Posted on Dec 10, 2013 · Posted in News

On August 10, 2013, the Africa Gospel Church (AGC) in affiliation with Tenwek Community Health and Development (TCHD), hosted a Children’s Rally in Kericho, Kenya, based on the success of an earlier rally held in Bomet. The purpose of the event was to come alongside local churches to value, encourage, and support children’s ministry and to promote a holistic ministry that helps churches see both the physical and spiritual needs of its people. AGC is living out Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Based on pre-registration, area church leaders expected nearly 5,100 children to attend the Rally. But just as Jesus did with the loaves when serving the five thousand, he multiplied the harvest. The final number of children present totaled 6,321 and represented 300 churches. Jonathan Bii, director of TCHD, was thrilled at the attendance. “Thank God!” he exclaimed. “Despite schools being closed, we still had a lot of support from schools as well as churches.”

Preparations for the Kericho Rally took three months of planning as well as more time invested in prayer and fundraising. AGC and TCHD worked in partnership with Carmel Baptist Church (North Carolina, US). In addition to the support of local churches, AGC was represented by the Assistant Bishop, Rev. David Maritim, and National Children’s Director Hellen Rutto. Their attendance spoke volumes to the mission of AGC to “disciple and train church members to be active, committed, action-oriented disciples of Christ.”

The Rally featured singing and dancing from local youth groups, a puppet show, and, most importantly, the message of Jesus Christ. At the end of the teaching, over 1,000 children stood to respond to the invitation to accept Christ into their lives. Their hearts were softened to the call of the Spirit in their lives; praise God for that!

Prior to the Rally, 64 local church leaders received nine days of intensive training in order to counsel children through the decision of accepting Christ. The children making decisions for Christ received counseling from these trained leaders. Each child’s name and church was recorded for referral to home churches for continued follow-up. Because Christ not only wants us to become part of His family but desires us to know Him more, AGC is committed to disciple these children in order to encourage them to continue their walk with Him. What a beautiful picture of the community committed to be the Body of Christ.

Despite the number of children in attendance and the number of souls that were saved, the day posed it challenges. Carmel Baptist Church had planned to send three representatives to the event but because of the devastating fire at the Nairobi airport, the team cancelled the trip, causing grief both in Kenya and North Carolina. In addition, Hellen Rutto fell the morning of the event, causing team leaders to accompany her to the hospital for treatment of two facial lacerations. Praise God that she was treated quickly, allowing her to attend the event.

The Kericho Children’s Rally is just the tip of the iceberg for the future of children’s ministry in Kenya. Andrew Langat, the financial coordinator for the rally, spoke candidly about the next steps that AGC and TCHD should take: “Our desire is that the churches learn to own this ministry for themselves so that we may praise with them rather than work for them.”

Plans already have been made to host another Rally in Nakuru scheduled on November 23, 2013. The goal of this next rally is to focus on quality rather than quantity, in order to encourage discipleship and follow-up within the church communities. Carmel Baptist Church has already made plans to join AFC and TCHD for this event and, Lord willing, they will make the trip and be welcomed by their brothers and sisters in Kenya. Jonathan Bii respects his friends from CBC and admires their spirit by remarking, “It’s like they are asking ‘Where is God at work? I want to join him there.’”

As praises are shared for a successful rally and plans for the next are commencing, the people of the Africa Gospel Church and Tenwek Community Health thank God in unison for a day of blessing shared with His children. Andrew Langat shared his final thoughts on the event expressing, “The purpose of this rally was to create awareness in the church to enhance children’s ministry. We want to see a revival!”

 Reported by Hannah Velling


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