After living in Kenya for six years, Joy Koch met her husband, Martin, serving short term. After a few years in Germany, they moved back to Kenya in 1994 with four young children. They live among the Samburu in Lchakwai, building relationships, serving practically, and sharing the gospel. Joy explains her journey to becoming a missionary.
While studying at college I became friends with a number of Kenyan students. A desire grew to visit Kenya, and to stay and learn the language and the culture. While attending the Urbana missionary conference I declared myself willing to become a missionary if God so led me. However, I heard a number of negative comments concerning missionaries from my Kenyan friends. An educated Christian Kenyan proposed that no more missionaries be sent to Kenya. So I asked my Kenyan friends, “Is there still a need for missionaries in Kenya?” Their response was that there was a need, yes, for people who would work alongside Kenyans and partner with them. God used that discussion to challenge me. I began applying to AIM, and a year later, when I was accepted as a candidate, I was having doubts. I felt unworthy to be a missionary. I saw my sin and apparent lack of influence. Could God use me as a missionary? After setting aside a morning for fasting and prayer, to talk it over with God, I felt him saying to me, “Yes, you are right, you are unworthy, you can do nothing on your own. But, if you are willing to go, I will use you for my glory.” With that assurance, I first left for Kenya, and true to his word, he has used me. Pray that we will see more people willing to serve in Kenya and across Africa. God is longing to use people for his glory.