Our first days of meeting together with the now 252 Team is something Kristin and I will always cherish. We promptly arrived one afternoon at Pastor Leonard's church for an arranged meeting with some of the pastors, teachers, and youth leaders from Ngaamba. We were ready to jump in and begin discussing the challenges and ideas in regards to the spiritual development of the children and youth of the community. We were on time (10-15 minutes after the scheduled time in Kenya) when we walked up to the locked church doors... "Kenya time" was our response to not a single person arriving ahead of us. Jennifer Ward, from The 410 Bridge, was with us to help get things started that day so the three of us looked for a place to sit and wait. We found some large stones under an acacia tree in the church compound so we sat in the shade and talked about what we thought was to come. I don't remember the exact time but I do know we spent at least an hour under the tree that day. What could have been a time of frustration and disappointment was actually a great time of fellowship and prayer together before the first young lady arrived for the meeting. Our meeting that day was the beginning of a process of God taking all of us on this journey of relationship and life change. We got things moving and it was evident that the Holy Spirit was guiding our time and conversation that day. We asked the question, "what next" when we were leaving that day and the group quickly arranged a schedule of meetings for our remaining time in Ngaamba. I'll never forget pulling up to the church for our next meeting to find the church unlocked and Pastor Leonard and a few others waiting for us! Each day the group of people arriving early and waiting for us grew and God launched a movement that is impacting thousands of children in Ngaamba from our time together that week.
Grow Roots Below, Bear Fruits Above! That is the vision statement developed by the 252 Team for their project and also a promise from God to His people about their survival and future with Him in 2 Kings 19. The 252 Team is focused on encouraging their youth and children in God's Truth and exposing them to the true nature of Jesus Christ and their Heavely Father to help lay a foundation of understanding that leads to growth and fruit in their everyday lives.
Johannes Mutuku has recently been hired to lead and coordinate this project in Ngaamba. Johannes is one of those guys that everyone loves! His passion and love for God flows out of everything he does. He smiles all the time... except when we try to take his picture.. and he leads with quiet strength. Johannes is turning 30 this year. He lives with and cares for his mother and two younger sisters and was a primary school teacher before resigning to lead this project. What I love about his story is that Johannes didn't choose to lead this project, he was chosen by his peers and elected the leader of the group. For Johannes, leading this project is a humbling honor and an opportunity to spread the Gospel of the God he loves to his community and eventually to all of Kenya! Johannes walks, runs, and catches a ride on the back of someone's motorbike when possible to cover the miles and miles of ground that is included in Ngaamba and their neighboring community of Kiu. His roots are strongly grounded in God and the fruits in his life is evidence enough for his team to elect him as their leader! We praise God for Johannes and we look forward to working together with him for many years to come. Will you pray with us that God will continue to overwhelm Johannes with His love and wisdom? Pray that God will provide for and care for him and his family as he leads strong to bring about change to his community.