- Written by John Wolf, LCMS Africa Region Project Manager John Wolf, LCMS Africa Region Project Manager
- Created: April 19 2018 April 19 2018
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:35, 38–39
We waited while a couple young shepherd boys followed their flock of goats and sheep across the dusty road as we made our second day of travel to remote villages in Turkana. Although clouds graced the skies, rain hadn’t fallen for over a year in this forgotten region of northwestern Kenya.
Upon arrival at the home of Pr. Atan in the village of Lokori, from which he shepherds four rural congregations, we were greeted with chai tea. Our visits to some of these churches took us to a tree in Marelem, under which the congregation had met since 1997 when the Lutheran faith was first brought to Turkana by three evangelist men. Despite having only a single pastor, the Lutherans at Marelem and throughout Turkana have remained faithful to Christ alone, scripture alone and grace alone.
John was joined by Rev. Shauen Trump (LCMS area director for east and southern Africa) and Rev. Benjamin Lamosi (General Secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya). Along with sharing the Word of God and encouraging congregations, we attended an ECLK-hosted gathering of Lutheran church leaders within Turkana.
Through partnership with the LCMS, the ELCK has added a missionary of their own and soon a second refugee pastor to the existing three church workers that share Christ within a region the size of West Virginia. The large influx of refugees, the discovery of oil and nomadic traditions make this a challenging area, but one which the churches are eager to tell others of their salvation through Christ.
While we sat on modest log benches under the tree at Marelem, a young boy put his hand in mine, and I was humbled by how the Lord has sustained these people and kept them strong in the faith. May we learn from them that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Later that night, we fell asleep to heavy rains.
May God continue to sustain His people and grow His church in Turkana.
John Wolf is the Africa Region Project Manager for the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. He and his family, with the support of LCMS churches like Saint John’s, are serving in Kenya. Please keep them in your prayers! We encourage you to follow their family blog, www.hereiamsendmesendme.blogspot.com, which is also where you can sign up to their mailing list and make donations.