One hundred and twenty baptisms and four church plants in the rural region of West Pokot, Kenya, are being pointed to as evidence of the International Mission Board’s effort to raise up young men and women to take the Gospel to the unreached people groups of Africa.
Chad Pumpelly leads the student team at the University of Nairobi and is building this mindset into the foundation of the work.
“In Kenya we have 42 different languages; so that means we have 42 nations that we need to go to and take the Gospel to. So I cast that vision for them — that as they go, wherever they go, they need to be involved in taking the Gospel to those people groups,” Pumpelly said.
The vision casting is having its desired effect. In fact, one student, George “Odidi” Odhiambo from West Pokot, has been an active part of what has happened there this past year.
“Two generations ago those people were praising and worshipping mountains and now we go and they jump and praise and worship the one true God, and so for [Odidi] to see how that changes — he’s caught the vision that this is an important work to be about,” Pumpelly said.
Odidi used to live as many in his village — drinking alcohol from the time he woke in the morning to bedtime at night, ignorant of Jesus and the hope He offers. And then after coming to the university, a “man of god” (Pumpelly) knocked on his dormitory door and told him about Jesus. Life changed that day for Odidi.
“[If I had not come to Nairobi] I couldn’t have had this chance of knowing Christ, and it motivates me to come back to my people, and I know maybe if I cannot do it, nobody else will come,” Odidi said. “I want to make my people know exactly what it is to live in Christ.”
Odidi was Pumpelly’s first convert on the campus three years ago. Soon after, 12 others decided to follow Christ and began participating in basic discipleship. Within the year, Pumpelly realized God was leading him to take them deeper.
“We decided that we were going to start raising those guys to reach other people, and so that Bible study network has grown,” he said.
Today there are eight Bible studies on campus for more than 50 believers who are being trained to become leaders. Other IMB missionaries partner with Pumpelly in this ministry, and the team also utilizes American student volunteers.
IMB missionary Chris Suel, Pumpelly’s co-laborer in the student ministry, said, “Our ministry vision is to disciple students who are equipped to disciple others with the overall vision of planting churches amongst unreached people groups in Kenya and beyond Kenya.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press