Spreading God’s Word throughout the World
…our hope is that, as your faith increases, our sphere of action among you may be greatly enlarged, so that we may proclaim the good news in lands beyond you…
II Corinthians 10:15b-16a
The History of LUMC’s mission to Musese, Kenya
In the late 1990s, Christian believers in the village of Musese, Kenya, had no place for fellowship. It was the dream of local resident John Wanga to build a church in that village. John held a fund raiser to raise money to buy land and he matched whatever they gave, including their labor to build the church. The church was built between 1999 and 2000.
In 2007, Harry Kaufhold, then the senior pastor at Lititz UMC, held a teaching seminar called Preaching 101. Eric Wanga, who is from Musese, attended the program. As he listened, he thought that the program would be beneficial for the pastors in Kenya, so he asked Harry about going to Musese to train the pastors there. Harry said he would pray and think about it, and decided that if Eric came back to see him, then it was in God’s plan for him to go. Eric did return to see Harry, and so plans were started for a trip to Musese. Kaufhold and Flip Musser, congregation member, traveled to Musese in October 2007, and they came back so excited to share the needs of the people in that village. The women had to walk five miles to get clean drinking water and they had no electricity, but they were the happiest people!
The LUMC congregation was asked to sponsor the cost of digging a well on the Musese church property and purchasing three acres of land beside the church to grow some crops. The congregation accepted the project enthusiastically and contacts were made to start the well after purchasing the land. Completion of the well was a long process, which took until February 2009.
Continuing our Missions
In December 2008, a team from Lititz UMC went to Musese to continue training the pastors and to hold a Bible school for the children and youth. René Perez, the new Senior Pastor, offered training classes for three days, and then held an evangelistic service at the market square in the evening. Many people attended and gave their lives to Christ.
The Bible school was attended by more than 200 children! They had Bible lessons, sang songs and played games. The church prepared meals for everyone—in most cases, the only meal the children ate that day. Team members also had candy to share, which was a hit with all the kids!
On a normal Sunday, the congregation sat for hours on old wooden benches, so more comfortable chairs were purchased for the church. Each chair id numbered, and they are rented out for weddings and other occasions. Perez, Eric Wanga, and Musser spent time organizing the digging of the well and and electricity hook-up for the church building. Friendships developed, making it hard to say good-bye.
Sharing the Mission with Others
In December 2009, the team from LUMC was joined by a group from Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Brownstown, where Kaufhold had become the lead pastor. Harry provided training, a Bible School was held for the children, and several members of the team visited the local hospital and clinics.
By this time, local people were lined up all day long to take turns pumping clean fresh water from the new, working well—the best water around! The church had also raised crops on the three acres of land that was purchased.
As many of the children are malnourished and do not get regular meals every day, the church started providing porridge for them when they came to Sunday School. The water that they used to drink was from the creeks, which were also used for washing and other purposes, so fresh, clean well water being readily available meant that sicknesses decreased. A cow was also purchased to provide milk for the children, and that the church might sell the extra. Later, the cow, named Standie, had a calf named Sarah.
In May 2010, another team traveled to Musese. Prior to the team’s arrival, the clinic and trade school buildings were completed. A “sea crate” (large storage container sent by ship) was loaded with supplies for the new facilities: beds; isolettes; phototherapy equipment; exam tables; bedside tables; physical therapy, lab, and eye equipment; lounge chairs; and more! There were also boxes of school supplies, toys for the children, and building supplies for a cow shed and a chicken coop. The crate was to arrive the same day the team was to arrive.
Unfortunately, the sea crate did not get to the village until the day the team had to leave, but some supplies were taken in team members’ suitcases and other supplies were bought in town. The clinic was open for the first time and over 1,300 patients were seen! In addition to the clinic, teaching was provided for local women; Perez held pastoral training; and a team went to the local schools to talk to the children—another successful trip.
In 2011, another local church joined the mission effort. Brunnerville UMC, along with Lititz and Emmanuel, returned to Musese, with an agenda of three days of training for pastors and lay people led by Kaufhold, running instructional sewing classes for the women, opening the clinic for 3 days, and building a chicken coop! Approximately 140 people attended the pastor and lay training sessions, showing a hunger for education.
In Kenya, children must wear uniforms to attend school, and the mothers were interested in learning how to sew so they could make them. There were 14 women in the class, and they learned how to use newly-purchased sewing machines to turn pillow cases into dresses! Using these skills, women can also make clothing to sell to assist their families financially.
To support the clinic, a microscope was purchased to do testing for malaria, diabetes, and other disease, and the team saw 1,252 patients in three days! Lititz optometrist Dr. Harry Wertsch saw 91 patients. Malaria continues to be the disease most often seen. Programs called Adopt-a-Nurse and Operation Medication assist with the cost of providing nurses and medications. The response received enabled us to purchase medications and bring nurses in from the local hospital. Since March 2012, the clinic has been open one day each week!
While we were there, Standie the cow had another calf: a bull named Abraham! They plan to use the bull for breeding, and extra milk was sold to pay for food for the cows. The men built the chicken coop (twice the size that was originally planned), so many trips to town were needed for additional supplies. The plan was to sell chicken eggs to raise extra income.
A pre-school was also started in the trade school building for children aged three to five, and there are 42 children in the program. Those who are able pay tuition to attend, and porridge is provided daily. They are looking at expanding the program. 72 children attend Sunday School, which is also held in the trade school building, and they are fed a meal of beans and rice. We had 200 children attend while we were there, and some of our program plans were changed when the power went off and we couldn’t play the DVDs. The trade school was not wired for electric so plans were made to get the building wired, and a generator was purchased to use if the power goes off.
The children are very special, and a larger building is needed so the children can be placed in age level classes. More teachers have also been recruited to help with the children and youth.
You can see truly God’s hand at work in this village! The people are very appreciative of what we do and thank God for their many blessings. The children are precious and they are one of the reasons we keep going back. We have made many new friends and they have become part of our family. This mission is one that will change your life forever!
- Pastor Harry Kaufhold
- Pastor René Perez
- Flip & Deb Musser
- Eric & Carol Wanga
- Stan & Sandy Kulikowski
- Lane Rumsey
- Jen Bergner
- Dan Russo
- Carol Shaw
- Jane Imhoff
- Ashley Shaeffer
- Jim & Pam Daniels
- Carol Kasenchek
- Sandy Adams
- Jerry Kochel
- Dr. Harry Wertsch
- Jackie Fetter
- Bill Lau
- Mikayla Schutte
- Justin Nolt