As he hung by one hand from a balcony railing five floors above a Nairobi slum, a suicidal young Kenyan gangster received a phone call which saved his life and set him on a path to salvation.
Ken had grappled with poverty and broken family relationships from an early age and by his mid-teens was seeking the company of violent gang members to achieve the sense of belonging he could not find elsewhere.
His life had taken a dangerous turn. His new gangster friends made their living from armed robbery, and twice Ken found himself engaged in shootouts with police.
Both times he was almost the only survivor of gunfights which saw other gang members killed in a hail of bullets.
But instead of relief at having been spared, Ken felt overpowering guilt.
As police dragged his friends’ dead bodies away from the scene of the second shootout, he asked himself why he was still alive. His friends were dead. He should be, too. He’d somehow let them down.
The guilt preyed on his mind for days, until finally he decided he would join his friends in death by throwing himself from the top of an apartment building where he had a small room.
However, he had reckoned without realising the power of God.
In another part of Nairobi, AE International Team Leader Stephen Mbogo, who had tried in vain to befriend and mentor Ken in earlier years, had been thinking for several days that he needed to make contact with the youngster again and try to re-establish the earlier relationship. He had a sudden urge to phone him.
It took him two days to find Ken’s phone number and then he made the call.
Meanwhile, at the top of the apartment building, Ken took what he thought was a last look at the city’s grey slums below and climbed over the balcony railing. He was ready to plunge to his death.
Then his phone rang. Freeing one hand from the railing, he reached into his pocket. The caller was Stephen.
Unaware at that point of the depths to which Ken had sunk, Stephen pleaded with Ken to come to a meeting so that he and others could show him how, with God’s help, he could turn his life around.
After much discussion, Ken agreed to give himself another chance and climbed back over the railing to safety.
In the weeks which followed, Ken underwent drug rehabilitation, mixed with other people of his age planning university study and made the decision to turn his life over to Christ.
He has now decided to become a preacher and is about to study for a degree in theology.
In a note he wrote about Ken’s life, his mentor had this to stay:
“Oh God, out of all the students, you chose the one in the dustbin for yourself. You emptied the trash can and got Ken out. He had been forgotten by all of us, all except You.”
Story written by Mike Heard, AE Volunteer.
* The very same Stephen Mbogo, AE International Team Leader & CEO, will be coming out to speak in Australia from April 29 – May 14. Register your interest here, if you’d like to be in contact with Stephen during this time.
Even as they grappled with a life-threatening disease, dozens of people in a Kenya town found time to listen to the gospel and turn their lives over to the Lord.
During an African Enterprise mission in Kakamega, a town in western Kenya just 30km north of the Equator, a camp was set up to treat victims of jiggers, a potentially-fatal skin disease spread by sand fleas.
The camp was funded in part by Hong Kong-based Christian group Jireh Fund, which is a praying and caring organisation. The camp was operated with assistance from students at the local Masinde Muliro University and the Kenya Medical Training College.
As some 365 jiggers sufferers underwent treatment, African Enterprise evangelists took the opportunity to share the gospel and pray with them, with 65 deciding to become followers of Jesus.
In addition to helping with the treatment, Jireh Fund provided microscopes to two community medical clinics to help with diagnosis of malaria, which is rampant in the Kakamega region.
African Enterprise leaders say they are very grateful for Jireh Fund’s financial support and encouragement, and for the volunteer work undertaken by the university students.
Story written by Mike Heard, AE Volunteer.
From Addict to Ambassador
At sixteen, Dan was addicted to social media. He spent all his free time online and struggled to get through a week without looking at pornography. He didn’t realise he had a problem, until the African Enterprise Foxfires came to speak to the young people at his school.
“When the Foxfires shared with us the various dangers of cyber addiction, I realised what I was doing,” Dan said.
He spoke to the Foxfires about his problems and asked God to save him from his addictions.
“I received Jesus in one of the sessions with the Foxfires,” he said, “and I now feel a calmness of heart and great peace away from guilt and addiction.”
But it was not an easy decision and Dan has struggled already.
“Many of my friends laughed at me having being saved,” he said. “But I never look back.”
He has held on to his new faith and wants to be an ambassador for overcoming addictions, helping other young men and women who are struggling with pornography.
“Out of the continued encouragement I got from the Foxfires team, I stood firm in loving God and choosing to do what is right,” Dan said. “Thank you Foxfires!’’
A prodigal daughter finds her way to God
Fourteen years old and in her first year of high school, Melissa enjoyed what she thought was the freedom of youth.
“I would sneak away from school and go to clubs,” she admitted.
School work and the future seemed unimportant. Melissa made decisions on a whim, doing whatever made her happy, following wherever her group of friends would lead.
