promise” of celebrating on Resurrection Sunday, and so the wazee came mid-week last week to remind him of this promise.


Our deacon, Timothy, was tasked with organizing all the food, laborers, and supplies. Marc gave him a budget of about $100, and by the next day we had a sheep in our yard.

Several of the ladies in our fellowship were commissioned to make chapati, cabbage, rice, and (of course!) ugali. The guy who runs a hotel (restaurant) in the KDM building was put in charge of making the mutton. They would earn a couple hundred shillings each (about $2), and we would all feast. Win-win, especially considering that one of the ladies is disabled, another has been abandoned by her husband, and yet another is a widow.They all struggle, so it’s a real blessing to be able to offer them day labor.

On Saturday, Maurice and Ben showed up at our door and asked for a few implements to assist them in slaughtering the sheep, which was done in our side yard. The carcass hung in the KDM office over night. Only in Africa, folks!

The Sunday service was packed, so we met outside. We had about 50 people (including children), from our village “mother church”  and our sister churches in Matunda/Milele, Birunda, and Naitiri. With the cost of transport being an issue, we didn’t have any visitors from our fellowships farther away. However, the testimonies were very encouraging, and all the brethren enjoyed seeing people from the other fellowships. Our friend, Silas, had a great teaching-turned-dramatization about what a “ransom” is, and why Jesus died on the cross.

The meal was amazing, and plates were piled high with food. An 18 month-old boy ate about as much as I did! Our children (the wazungu kids!) don’t eat quite like their African counterparts, so they came back with lots of leftovers on their plates. It seemed a waste, but we just couldn’t communicate well enough that the servers really needed to downsize A LOT. Marc struggled to find a bucket, thinking it would at least serve a purpose as pig slop, but the woman sitting next to me said, “Just give it to the children outside!” Keep in mind, the KDM building is the site of the village water pump, so there are always people around–mostly children, since Moms usually send them when water is needed for the household.

Of course, in America, most people don’t eat other people’s “seconds,” and I didn’t want to insult anyone, so I said, “You’re sure they will take it?” She said, “Of course!” And sure enough, there were some very happy kids out front who ate what was left on all the plates we brought out.

Praise the Lord, a great time was had by all. We are so blessed to continually celebrate Jesus with our brethren here in Kenya.



Financial Resources and the Work of the Ministry

Working within an organization such as Kingdom Driven Ministries has posed some challenges as we walk out the commands of Jesus on the ground. He said to “Go and make disciples,” and “teach them to obey all that [Jesus] commanded.” Well, Jesus asks us to store up treasures in Heaven, not on Earth. He challenged the rich young man to sell his possessions and give to the poor. We read in Acts of the early believers selling what they had and re-distributing the resources to meet existing needs. Jesus said that man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions (Luke 12:15). Yet, as Nik Ripken aptly notes in The Insanity of Obedience,

“We [Westerners] tend to rely on the power of financial resources to accomplish the highest goals and aims of both individual believers and mission organizations.”

It is true that we, in the West, overwhelmingly think of meeting needs in terms of allocating our financial resources. But here at KDM, we have always believed as Ripken implies: an injection of money into a Kingdom mission that is designed to make disciples is actually detrimental to the health of that mission. The Scriptures are clear that many are led astray by their desire for money (1 Timothy 6:10); unfortunately (because of both colonial and missionary history), East Africa has already been corrupted by the influence of outside money and the power that is exerted with its contribution.

Our primary mission is, and always has been, to introduce the authentic Kingdom Gospel and see resulting life transformation in the form of obedience to Jesus. This should naturally result in faithful disciples who make disciples, thereby forming new fellowships of Christ-followers. But because of the color of the missionary’s skin and the association it has with money, many come just seeking assistance. So, as much as possible, we try to separate the mission (which is The Great Commission) from financial assistance.

Jesus said to “let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and they should glorify your Father in the heavens” (Matthew 5:16). The Apostle Paul also exhorts in Galatians 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” We cannot proliferate a Kingdom mission without also modeling the commands the Scriptures in this regard. Yet, it does create a quandary when such assistance is contrary to disciple-making.

Now that we’ve been on the ground in Kenya for four years, we have settled on a plan of action which seems to facilitate meeting both goals: the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. First, we (Western missionaries) model the teachings of Jesus by personally helping our brothers and sisters in the church and our neighbors in the village. We bandage cuts, give medication off our shelf, and give financially when asked. However, we are careful to articulate that financial gifts are from us personally, in obedience to Jesus’ teaching to “give to those who ask”–it is NOT associated with our church fellowships or the organization of KDM. Sure, there can be some wrong assumptions about that, but we do our best to be clear and to be a good witness in that regard.

When assistance is provided through KDM, we leverage our indigenous discipleship and leaders to actually do the work and stand out front, to minimize the association between the mzungu (white person) and money. We also do not “advertise” Kingdom Driven Ministries as an organization when we do any projects or medical missions work. This is in an attempt to keep people from affiliating with our fellowships out of obligation, or in an attempt to find personal benefit. We are also very careful about the types of projects we take on and the work we commit to in the community. Some of this has been learned the hard way, by trying to assist (particularly with microloan/gifts for businesses) and seeing the negative outcomes that have resulted in pretty much every case.

We at KDM appreciate the partnership of our donors, and we hope that you appreciate that we try to be good stewards not only of your financial gifts, but also of the health and growth of the Kingdom mission here. In addition to your giving for “the least of these,” please also pray for the medical needs, for the poor, for the malnourished, for those suffering with HIV, and especially for the discipleship and emerging leadership who will soon be responsible for the next generation of believers in East Africa. We praise God for all he has done and will continue to do through our partnership with faraway brothers and sisters in Christ who care deeply about the mission here on the other side of the world.