With apologies, the blog here has not been updated in some time. There are many reasons for that, much of it a desire to maintain individuals’ privacy and do the Lord’s work in a quiet way. Marc shares more on his personal Facebook to “friends,” so anyone looking for more detail about the work of the ministry can try to friend him there.
In general, during this period of forced quietness during Covid-19, we have still been active, albeit in slightly different ways. KDM has, for the past year or so, been developing a dairy farm and tractor business to try and make the ministry here less dependent on foreign donors. We are learning as we go, but so far are pleased with the progress. Though far from being self-sustaining as a mission, we are working toward that goal with a unity that is, in itself, encouraging.
The work of our hands has kept us busy during the Covid-19 restrictions, even as our church gatherings, prayer meetings, and evangelism have (of necessity) decreased. We are trying to actively encourage the saints in our various groups through regular text and WhatsApp messages. Although not all our people are online, enough are, and there is still enough inter-personal communication among members on the ground, that people are hopefully remaining strong in the Lord and focused on what is important. Needless to say, we look forward to the day when all restrictions are lifted. But in the mean time, we are doing what we can to keep people connected.
The economic impacts here are real and people are financially struggling as work decreases and food prices increase. We were blessed to be able to send bags of maize and sweet potatoes on a couple of occasions to be distributed according to need through the local churches.
Our medical program and malnourished/feeding programs continue unabated as essential services.
Our evangelists and teachers, while on temporary hiatus, volunteered their labor for several projects on the farm and many are now helping with various upgrades to the new Wajumbe Training Center. We can’t wait to open that up for our first class!
Within just the past week, some of our evangelists have returned to the harvest fields (while complying with existing government rules). We celebrated the baptism of two people recently, and give God much praise for the encouragement and hope this brings.
Our prayers remain with our brethren around the world; please continue to pray for us.
As you can see from the date of our last blog, we have not been regular enough in keeping our supporters and prayer partners abreast of what’s been going on here at Kingdom Driven Ministries. Facebook friends of Marc Carrier or Isaiah Carrier or Glenn Roseberry get regular updates that way, but unfortunately the blog has not been kept up very well. Perhaps we ought to make a resolution for 2018 but then, we’d have to let our yes be yes (Matthew 5:37), and it’s probably not wise to make that commitment.
Silence on the blog is not because there isn’t much going on; in fact, we’ve been so busy doing the work that we have little time to write about it. 2017 has been an amazing year and God has done great things! We recently looked at our 2017 financials in preparation for doing year-end accounting, which seemed a good way to present our year in review and let you see just a bit of what’s been going on here in East Africa. The financials do not represent any of the work done by Glenn Roseberry (primarily in Tanzania and Nairobi), as this is independently managed and accounted for. Glenn provides regular updates via Facebook, so that is a good place to catch up. The work reported here focuses on Kitale-area fellowships and evangelism, and various programs in the Carriers’ village community and the surrounding area. Below you can see the breakdown of funds by percentage and category.
In summary, we spent approximately $47,000 in Kenya. 27% went to medical treatment; 14% went to feeding the hungry; 10% was invested in clean water projects; 8% went to jigger treatment; and 10% went to other Great Commandment work (includes funerals, housing, weddings, and other services for the poor and needy). Therefore, 69% of KDM’s Kenya budget went directly to support the various needs of the poor in our area. The remaining funds supported our team of evangelists and “overhead,” or General Fund expenses.
General Fund expenses do not include support of any American missionaries; this type of personal donation can be made through KDM but must be earmarked as such. Instead, our General Fund (GF) provides a salary to a number of indigenous brethren who provide valuable services in evangelism, discipleship, and program management. To help you see how these GF funds are allotted, let’s look at November 2017 as a representative month (although every month is different).
To do both Great Commission work (kingdom expansion) and Great Commandment work (assisting the poor and needy), we need to have legal authorization, be able to communicate, have a place to work, and a way to get from place to place. That makes up our “overhead,” which is taken from the General Fund. Gasoline and public transportation used up 18% of our General fund spending in November. That was higher than normal because of hosting an American visitor (we used the car rather than motorcycle several days per week which consumes much more fuel). Legal paperwork consists of keeping passports and work permits current, and going to Nairobi necessitates overnights and meals. There were two such trips during November, though this is a bit atypical.
Our facilities are paid for, but during November we upgraded our solar to accommodate two additional families (KDM workers and brethren) in our compound. We also upgraded two phones for field workers.
The General Fund pays salaries for four field evangelists. During a normal month, the manager of our medical program is paid out of the Medical budget, but since there was a budget overage during November, his salary was paid out of the General Fund.
