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INT05 - Harvest Partnership Church Planting Movement: Partnership Reports

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Report Date: September 28, 2018

Report from BHW Partnership Facilitator Following Visit


Key person:  Ken Rout

Recent Events

There is a lot going on in various places. The main areas of operation are the DRC, Burundi, Kenya around Kisumu, and the Mariakani in Kenya where the KENSHA team operates. In July I met with the team from the DRC in Burundi and with Bob Julius, the Kenya leader, and talked through the issues they are facing.  

Update from DR Congo

changing livesI met with all the key leaders from this area and here is a summary of their work. Their role is to visit with church leaders and train them to establish small, house based Bible reading groups. 

Abel Racheté – Bujumbura: Abel is the leader of the work in this area. He usually has one week per month out of his local area visiting the various team members in Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda. The other three weeks are in his local area. He has been with HP for 17 years. 

He is working with a number of church groups (gave me figures for four of them) as well as visiting the team members:
Bwisa Pentecostal Church - grown from 12 to 18 groups
Bethelem Church - grown from 53 to 77 groups – very active
City of Glory Church (Buj) - grown from 10 to 16 groups
Rehoboth Church, Rumonge - grown from 25 to 39 groups 

Alimasi Chrispin – Uvira: He does five days a week with HP and spends 1–2 weeks a month away from home depending on his schedule. The rest of the month he is in his local area. Alimasi has been with HP for 12 years. He visits the churches once per month if possible. 

Anglican and Lutheran - grown from 2 to 10 groups between them
Pentecostal church - grown from 1 to 3 groups – slow start 

Pascal – Fizi: Harvest Partnership is his main thing. He goes out to various local village areas for 2–4 days at a time about once a week. The rest of the time he’s around his local area. There are a lot of farmers in his area so it’s not always easy to catch up with them.

Recently he has begun working in the Lusena refugee camp with Burundian refugees. There are three denominations in the camp and they now have four groups going. He visits twice a month and Alimasi is with him most visits. It’s about two hours to the camp on a motorbike. 

Jean-Pierre Kitoko – Goma: He is part time and only gets costs, no support. He spends four days a week on HP but goes out for about two weeks a month to visit other places. The other days he tries to make a living to support his family. 

He is working with five denominations, three of them are moving ahead, the others not yet. The three making progress are:
Free Methodists - grown from 9 to 16 groups
A O G - grown from 4 to 9 groups
Universal Church - grown from 6 to 13 groups 

Daniel Mbeka – Bukavu: He gives five days a week to HP and is out of his area one week / month. He has two house churches in his house. 

He is working with seven denominations / groups:
Garanganze (brethren) - grown from 16 to 22 groups
Military chaplains (army) - grown from 13 to 19 groups
Rhema church - grown from 4 to 12 groups
Victory – hard work and slow - no growth
A O G, Kavuma - grown from 3 to 5 groups
Victory, Kalehe - grown from 5 to 9 groups
Pentecostal, Kabare - grown from 3 to 7 groups 

Alex – Bujumbura: part time, only expenses. He gives two days / week but sometimes adds a few.
Maranatha- grown from 16 to 22 groups – mainly young people
Amen Christian Church - grown from 10 to 16 groups
Elgise Vivant, Rumonge - grown from 12 to 18 groups 

He has recently started three more with a new contact with a pastor.

Summary: It looks like at the beginning of 2018 there were about 204 groups in existence and now there are about 335 groups. That is 131 new groups, a 60% increase. If there are five people in each new group that is 650+ new believers since January. Of course, that doesn’t take into consideration the existing groups from previous years they are now not working with. 



There are around 200 young people in Mariakani involved in KENSHA. There are more in other villages as well that they visit. Bob has just been out there and is very positive about what he saw. There are 15 bible reading groups amongst them ranging from 6 -7 through to 15 people in each. He says they are doing well spiritually, people are regularly coming to faith and that many of them go to local churches. Some meet resistance because most of them come from Muslim backgrounds and the churches are very suspicious of them. 

Most of the young people come from Muslim backgrounds and poor rural villages. Their fathers have multiple wives and the mothers get nothing from the father to help with the children so the wives have to fight to survive and most of the kids don’t go to school. There is little or no value on education and the father will only beat them as all the kids are a nuisance, apart from one or two favourite children. Some of the boys and some girls, when they get old enough shoot the gap and end up on the streets hustling for a living. 

Each week one of the guys writes a brief diary / report and here is one from about the time we were visiting. It gives an idea of the sort of things that go on. 

MONDAY : It rained so heavily that we did not go for a morning jog. Hence we remained indoors. Many places were slippery and muddy. We could hear from afar the frogs croaking. Bro Jakob was a story teller who made everyone alive as he was narrating the Bible story of Abraham and his wife Sarah. This was really awesome. Bro Eddy was the cook that day. 

