The following is from pastor Simon, moderator (president) of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Kenya and pastor at the local church in Kitengela, Kenya.
Evangelical Covenant Church-Kitengela is located 40 kilometers south east of Nairobi which is the capital city of Kenya. Our congregation is composed of 85% Congo war refugees. We however worship in an iron sheet walled church which was designed for a hundred people. The congregation has grown up to almost 400 members hence leaving us with no space to expand. Our church plot measures 50×100 feet meaning we don’t have space for future expansion.
In a normal Sunday, we conduct two main services though we have a one hour intercessory service between 9:30 am to 10:30am which proceeds to main service. We have a well developed music ministry in the church. Joy of the Lord is manifested in the music in which members make music for a bout 30 minutes. The Sunday school is also well trained and presents its talents which include poems, Bible verses and CD dancing. We are however challenged because we don’t have instruments that our Sunday school children can play during presentation. We also don’t have room for them a fact that keeps them standing during the service time and at times they spend Sunday time playing outside while waiting to be called to present.
Our service is normally filled with overwhelming joy due to warm reception that the refugee gets from church members. Many are times that we give love offering for the neediest families and this has become our culture. A number of refugee members have health issues as a result of exposure to harsh conditions during war and malnutrition in this post war period. Their joy is manifestation of hope they have for their children as they witness them go to school. Its good to note that majority of children that we have are either orphans, single parented or separated from family members.
To read more about the Covenant World Relief project in Kenya, check out our website at http://www.covchurch.org/relief/projects/cd/kenya-education-for-refugees/. The Children’s Service Project for 2011-2012 will help Congolese refugees who have been welcomed by the ECCK go back to school. Learn more about this special project at http://www.covchurch.org/relief/projects/special/childrens-service-project/.