After an eight-year gap, leaders and members of Kenya Mennonite Church (KMC) held its national convention in in the town of Migori in August 2023, attended by 1 300 people. A delegation from Mennonite World Conference consisted of president Henk Stenvers, Faith and Life Commission member Desalegn Abebe of Ethiopia, Mission Commission member Simon Okoth of Uganda and Bishop Nelson Kisare from Tanzania.
During the five-day gathering, participants learned a wide range of topics including peace, justice, evangelism and discipleship, to family life. “This convention is not only for church leaders, but also for KMC church members who want to deepen their faith and be in fellowship with each other,” said bishop Samson Omondi, convention organizer and MWC Executive Committee member representing Africa.
During the five-day gathering, participants learned about a wide range of topics including peace, justice, evangelism, discipleship, economic empowerment and family life. The convention closed with a foot washing ceremony and the Lord’s Supper.
“It was a wonderful experience for KMC members to meet and interact with MWC officers and commission members. This way, Mennonites in Kenya could learn in depth the vision and mission of MWC, and the close relationship between our church and MWC,” says Samson Omondi.
“The highlight for me was the open tent revival meeting in one of the nights,” MWC president says Henk Stenvers. “There were people sharing testimonies, witnessing to each other. There was dancing: young people, children, men and women, celebrating their faith. Even passersby and people in the community came and prayed with us. It was a deeply moving experience. This is a living church, with devoted and faithful people.”
The church is alive and growing spiritually, despite challenges.
“Economic circumstances have been hard,” says Henk Stenvers.
Kenya is reliant on wheat from Ukraine. The war has caused the price of food in Kenya to increase significantly (in some items more than 100%) while wages stay stagnant.
“I have enormous respect for the way they organized the convention; the time and thought invested in putting everything together despite economic and security challenges.”
“Please pray for us and economic opportunities for the church members,” says Samson Omondi. “We want to be a church that empowers our members and impacts our communities.
“In the same way we will pray for MWC, as we feel a part of this global body of Christ,” he says.