ShareHim Changes Lives

June 1 2010 / ShareHim in Kenya, Jul. 2 - Jul. 17 '04 #437
by Stefanie Brimacomb

Personal Testimony of Stefanie Brimacomb.

The evangelistic series was held in the high country. Aside from the pineapple, banana, and other exotic fruit trees/plants—it reminded me of San Diego with its forested hills and mild climate.

We saw many miracles while we were there. One of my favorite miracles happened during a fierce storm. When torrents of rain began pouring down during a critical point, Steve, our site evangelist, stopped and prayed that the Lord would hold back the rain. Within minutes, not only had the rain stopped but the sun came out to shine on the participants. This remote site (Kenyena) was the most poverty stricken and "dark" villages we went into. Here polygamy, alcoholism, and spirit worship prevail. The market vendors had few items for sale, displayed on tables smaller than card tables here at home.

Cattle, sheep, and goats roam the filthy streets freely, stealing what they can from vendor tables. While over laden "matatus" or taxis belch out their black diesel exhaust and pollute the air as they transport people and products to and from the market. Most of the vendors are women. Their faces expressed their need for Jesus.

Steve and Connie and I would travel an hour and a half on good days to get past pitted roads with steep cliffs and sink holes lining them. Steve and Connie endured the enemy's attacks daily. The car we rode in had an average of a flat tire every day, but day after day the driver endured the roads and mechanical failures to travel back and forth to Kisii. On one occasion, people gathered round to watch the flat being changed, and Connie and I were impressed with the local women who would balance loads their heads. Encouraged by the local women, I was compelled to give it a try. The photographer was quick—giving the appearance that I was successful. Appearances can be deceiving. This gentleman found the entire process highly amusing.

Nyabigege was my primary site, where I served with Brother Kristian. It was such a blessing to sing songs with the kids and adults, tell nature stories and Bible stories, and play with them. My interpreter, Judith, and I developed a special bond immediately. I loved spending time with her and we sat together throughout the meetings. She taught me so much about a Christian walk through her obvious love for Jesus. On Sabbaths we were privileged to join our friends for a fellowship meal put on by our lovely hosts. Kristian and I became fast friends with Simon, Duncan, Enosh, and Josiah. This village was much cleaner than Kenyenya, and the people seemed much more content and willing to accept the message that we presented. We enjoyed going into their homes and spending time together.

After three weeks of meetings, we estimate at least 2000 people were baptized at the five sites, with more taking baptismal classes. We are thankful for each person, and are anxious to reunite with them in heaven.

While there, I enjoyed mingling with the local residents and became familiar with their day-to-day lives. I freely walked to and from down-town, and often spent time at the internet café communicating with loved ones who were supporting us with prayer back home. One day I tried to escape the humidity by having my hair braided in the fashion of the locals. I kept it in 4-5 days before spending an hour unbraiding it. Needless to say, that was the only time I braided it in that style, even though my hair was constantly stuck to my head. The local children loved playing with it, especially removing the tiny rubber bands that held each strand tightly in place.

The watering hole was located below our hotel, and from our perch on the sixth floor, Peggy and I could watch the activity below where local people gathered to fill water jugs or do their laundry.

One individual that will remain dear to my heart is Hellen. When I first met her, she was carrying water about 1/2 mile several times a day for her cow. Asking if I could take pictures, she shyly indicated that she would be pleased if I did so. We became fast friends, and I could count on her to accompany me the two miles it took for shopping. She was especially fond of the orange sodas that I bought for her to cool off from the heat.

Hellen was a business woman who supported her family with her vegetable stand. She brought our group avocados daily, and began riding with us to the Nyabigege campaign. Despite a bout with malaria, she continued attending and on our final Sabbath there was among those who took their pledge and were baptized.

Another special person is Kristine. When I first saw her, sunburned skin and swollen eyes alerted me to her plight as an albino in Kenya's hot climate. Thankfully, Curt & I were blessed to provide her with sunscreen, hat, glasses (the poor girl is extremely myopic—a plight we could both relate to), and shoes. After just ten days, her skin was healing from the painful sunburns and she could read with her new glasses, and play outdoors with her new sunglasses. She’s one of those I wish I could have tucked into my suitcase and brought home with me. Her family is destitute in material wealth, and was so thankful that there was hope for their precious girl. I don't think they even knew sunscreen existed, and although glasses are very affordable by western standards, the family could not come up with the money to provide this kind of care. Again, providing aid to help her overcome her hardship was our blessing.

Kenya was a delightful blessing and I long to return with my husband on another ShareHim Campaign. If you are interested in serving the Lord and seeing another area of our world, you can look into ShareHim, Maranatha, or Adventist Mission Frontiers, to name a few. I highly recommend it! The Lord will use it to change your life!
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