Stephen and Angelina have been serving amongst the Samburu and Turkana people in Samburu County in northern Kenya since 1989. They serve with PCI's partner in Kenya, the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) and are based in Tuum with other strategic outposts at Seren and Wuaso Rongai.
Their work of the past 30 years has built a strong foundation, introducing the Bible and Jesus to the Samburu and Turkana people. This has been done in many practical ways, as well as preaching. See Samburu Awareness and Action Programme (SAAP). Cultural thinking is still very strong, and only a few families would seek to put Biblical values above cultural expectations.
Their work is predominantly relational. They have built trust with communities taking interest in their animals. Gospel community has been established in many villages. Stephen and Angelina are teaching life skills, challenging young people to understand the changing world, while always teaching the central message of Jesus across cultures and generations.
This work is people centred, and recognises the value of people's animals as the main livelihood. The geographical isolation has helped them develop some good survival skills. Unfortunately increasing population means hardships are increasing and change will come. Improved infrastructure will lead to further marginalisation of the semi nomadic community, if they fail to incorporate change. Living the gospel has helped people see the Bible has the answers for drought, work, family and hope through Jesus for eternity
Stephen and Angelina have three children. Caragh and Jason are now in further / higher education in the UK. Annissa is still at boarding school in Kenya. Stephen and Angelina have close links with Waringstown Presbyterian Church, and links have also been maintained with Newry Presbytery.
Stephen has continued to serve in Tuum throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Angelina the first nine months of the pandemic in Ireland to home school their youngest daughter who normally attends boarding school in Kenya as the school closed. However when Kenyan schools reopened in January 2021, they returned to Kenya. Schools in Kenya have fairly strict protocols in place and education now continues uninhibited.
General Prayer Points
- Pray for the Kenyans, mostly Samburu, who are growing in leadership.
- Pray for Stephen and Angelina, as they ask the difficult questions as the gospel penetrates hearts and minds.
- Pray for the expanding youth ministry, and the three youth camps held each year.
- Pray that the wider PCEA would catch a vision for greater involvement in outreach amongst the Samburu and Turkana people.
Stephen and Angelina have recorded two film clips (a short 3 minute clip and longer 15 minute clip) which can be downloaded and used in church services, prayer meetings or events to raise awareness and prayer for what God is doing across the world, as we seek to go deep and wide in global mission involvement.
(For previous Digital Dispatches video clips click here)
December 2022/January 2023
As many of you know, our time in Ireland was briefly extended because of the decline in health of Stephen’s mother and subsequent death in old age just prior to our intended travel date. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who passed on messages of condolence. Your kind words were greatly appreciated.
We will return to Kenya on 9th December in time for the December youth camps. This is the first opportunity to run the camps since 2020 on account of Covid restrictions and shortened holiday periods. The more localised village camps that were put in place during this period communicated the gospel well, but wider area interaction among the youth is essential to encourage growth and development, and as schools have closed for the exam season, we know that many children and young people are looking forward to their time together.
Reports from Tuum indicate that the harsh dry weather continues while cattle raiding appears to be intensifying. Recently, 900 animals were stolen from Samburu and subsequently found in the Turkana area. After negotiation, men from the raiders’ community agreed to return the cattle, but their witch doctor (amaron) said “no”. The spiritual dimension and the binding fear generated by demons is clearly seen in this. When the Bible talks about freedom in Jesus Christ we realize just how amazing is its message.
The drought has led to shortage in food supplies throughout Kenya and the importation of maize from other countries has been vital.
Amongst the literate city population, the issues associated with imported GMO food is hotly debated while in rural areas illiteracy creates a barrier for dissemination of knowledge and issues of the day are largely unknown. We continue to seek technological advances that will help improve literacy rates within village communities thereby improving knowledge transfer and opportunities for all.
The gospel still continues to impact lives and we are encouraged that some want to meet to study the Bible and see how it speaks into their lives. Each generation needs to understand that God expects them to persevere and that He is with them in the struggle as they seek to pass the gospel on, generation to generation.
- Give thanks for the continuing opportunity for the SAA programme to foster change in the area.
- Pray that the iTeach programme would continue to develop, allowing for greater knowledge transfer at village level.
- Pray for the young people as they attend the youth camps from 10th - 20th December that they would be challenged by the gospel message and lifestyle choices and that they may return to school in January 2023 for a more settled year.
To download a printable PDF of this bulletin or for a previous bulletin visit the Mission Reports listing at the top or the Global Mission monthly bulletin archive.