Taking an estimate from our November figures, General Fund expenditures are about 50% devoted to the Great Commandment (helping the poor) and 50% to the Great Commission (spreading the gospel and making disciples: kingdom expansion work). Overall, then, approximately 80% of our total budget assists the poor and needy, and 20% is applied to kingdom expansion. However, this does not in any way represent the proportion of effort applied to the two tasks; it is just that the Great Commandment work requires more funding than does the Great Commission effort.
With that said, this is a brief summary of spending, not results. Let’s put a face on just a few of this year’s numbers.
As you can see from the graphs, the lion’s share of funding goes to our medical program, which we allocate as “regular medical” and “special medical.” We spend approximately $300-$400 per month on acute medical needs among the impoverished in our village: treating malaria and typhoid, broken limbs, various infections, and so on. We send an average of 15 such patients per month for treatments at our local clinic or hospitals. Larger medical needs are solicited on a case-by-case basis.
One of the most expensive cases we took on this year was that of Mary Nelima, a 42 year-old mother of three who was the victim of a motorbike accident in 2012. Her medical care for a shattered femur was minimal because funding was simply not available. Once she was left disabled, her husband abandoned her and she was forced to return to her parents’ home along with her three children. Unable to work, you can imagine the life that she and her children have lived for the last five years. When she developed signs of infection in her leg (pain, pus discharge, and even splinters of bone coming out of a now-festering wound), she came to us for assistance. We took her to a private, orthopedic hospital and were given an estimate of $3,000, which we assumed would take care of existing infection and address a long-term solution for her leg. Instead, she was immediately admitted and treated for chronic osteomyletis (bone infection), which had progressed for so long that it was very hard to treat. And because it will likely return, no further work was recommended by the surgeon.
Mary spent three weeks in the hospital, where her bone was scraped repeatedly and she was given strong antibiotics by IV. Eventually, the infection was brought under control and she has been discharged, though she continues to take oral antibiotics at a cost of approximately $100 per month. The outcome was not what we had hoped for (in terms of allowing her full use of her leg), yet she praises God for healing the infection and all of its effects. Please pray with us that though diagnosed as “chronic,” the infection would not return.
Violet Osia was just one patient who came through our regular medical program during the month of October. She is a widow and mother of two who lives in our village. Her husband passed away two years ago after being poisoned by “friends” while drinking alcohol, thus leaving the responsibility of raising their two daughters with Violet. Just a few weeks ago, Violet’s neighbor broke into her single-room house and stole several bags of dry maize which Violet had stored for her children as food during the hunger period. When Violet confronted the neighbor and demanded that he return her property, the man got extremely angry at her, finally chopping at her hand with his machete. Violet’s two small children watched in horror, unable to help their mother, as the neighbor ran away. Thankfully, some good Samaritans rushed her to us so that she could receive the necessary first aid.
Our food program is designed to provide a small but consistent amount of dry maize (a staple here) for those with food needs, especially widows, the elderly , and the disabled. At present, approximately 80 people per week receive food assistance! Here are some of their faces, from one of our weekly distribution days during the month of September:
During 2017, we also regularly served plus-or-minus 7 malnourished children, providing them with protein-rich foods, porridge, milk, oil, and sugar, to supplement their regular diet. In one particularly sad case, a child died even though every effort was made to rehabilitate him after his circumstances were discovered. However, others have formally “exited” the program after making great gains and being given a seal of approval by our local nutritionist. This three year-old, a particularly pressing case we took on this year, is making great gains. He added about 2 kg of weight in just months, but he is still receiving assistance:
Our evangelistic efforts have resulted in large numbers of baptisms and our evangelists and teachers are also devoted to ongoing discipleship. One of our evangelists, a former Imam, has slowly but surely been exposing his multi-generational Muslim family to the gospel of the kingdom, and we rejoiced when his younger brother renounced Islam, repented of his sins, and was baptized just months ago!
One of the highlights of our year has been instituting weekly kesha (the Swahili word for “watch,” which also refers to the practice of an all-night prayer meeting) and monthly multi-day, corporate fasting meetings. This has been great for discipleship, as we spend some time teaching, but it has also fostered an incredible unity among the brethren and we have really seen an operation of the gifts of the Spirit as we gather together regularly. Attendance remains high and we rejoice to see how God has so faithfully answered our prayers: guiding the mission here, strengthening the brethren, growing our fellowships, and bringing healing and deliverance. We praise God for all He has done this year, and hope that this little glimpse will show you how many lives have been impacted for the kingdom of God because of you, our faithful supporters. Please continue to keep us in prayer during the coming year.
