Serving the Lord in Kenya

May, 2024

Dear Co-laborers in Christ,

               First of all, I wish to thank you all for your prayers and concern for this mission. I would also like to share with you my experiences with the BCEA Campus church during past last month.

               In the campus church, attached to the Bible College of East Africa, I used to serve in the Sunday School department for many years. With the addition of new missionaries, I left the Sunday School with them and moved over to the Junior Youth Fellowship and have been teaching there until now. So, my service has been more with children and young adolescents.

               In the Campus church, there is also a Ladies’ Fellowship. Its members are mostly the mothers and wives of the church families. If I know any female members of the church, it is mostly because they are a mother of a Junior Youth child. I have seldom been involved with the “mamas”. They speak a speedy Kiswahili, and are kind, yet unpredictable in their expressions. We used to only exchange greetings, like “Hi, Habari yako?” (“Hi! How are you?”)

               It was a couple months ago when a leader of the Ladies’ Fellowship came to me. She said they planned to have a one-day seminar and requested that I share in that seminar. Surely, all those years in the same church, my “singlehood” now seemed not to be a barrier to talk to such authoritative “mamas.” They chose the topic of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31.

               Well, it rained plentifully on the very day of the seminar. The meeting didn’t begin on time, and only a few were there in the beginning.  As the lesson went on, they slowly appeared at the door with umbrellas so wet as they had come out of the rain. In spite of my worry about spending time with the ladies, the program went smoothly. We had a teaching session, discussion, and I even brought an arts and crafts project for them to remember more of the seminar topic. We had a tea time break, then lunch and even took a photo together. Though I felt that I wasn’t “very” good in teaching on that day, I could see that they were getting something meaningful through the seminar. I was thankful that it generally went smoothly.

              Two weeks later, I was told the sad news about “M”, a member of that fellowship. She had committed suicide. Not many knew the reason why she had to choose such a death.  We were so shocked that such could happen among us! More shocking was that none of us knew about her struggles. She was there as a member of the church, the Ladies’ Fellowship, but none knew her challenges nor offered proper spiritual care.  There was some talk, “Can a Christian commit suicide?” while others asked “What did we do when she struggled so much?”  Now “M” was divorced from her husband, and had made her living from doing casual work in Nairobi. She had four children in the upcountry under the care of their grandmother. Now, these children became no better than orphans.

                I remember at the seminar “M” was sitting next to me during lunch time. She was too shy to talk to me, so she just talked to the people around her. She was quite loud and happily laughing. She came and stood next to me, then put her hand on my shoulder to pose for someone taking our photo together. With this memory, I felt so near to her! So at the news of her suicide, I was asking myself if I had done my part in sharing God and the gospel in the seminar. Some attending even remembered that she had requested to be visited in order to pray with her. But, they were busy and her request was ignored. If they had heard her requests, would things have been different? They now regret that they were not sensitive to her timid and shy requests.

               In Kenya, the mode of burial differs according to tribes. “M” was a Luya, and Luyas mostly carry the corpse to be buried in their home-place. From Nairobi to Luya land (the western part of Kenya), it is a far distance. Regardless, her family insisted on taking the corpse and burying her in her hometown. This happed last month, April.  If you know what happened here, in the whole month of April it rained and rained heavily throughout the country. The subsequent floods took people’s lives and brought much destruction. Sad news “flooded” as the gloomy days went on. In the church, we went back to our normal program and various fellowships, even though “M” was no longer there.

               Now it has been two days without rain in this area. The sunshine was so bright, as if nothing could be remembered about the heavy rain of destruction. However, the memory about “M” comes to my mind when I have an encounter with timid and shy requests. I ask myself “Is this is my best? Will I not regret it?”

               Brethren, I request your prayers for our campus church, to grow spiritually,  and that His servants will to do their best in their services.

“So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth;                                                                                       
but God that giveth the increase.” 1 Corinthian 3:7

                                                                                                                                       In His service,

                                                                                                                                       Bai, Eun Young