After a busy first week of ministry in Mombasa, we met as team to discuss what we wanted to continue to do as ministry in the two weeks that remained.
We discussed it as a group, and I was reminded of this verse
“And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart.”
Luke 9:4 ESV
I felt that we should pick a house and invest in it. We didn’t just pick one. We picked two and a third chose us. One of the schools we did ministry with continued to invite us to share every week for the duration of our stay.
But I want to devote this post to the place my heart most longed to stay – the Rehab Centre. In the UK, this would be a Young Offender’s institute.
There was something about the faces of the young boys we met that drew me in. They needed Jesus many of them whose stories I heard were going to spend three years of their lives there. So for you and I three years may not seem so long but for a teenager it can only assume that would feel like a lifetime.
Our first visit, we performed a skit. Portraying the story of a young girl who was in need of someone to confide in about poor school grades no one was willing to lend her a listening ear, not friends, mother or brother. But her father returns with compassion and listens but not only does he listen. He also directs his daughter to put her trust in a greater source – God. Who he assures her will listen at any time.
We didn’t seem to get much of a response from this. And we followed up with an explanation of the the skit and an encouragement but no commitments were made.
But the following week when we returned. We split our team some returning to those boys and another team going to a mixed section of the centre with both boys and girls. I went to the mixed side. My friend shared her testimony and talked about God being a good and reliable father. Another friend danced and in what became a time slot we called “Holy Spirit time” my friend and I shared separately about the grace of God. About erasing terrible pasts for a a future with God. We talked about how God wanted them to take this free gift of grace in giving His only son to take away their sins.
And then I invited them to accept this free gift of grace and we saw around 25 respond on our side! And later as we joined our other team we heard that approx 45 boys had also responded to the gospel. So about 70 salvations of young teenagers in matter of a few hours sharing the gospel.
God was so good. We returned again the following week ready to disciple after having so many commitments made. This time I returned to the boys. We opened a forum where we invited them to ask us questions. One question I ended up asking the boys was misinterpreted but the answer I received blew me away. The boy began to recount the entire skit for us! All of it! And I thought it ha made little impact?! How amazing is God.
And the testimonies don’t stop there. We wanted to highlight to them that prayer was important and that relationship with god is something they could develop through conversation with him. We shared about the individual ways we heard from God. Some of us repeated what had come before and I wanted to show the boys more of God’s creativity so I asked God to remind me of the different ways he had spoken to me in the past and he reminded me of using the environment around me. We were in an open air environment with buildings and trees surrounding us. So I asked God to give me a live example. So as I was speaking I was praying God show me something and speak to me. And he did! He showed me an old building with missing roof tiles etc. and I felt God say to me that he isn’t finished with me yet. That he’s still working on me – and this was an encouragement I needed after having a difficult conversation with a member of my team. So as God shared with me I shared with the boys what God had said to me.
And a friend who had jokingly been asked to preach was doing something similar. He was asking God what to share. And he stood up and preached simply lead by the Holy Spirit and it was awesome he spoke about the Christian life being about relationship not religion. And it was awesome.
Even after 45 or so salvations in our previous visit we had 6 respond to the gospel on this visit!
These boys were hungry for Jesus! And they were requesting bibles! Which we were able to provide just enforce we left! Please pray for these boys!
It’s a privilege to witness the Holy Spirit at work.