Unfortunately, some people believe that their standing before the Lord is determined by their power and influence, that their worthiness in the Kingdom of God is a result of their titles and positions, or that their greatness in the Kingdom of God is determined by their huge estates and wealth. They must perish the thought, that is not true. Our Mzee Timothy Sitati, a deacon and an elder in the church, understands the concept of greatness from a very different angle. Indeed, he understands it based on Jesus’ point of view.
An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest, Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand by his side. Then he said to them, ” Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all-he is the GREATEST.” (Luke 9:46)
Mzee Timothy is not a perfect man, but he is a blameless soul: sober-minded, a man of one wife and household that fears and loves the Lord, a man to hang around with and learn from. His mode of life and simplicity is unequaled and unattainable by many elders in our circle of local churches and community in general. His love and adoration of God is very evident in his commitment and service to the church and the needy.
Before he discovered the secret of the Kingdom he was a committed and faithful member of the Salvation Army church. Two years ago, he met with a disciple-maker and teacher of the Kingdom gospel, Marc Carrier, who shared with him the gospel of Christ. He yielded to the message and accepted to be baptized in many waters after the process of confession and repentance. This was a very new and unique experience for him. In his old church, baptism was nothing but passing under a special church flag. But that was not what Christ taught, rather he was conforming to the teaching and traditions of men.
Jesus answered, ” Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” ( John 3:5)
Years have gone by since he entered the Kingdom, and the fruits of the Kingdom have steadily emerged in abundance for all to see and partake. Mzee Timothy is a man with many responsibilities and duties both at his home, church and community as a whole. Being a retired school master, many people regularly seek his advice and counsel, but these days his total focus, allegiance, and commitment is to the Kingdom of God and service to the church.
Mzee Timothy shopping for malnourished children
At Eldoret Hospital with Micah
After many days of preparation and discipleship, Mzee Timothy was officially ordained and appointed to take the position of a deacon. This ordination was organized and approved by elders and leaders of the church. Surely none could ever imagine that Mzee Timothy was capable enough to take the office of deacon considering his age and the demands and responsibilities attached with the office. But as the ancients taught, “wisdom is with the gray hair.” He has not only met the expectations but has performed all his tasks excellently and perfectly.
Here’s what you will find Mzee Timothy doing on any given day:
Supervising and taking care of premises where the Kingdom Driven Ministries office is located. This includes collecting monthly rent for those who pay it, noting repairs that need to be made and organizing for the work to be done, and generally keeping peace.
Maintaining and supervising the community water pump, which is located right outside the KDM building.
Managing KDM’s publicly available library of materials, and ensuring that the evangelists and teachers have access to teachings materials and literature.
Maintaining the prayer and meeting room, to ensure that the room is clean and in order before any meeting.
Overseeing the entire malnourished food program: purchasing food, packing and distributing, and taking all the children and their caregivers to the hospital’s nutritionist on a monthly basis.
Distributing food (typically maize) to the widows and the poor and keeping proper records. (Being a local, he is very familiar with the struggling families.)
To the patients with minor sickness, malaria, flu and headache, he is always ready to give pain killer and other medicines that we keep on the shelf. For those with more serious problems, he organizes with local medical health centers for their treatment.
He manages funds for malnourished, medical patients, and mission needs.
He helps in dealing with church discipline issues and solving disputes among brethren, along with our group of wazee.
As a church deacon, he initiates special collections for needs among the brethren that are brought to his attention.
Currently he helps Victor Simiyu (a brother with cancer) to manage and budget his food funds and take his medicines properly, and offers him fatherly guidance and support.
He visits the HIV/AIDS patients and ensures they don’t fail to collect their transport to go to the government health center for medicines.
Mzee Timothy with malnourished family at Matunda Hospital
Distributing food to the widows and poor
Washing the saints’ feet
Mzee Timothy has been a great blessing to the ministry and the Kingdom of God. He has been a great help to the missionary Marc Carrier, as he has relieved him from all these labors, which initially were all performed by Marc or others in the ministry. He is a great blessing to those that he ministers to and serves everyday. He is truly a light to the community. Let us always remember Mzee Timothy and other faithful servants in their work of service to God and men; remember them in you prayers and supplications.
Mzee Timothy was faithfully serving in many of these areas before his ordination in our fellowship. Because, as a deacon, he has taken on many tasks related to the administration of KDM’s service programs, he is receiving a small salary for his full-time labor from the KDM general fund. This is just one example of how your financial gifts are used within the ministry. God bless you!
