Reaching the Digo

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Often short term mission can be thought of as a gap year alternative, or primarily for students. But for those of any age, who are seriously thinking about long term mission, Focus Quests offer a practical introduction to serving among unreached people groups. Recently a group of Questers went out to serve among the Digo in Kenya. We asked one middle-aged couple how they were finding the experience. Their names are hidden as they’re considering future service in a creative access context.

Our first few days in Kenya were spent at the AIM Guesthouse in Nairobi, a great place to hear stories of God’s faithfulness from those who have been serving in Africa for many years. After a warm welcome and helpful half-day orientation from the AIM Eastern Region team, we travelled to the small town of Kwale, in Digoland.

The next day we met the Focus Team and began to hear about their work. ‘Focus’ is a two-year curriculum-based programme, and the team here is already three-quarters of the way through, so able to be really helpful to their six Focus Quest visitors.

“It’s encouraging to see Kenyan believers continuing to witness faithfully despite local terrorist threats”

Getting involved

We have been taken on village walks, invited into huts for chai, hiked an hour through the bush to read the Bible with an elderly Digo believer, delivered some Bibles to a Kenyan couple working with the Africa Inland Church near the coast, and we have started meeting and greeting our own neighbours. Buying a couple of plastic chairs for the porch, and learning some basic greetings has paid dividends.

The first Sunday we travelled nearly three hours to a village near the Tanzanian border, to attend a small new church. A pastor from Kwale was travelling with us and just before arriving asked if one of us was okay to preach; it was good job we were warned this might happen! As honoured guests we were served a hot meal before and after the service. Hospitality is a serious thing here.

Witnessing faithfully

As I write this we are almost halfway through our time. We’re working hard to get beyond “How did you wake up?”/”Stay well” in Chidigo, and already appreciating the emphasis put on language learning as an enabler to sharing the gospel – making yourself do what you don’t want to do, so that you can do what you came here to do.
The Focus Quest experience so far has been an invaluable insight into the daily routine and the challenges of simple living among an unreached people group. We already really enjoy some of it, we are getting to grips with other aspects, and to be honest we are still struggling with cockroaches floating in the breakfast cereal!

Furthermore it’s encouraging to see Kenyan believers continuing to witness faithfully despite local terrorist threats. We would highly recommend a Focus Quest team to anyone seriously considering a future on the mission field.

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