In 1971 Katie MacKinnon went to Kenya. Later the same year, national church leaders took over the running of the Africa Inland Church from the Africa Inland Mission. This marked a transition for AIM and acknowledged the growth of the African church.
I cannot stop thanking God for the privilege of working with the kindest and most wonderful church leaders I have ever met. They took me with them on many adventures, all the while teaching me about their culture which I found absolutely fascinating.
The pastors and Christian leaders spent every day talking about Jesus and the new life that is on offer to everyone who puts their whole trust in him. Many people came to know the Lord on a regular basis. As more became Christians, the church grew and had an enormous effect for good on society.
Circumcision was widely practiced at that time, but as the church grew stronger these ceremonies decreased. Fewer female circumcisions were practiced and male circumcision frequently took place in hospital. The teaching that was part of the male circumcision ceremonies was now frequently done by church leaders.
Teaching on Christian marriage was also increasing and Christian marriage ceremonies were becoming more regular. Never will I forget the day that an old man with no front teeth came to inform me that he wanted to marry me! I sent him straight round to the church office and let Pastor Philip deal with him. Not that I was tempted at all, but I had no idea how to turn down proposals of this nature in a manner that was culturally acceptable. Pastor Philip turned him down flat.
Leading like Jesus
The African church leaders were now also leading missionaries. As a hot headed Scottish Highlander I was in trouble from time to time, but those men never gave up on me. I loved them and hated disappointing them. Their forgiveness and kindness was a picture of Jesus to me.
New churches, medical facilities, and many other social improvements were started and kept under the authority of the church. My God given assignment was in looking after children who needed help. Pastors would come with me to assess needs in the home. Poor homes where the mother died after giving birth, especially during times of famine, were a priority. Usually the newborn, plus very young or sick infants, were cared for by me, until the church established centres for their care.