Loise Anita, 4 years, is one of the children living with HIV/AIDS in our community. Her parents both died due to HIV and left her under the care of the grandmother, who is a widow. A specific food program was recommended for her by a local government health officer. However, her grandmother cannot provide the special diet needed to keep her strong and healthy, due to the financial pressures of raising Loise alongside of other young children in the home, on her limited means. This situation is a difficult one for little Anita, whose physical growth and mental development is under threat of compromise.
How much we yearn to help and support this family, especially the children! Currently we don’t have an established food program for families of HIV patients as we do for the malnourished children, yet the needs are just as pressing. We are looking forward to establishing something for these families too, if the Lord will grant us the grace and resources to do so. For a time, we are incorporating Anita into our existing malnourished food program; however, that program is already at its maximum for the funding we’ve received. To help her (according to the health department’s recommendations) and keep the existing program going will cost approximately $40 per month. Not only would we love to help Anita, but other families affected by HIV, whom we are currently assisting in other ways.
” Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in the their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” said James the Righteous. Join the Kingdom Driven family and help Loise Anita! Help us to create a circle of life with strong hopes for the orphans and widows. Make a father and mother for Anita; be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Water and fire are basic necessities for every people group under the sun. In this case, water and fire are not in reference to the baptism of water and fire, which also are very necessary requirements to living a Kingdom life; rather, I am referring to normal water and real fire. It is written in the ancient Wisdom of Sirach, “Basic to all the needs of man’s life are water and fire and iron and salt and wheat flour and milk and honey, the blood of the grape, and oil and clothing” (Ecclesiasticus 39:26).
In the developed world, the subjects of water and fire are not something that consume one’s thoughts. The basic needs of life are typically very well meet and satisfied in various forms due to modern technology and new inventions. The crucial importance of fire and water in daily life, therefore, is not even highly recognized. Yet here in Africa, such considerations are pertinent to everyday living, and the acquisition of these basic elements is a tough labor of it own. The amount of time and energy that is invested in fetching water and collecting firewood is not something that the average Westerner considers, but it is indeed a good portion of time spent in the life of a typical village Mama.
In many African communities, the responsibility for the provision of the basic needs referenced in the Wisdom of Sirach is divided equally between men and women. Men typically insure that their families have food, clothing and shelter, while women usually see to the household needs for water and firewood. Today, we’ll look at water, next time, wood for fuel.
How is water collected? Where is it fetched from? Are these places safe and clean for consumption? In many villages in developing countries (including ours), water is collected from rivers or natural springs, or gathered from rain water.
Many natural sources of water, though used regularly, are not clean for human consumption and can present a health risk to the villagers. The springs may be uncovered or unprotected, in which case they can be susceptible to contamination leading to disease outbreaks. In our village, for example, we had three open springs of water for the entire community (above pictures). Many people who came to us with acute medical needs were treated for diseases like malaria, typhoid, and cholera, all of which can be linked to these natural water sources. This is only one aspect of consideration in the process of collecting water for daily use.
Besides the concern for the cleanliness of the water, consideration is also given to investment of time and the necessity of health and strength for the task. Many people collect rainwater, but the amount (especially in dry season) is usually insufficient for the day’s requirements. Many liters are needed for washing clothes, bathing, drinking, preparing food, and general house cleaning. Needs multiply if animals need water as well. Depending on the size of the family, water use can be on the order of hundreds of liters. (For example, when the Carriers did not yet have indoor running water and were fetching daily from the neighborhood spring, they had a 240 L tank in the kitchen. At least half of it was used each day, oftentimes more.)
If a water source is close by, a woman may spend a minimal 20 minutes walking back and forth and filling her container (up to 20 L, or about 5 gallons, can be carried on her head!). This often needs to be done more than once, but the investment of time to fill the day’s water needs may still be less than an hour. If the water source is far away, the time is, of course, multiplied. Sometimes, Mama works at home while her children fetch water. They can carry appreciably less, so they may spend hours carrying what their mother would do in one or two short trips. A woman who is ill of health may need her children to do the work or may depend on neighbors to help her, which can be burdensome to others or simply leave her with her needs unmet. For example, one elderly grandmother in the area suffered from HIV in its late stages, yet was caring for several grandchildren. To conserve her water supply, she washed dishes in a basin of water, then allowed each of the children to use it for bathing in turn, then left it outside for her chickens.
All of these considerations were part of the decision for Kingdom Driven Ministries (KDM) to install a borehole and pump in a high-traffic, public location in the Carriers’ village. This has indeed been a blessing–as a time-saver for the village Mamas who struggle so much to meet this daily need, and also as a means of reducing water-born illnesses.
No matter what time of day you visit, the village pump is rarely idle!
