William serves with Canadian Baptist Ministries
in the area of conservation agriculture
and sustainable community development in Kenya
In the Autumn of 2011, the Canadian Baptist Ministries’ Africa team began an assessment of our work in Kenya’s North Eastern Province that led to a pivotal change in our approach to ministry in this region. One of the major shifts was to strengthen food security through the introduction of arid land conservation farming practices.
For almost three years, our colleague William Wako has been leading this important initiative. Today there are six committed local churches that are investing their time and resources to demonstrate conservation agriculture practices to their wider community, and use their experience to assist several local Muslim villages in the establishment and strengthening of sustainable farms. Together they are turning the desert into a garden!
This month, we are excited to share with you part of a brief interview we had with William earlier this year. We hope that you will join us in praying for William, his wife Mary, and the great ministry that they are a part of.
"In my ministry life I am excited by serving and loving God through helping the needy and mending the broken heart through the compassionate ministry.
It is during this period that the Lord confirmed by vocation. Specifically, I feel God has gifted me in the area of Christian service. I prayed about this and told my parents, this was the hardest bit of my journey of faith for I faced a lot of resistance, rejection and resentment. I was despised, insulted and rejected even by my own family members because of choosing to be Christian minister. All in all I thank God for giving me courage and endurance through all this.
Today, I can testify that whenever God calls for His service he will provide.
The model of Jesus Christ ministry among the poor and disadvantaged, motivates me to love and serve the Lord. The Bible passages of Matthew 22:37 ‘’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’’ and Psalm 37:3-4 ‘’Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart’’ encourages me to persist in the Lord and understand the joy of serving in God’s vineyard, because the Lord is my portion.
In 2011, I became a student intern with Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM). This led to me joining the team as a project officer in food security. One of the joys of serving with CBM among the Muslim communities of Garissa is the integral mission approach that I never learnt in theological school.
Although I read and heard sermons on Jesus’ compassionate ministry, it is only after joining CBM that I fully realized the truth about empowering the poor. Serving the poor did not only give me opportunity to physically invest in their lives, but makes it possible for me to build mutual relationships. It is within these relationships that I can naturally share the good news of Jesus Christ. In addition, God has blessed me with the spiritual gift of Christian service and works of compassion that go hand in hand with CBM’s style of ministry.
I am very thankful for the flexibility of our organization that one is allowed to be creative and innovative in terms ways of witness and development helps me in the contextualization of the Christian message of God’s love for all people. We are always looking for ways to do things better.
Serving in Garissa also has enormous challenges right from harsh climatic condition to hostility and rampant insecurity cases. For about three years now Kenyan Christians have been targeted by extremists who have been attacking Christian places of worship and business. This has created fear and tension among peace loving Christians and Muslims living in Garissa. We need to pray for peace and for the safety of the people who live and work in this area.
Indeed God is at work among the communities we are serving. It is absolutely, God’s work that we are able to venture to local communities with our little empowerment projects and have not been rejected anywhere we go. Many other big organisation with big funding have been rejected by same communities but whoever minor projects we have remained long friends with Muslim communities of Garissa.
Similarly, God is at work in our ministry because, it is through our service that two rival community of rich Somali and poor Waliwana embrace one another and live in harmony. It is doings of the Lord that Garissa churches that have been there for decades now for first time visit local communities, share training facilities and even mentors one another in some are of our project.
I will appreciate the prayers of Canadian Baptist Churches for my family and ministry among the Muslim communities. That God will keep encouraging and equipping us for the sound and relevant ministry in this ever changing world.
Secondly, your prayers for peace and security for myself and my family as we serve the lord in the conflict prone Northern area of Kenya. As young family we have many aspiration in serving the Lord and we will appreciate your prayers for God to give us His direction. We are expecting a child towards the end of this year and my wife is also pursuing education in area of her interest.
Please remember us in your prayers that we have good health and strength, particularly this time that my wife is expectant and yet a student.
Also your prayers for our elderly parents will be appreciated and both Mary and I come from Christian family but in both of our families we have close relatives who do not acknowledged Jesus Christ, please pray with us for their salvation.”