TUESDAY : Praise be to the Lord the weather was fair and we all went jogging. On the way we met the Administration Police [A.P] they were also on morning practices. They accompanied us and taught us some of their skills in stretching up. After returning at the plot, we read our Bibles, give thanks to the Lord and then had breakfast. Everyone broke to various chores after breakfast. In the evening we headed to the practice field. I was the cook on that day. 

WEDNESDAY : It was a busy day because we went to reach out for the street youth and the drug addicts within Mariakani. We encouraged them by reading the Word of God with them, sharing and praying together. In the evening at the plot we had praise and worship. Pastor Gift payed us a visit as he led in the worship before going to the field. Rula was the cook on that day. 

THURSDAY : We surveyed the pipe of water connecting to the plot that was cut by the tractor during road construction and discovered that there is need of about one roll to be fixed so that water would be able to run down the plot. The banana palms, flowers and some of the vegetation are doing very well due to the availability of seasonal rains and we keep on praying for more rain. Bro Jakob and Shaban cooked for that day. 

FRIDAY : The weather conditions were favourable that allowed us to train well in the morning and evening. After the farm duties and chores, we went earlier to the practice field and arranged ourselves for the friendly game on the next day. Rula and I plus Charo were the cooks. 

SATURDAY : There was a tough friendly match between KENSHA and their opponents. The match ended at a draw giving Kensha team a chance for a league match on Sunday. After the match both teams came together, encouraged one another and shared the word of God. Then every member spread to their homes earlier to have a chance to relax. This made each player happy and motivated. 

SUNDAY : We woke up at dawn, assembled ourselves together and prayed. It was good to see all the youth at Kensha going to church. Everybody is continuing to grow in faith. We had our lunch at midday at the plot and went to the field as it was a final match. As a result, Kensha team beat their opponents 5-1 giving us a brilliant win. We are now second on the league table. It was a good feeling and everybody was happy. Team work really helped our team and we praise the Lord and ever praying for more victory ahead of us.


Update from Bob Julius and the Kisumu area

Bob Abdullah is out and about all the time. I met him on a Monday and the night before he had just got back from a week in Tanzania and the south of Kenya. He reckons there are more than 500 groups in his area now. He has no idea how many groups have grown out from the groups he has trained. He has two other guys who are part time with him and they are constantly getting out to visit. They are very encouraged by the uptake from church leaders. They revisit from time to time as well as there is a tendency for the leaders of the groups to talk too much and preach so they have to keep reminding them to allow people to share. 

Each year HP prints 12,000 Bible Reading Cards which cost US$0.40 each. That number lasts for about a year. They only give them to people who have been trained. They are printed in a 5-year cycle so people get through the Bible in 5 years so each year it’s a different printing but none are wasted. They are printed in three languages, Swahili, Kirundi and Kinyarwanda. 

some difficultiesChickens - Bob has made a good enclosure for the chickens and we talked about getting more eggs. He’s got 35 chickens left as they have had a hard time the last few months but they have learned a lot. Very heavy rains and flooding made for not ideal weather. Then local rioting along the road meant they could not get the right food from town so they bought at the local market and the laying stopped. It is now beginning to start again and he hopes to have it up to previous levels. The birds are still young enough to bounce back. He has bought the second batch and has built a separate house for them. His friend is growing them until they are large enough to take out to the area. We talked about the need for the right food and that he needs to ensure he has enough.

We also discussed the wider work he’s doing and the ongoing growth of churches. He is very encouraged and there are now more than 500 groups meeting in houses around this part of the country. His nephew, Samuel Okello, looks after the chickens. 


Plans for the Future

helpful meetingThe vision and strategy will stay the same. They will continue to train and grow the number of groups that are planted.

I suggest we leave the budget the same for now.


Current Issues and Challenges

Funding of the key people is becoming an increasing challenge as the New Zealand Harvest Partnership headquarters has a shrinking donor base. The local guys are all keen to develop other sources of income so they are not dependent on external funding. They understand the situation. 

Life is very fragile in these places. Just the week before I visited one of the key young people from the KENSHA programme was shot and killed by police. Wrong time, wrong place, no comeback!


Prayer and Praise Points

1) The impact that the training is having in terms of new house churches. Hundreds of people are coming to faith every month.
2) The soccer team in Mariakani is doing well in the competition and also discipling young men and women. Significant numbers are being encouraged.
3) The work is growing and the key people are in good spirits. 



I think this is quite a significant partnership in terms of outcomes and people becoming believers. Their plan for the key personnel to develop their own income sources is a good one and quite feasible. 

I suggest we stay with this and work with them to shift their funding onto a different footing. This could take a few years, but it is the only sustainable way forward.