Africa (Kenya & Ethiopia)
In the late 1970's, a visiting missionary suggested that the newly formed Liberty Bible Church consider adopting a truly unreached nomadic tribe in Kenya/Ethiopia. In response, we began a now 43-year outreach to the Boran people. In the first 30 years, our ministry was focused in Kenya. After forming a partnership with the northern branch of African Inland Church, we built six church compounds, two primary schools, and a medical dispensary and financed the Bible training of the key men that the Lord brought forward. In these past few years, we have provided relief funding for droughts and starvation and other necessary provisions during times of tribal wars. The men that we sent to Bible school are now
pastoring in village churches.
The Ethiopian branch is ten times larger than the Kenyan branch, as well as, more remote and primitive. We have always been interested in reaching these folks, but the government is opposed to any "religious" work by expatriates. In the last 10 years, we began our work through an Ethiopian evangelist who had friends at the border crossing. He is a fearless evangelist and has the same heart for remote people as we do. Many speak of reaching the third world people, but these folks qualify to be fourth world. They have not yet been overly influenced by Islam but are tormented by demonic possession and oppression. We began the ministry by showing “The Jesus Film” and following up with hut-to-hut question and answering. The response has been phenomenal, and village after village, a Christian Community has formed varying in size from a few families to over 100 people. As we sought to follow up on their enthusiastic commitment, they asked for training, direction and financial assistance. In response, I wrote a village discipleship manual that was translated into their language. We also gathered the leaders for some advanced discipleship enrichment conferences and eventually, formed a new denomination in the Borana Zone of Ethiopia.
After the conferences, emerging leaders asked if we (3 Kenyan pastors and myself) could take them to the next step of spiritual development. Their needs and desires consisted of pastoral and theological training (in their language), financial help with church structures, assistance in providing salaries for the emergent pastors, and a motorcycle for each person ministering in multiple villages.
In January of 2018, we began the Qonco Jirreena (Word of Life) Shepherd Training Institute in Moyale, Kenya. The program consists of 200 hours of classroom training in the Boran language, followed by two days of hands-on village evangelism. We transformed some of our Sunday school classrooms into dormitory rooms and provided full room and board, free of charge. Our first class, consisting of 26 students, graduated in September 2019, and another class of 25 students graduated in 2023. Those graduates are now ministering to church bodies in 45 villages.
In addition, very competent evangelistic teams in both Kenya and Ethiopia have formed and continue to reach out to unengaged villages.
As the Lord continues expand His kingdom within the Boran people, it is our desire and prayer to use this methodology to reach the other six nomadic tribes that share the same geography and lifestyle. Our desire is to be an echo of the Apostle Paul in Romans 15:20 “to take the gospel where Christ is not yet named.”