When the AE Foxfires started visiting her school, she was intrigued.
“They were young like me,” she said, “and they really taught me how to live this life as a young person.”
As the months went on, and the Foxfire visits continued, Melissa started making better decisions about how she spent her time. She overcame the peer pressure that had marked her life before. And then one day, when the Foxfires asked if anyone wanted to become a Christian, Melissa said yes.
“Once I knew about God and his saving grace, I accepted him and He changed me,” she said.
God was looking after Melissa even before she became a Christian, and she now knows the danger she was in.
“I thank God that even in those times, when I was misbehaving, my life was preserved,” she said. “I didn’t end up dropping out of school because of pregnancy or drug abuse issues. God really has a better plan for me and I am now part of the Christian Union at school. I owe this to the Foxfires and also to God for having mercy on me.’’
Struggling through poverty
Benjamin has always resented his family’s poverty.
“My family background is quite humble,” he said, “and I really hated the fact that I was born into that family.”
By his third year of high school in Kenya, Benjamin was a quiet and sullen teenager who struggled to relate to his family. Then earlier this year, when the Foxfires visited his school, Benjamin decided to give his life to Christ.
“Since March this year, when I received Christ as my personal Saviour, my life has changed drastically,” he said. “It is the best it has ever been. I never thought things could be like this.”
Over the last few months, his performance has improved, his anger has subsided and his relationship with his family has started to change.
“I have always had these big questions in my mind and wanted them to be answered by anyone who would listen,” Benjamin said. “The Foxfires were there for me and helped me understand who God is. I had never before accepted who I was in the eyes of God.”
In return for what they have done for him, Benjamin had one thing to say to the Foxfires.
“You are doing a great job,” he said. “I hope you keep going and never tire because lives are being changed by your work!”
We think it’s really important to bring you news from the partnership. After the Malindi Mission in June, the work of discipling and caring for new believers didn’t stop.
African evangelists can find themselves involved in offbeat activities as they work to spread the good news of Jesus.
An African Enterprise team visiting the Kenyan city of Malindi during a recent mission decided to demonstrate a practical side to God’s love by helping locals overcome a bedbug infestation.
Bedbugs had been plaguing the Watamu area of the city for a long time, leaving residents bedridden in some cases.
The AE team’s eradication program targeted 200 homes housing about 1000 people.
As well as easing the bedbug problem, the exercise proved a victory for the Lord. Some 25 homeowners announced that they were turning their lives over to Him.
The overall Malindi mission reached more than 93,000 residents of the city, with over 10,000 making commitments for salvation.
Story written by AE Volunteer Mike Heard.
To give to AE Missions, click here.
It’s often said that God works in mysterious ways to bring His people to salvation.
That’s certainly the way it seemed to a group of African Enterprise workers in Kenya recently.
A team assigned to door-knock a mainly-Muslim neighbourhood during a big AE mission in the coastal city of Malindi found they couldn’t get past the front door with one particular family. The family wanted nothing to do with the gospel.
But as the team was being turned away, it began to rain heavily, and the occupants of the house graciously invited the AE workers to come inside until the downpour ended.
The visitors decided that the heavens had opened for a reason and they wasted no time sharing the good news of Jesus.
There were no decisions for Christ at that time, but the team felt good seeds were planted and it asks for prayer for this family and others in the neighbourhood.
(Story provided by AE supporter Mike Heard)
Just a few months ago, the AE Kenya Team were involved in a car accident that destroyed their source transport.
AE Australia is humbled to share that thanks to our incredibly generous donors, AE Kenya has a new Foxfire van that enables them to carry on their mission with gusto!
Painted deep green and emblazoned with the orange Foxfire logo, the van is a testimony in itself – driving through Kenya’s streets, it instantly catches the attention of onlookers and directs their attention to the Gospel work of African Enterprise.
“I thank God for providing us with this van,” said Victoria Opara, a 2017 Foxfire.
“It is such a blessing given all the hustle we went through when we did not have it. It has made moving from one school to another for ministry very easy and we now get to schools in good time.”
Without the use of their old van, the team had to use public transport, which is unreliable and can be expensive.
“We are saving a lot of money,” Victoria said.
“It was especially stressful when we had to go to schools that are situated far away. The van has really come through during such times because we don’t have to board several buses to get there. We sometimes have personal errands to run like shopping for things we need as a team. Above all I just love that we have a new car!”
In the recent Malindi mission, the van helped the Foxfires to be right in amongst the mission. It also enables the team to evangelise at schools and mission sites in faraway locations.
“AEE is truly grateful for our support partners, for giving towards the buying of the van,” said Kenya Foxfire Supervisor, Edward Mungai.