Currently Kingdom Driven Ministries (KDM) is providing weekly food packages for seven malnourished children. When we first encountered these children and the opportunity to invest in heaven through them, it also came with its own trepidation and some questions that needed to be answered. Among them, “Is this our responsibility? Should we get involved? Is there hope for restoration for these children?” All these were genuine and sincere questions to be taken seriously and with great humility. By this teaching of Christ we were confident: “Everything is possible to the one who believes, if you ask in prayer and have faith.” Therefore we embarked on the journey with prayers of faith, knowing that with faith mountains can be moved.
Many have been involved in the care of these children, and it has certainly been a case of “seed time and harvest.” After much investment in the lives of these little ones and their families, the majority of the children in our feeding program are getting better and better every day. They can stand, walk, and even run just like any other kids around them! They are gaining weight and developmentally thriving. This is a miracle to their parents, many of whom had given up hope. Some of them thought their children’s struggles were the result of some kind of witchcraft or dark spell.
In addition to providing these children with weekly food packages, we also take them to the the local district hospital each month, where they are evaluated by a nutritionist and often provided with other vitamins and supplements or medications (such as de-worming). It is quite an organizational feat to get 7 children and their caregivers to the hospital by motorbike, all somewhat on time! Here are some recent photos from a visit to the nutritionist:
This is Caro, a widow and mother to Garrison (age 4) and Wilson (age 3)
Robbies Nasimiyu is the young mother of Abigail (4) and Eliya (3). She was abandoned by her husband due to mental health challenges, and she has since returned to the home of her parents.
Mzee Charles is a faithful member of our local fellowship. His grandson, Murawa, was abandoned by his parents and is now being taken care of by this sweet, elderly man.
Caren (6) and Betty (4) are the children of Rose, who was also abandoned by her husband because of mental health challenges.
Mzee Timothy with families at the hospital
We are so grateful for the partnership between KDM and our beloved brethren and donors who make this program possible. May the Lord bless you all–without your donations and prayers these lives would not have been changed. And above all we have learned a very important lesson: “Cooperation in love, is power in deeds.”
Our Mzee Timothy (pictured above; he is our church’s deacon and he administers our medical and malnourished programs) has been faithful in overseeing these children and their families for about the last six months. He has kept the program on-budget, stayed in contact with the families, and made sure that there is family education to reduce the risk of relapse in the children. He ensures that every family receives a portion of nutritious foods every week. The food package includes:
1 kg sugar
1 kg rice
4 packets of milk (2L total)
2 bags of porridge flour
10 oranges or other fruit
2 kg of maize flour
3 kg of beans
5 ml cooking oil
Here is Mzee Timothy doing his weekly shopping
Next time, we’ll share the testimony of Abigail and Eliya’s grandfather–a testimony that would not be told except for the outreach of faith through deeds.
Kingdom Driven Ministries welcomes Reagan Simiyu as a contributing author to the blog.
As it is written, service to the poor and needy is nothing besides service to the Lord Jesus himself (see Matthew 25). It is our delight and honor to be His hands and feet in meeting and solving problems of the people around us, both in the Kingdom and outside the Kingdom. To share what we have with “the least of the these,” is in accordance with the Great Commandment. Last week at the KDM office (the hub of village activity where folks in need usually know to come), we received a number of widows and old people who were seeking food and medical assistance. People asking for help at this time of the year is not surprising, since here food availability is seasonal. People have a lot during harvest season (which has now past), and as soon as the season is over then acquiring “daily bread” becomes more of a struggle.
I believe our greatest happiness can only be attained when the basic needs of the poor and needy are attended to: food, clothing, and clean water especially. Many men and women are rushing hither and thither in a blind search for happiness, seeking from the things of the world, and cannot attain it; nor will they, until they recognize that happiness is already within their reach and around them:
“Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed,nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.'” (Luke 17:20-21)
These beautiful lines of Burleigh’s express the secret of all abounding happiness. Sacrifice the personal and transient, and you rise at once into the everlasting Kingdom of Christ Jesus:
I followed happiness to make her mine,
Past towering oak and swinging ivy vine.
She fled, I chased, over slanting hill and dale,
Over fields and meadows, in the purpling vale.
Pursuing rapidly over dashing stream,
I scaled dizzy cliffs where the eagles scream;
I traversed swiftly every land and sea,
But always happiness eluded me.
Exhausted, fainting, I pursued no more,
But sank to rest upon the barren shore.
One came and asked for food, and one for alms;
I placed the bread and gold in bony palms;
One came for sympathy, and one for rest;
I shared with every needy one my best;
When lo! sweet Happiness, with form divine,
Stood by me, whispering softly, “I am thine.”
Kingdom Driven Ministries welcomes Reagan Simiyu as a contributing author to the blog.