Kenyan Encounters – Light in the darkness

candleIn this series of blog posts I want to share some stories from our recent trip to Kenya. This was not a holiday but rather a ministry trip as part of the ministry school we have been attending in California for the last year. We were in a small village outside of Mombasa called Mtwapa for the majority of the time. Our team saw God do incredible things and in the two weeks we fell in love with the local people and their village. Many received salvation and were supernaturally healed wherever we went. This story is about how God sent us into the darkest parts of the area to bring the brightest of lights.

One night we went out into the local area with the specific aim of reaching the local prostitutes and those in the bars. The prospect of such a trip might raise a few eye brows in the western world but to parts of the church in Kenya this really would be considered crazy! The area is known for its prostitution and drinking culture. Sadly this industry is largely sponsored by local tourism and well meaning travellers looking to enjoy the night life of eastern Kenya.

We headed out onto the streets early evening time, hoping to catch some of the ladies before they began their nights work. We split into groups of 3 or 4, each group with a local interpreter, and headed to a notorious area near by. Our interpreter, Violet, ran a local HIV/Aids support group we had visited (a story for another time!) and knew exactly where we should go. Her heart for these ladies was incredible and her back story was powerful. She could identify because she had escaped the business herself. She led us confidently onwards into the shanty towns and through darkened alleys as the sun set above us. In a tight courtyard we started speaking to some guys who sat on a bench. One man was amazed that we would travel so far to meet them only to share the love of God with them. A lady struck up with conversation with us who we soon discovered was looking for business, she was not subtle! After discovering why we were there (and that my wife was standing next to me!) she asked if we could pray for her. We prayed and then spoke to her of God as her father and provider. Towards the end of our conversation she started to get a little worked up. I could tell there was a lot of pain in her life and our conversation wasn’t going anywhere.

We were interrupted because a lady had asked Violet if we could go to her house to pray with her. We didn’t have long til we were due back but I figured it was worth it. Plus we were working on Africa time! So this lady proceeded to lead us to her home. She led us for ten minutes through dark alleys and past many shanty bars. There were local men drinking everywhere and I’m sure we got some funny looks, being the only white people around. Eventually we arrived, a series of homes made from corrugated iron with doors cut into them. She asked us to wait outside whilst she prepared the house. By now it was almost completely dark. After a minute she invited us in. We stepped into darkness and it took a minute for our eyes to adjust. The house was one very small room. There was a curtain dividing the room and presumably a bed on the otherside. She had lit a single small candle to provide some light. There was no where to sit and by the time we were all in there was little space left. In the dim flickering light the lady told our interpreter what she wanted prayer for. She had been in an accident of some sort and had pain all up one side of her body. She also wanted us to bless her house. So we huddled round, laid hands on her and prayed. As we prayed tears began to flow down her face and she fell to her knees. After a minute we asked the translator if she was OK. She replied in the usual understated way that she was well. All the pain had left her and she was being touched powerfully by God!

I remember being so humbled by her hospitality and warmth. She did not have much but she gladly prepared and welcomed us into her humble home. I could feel Gods heart for her as we stood there praying and I knew God would respond to her cry for help. The image of  us standing around in that small dimly lit room seeing that lady touched by God will stay with me a long time.

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