On Sunday, Dec. 16th, 2018, the North West Diocese of Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya (ELCK NWD) celebrated the fact that it is now 40 years since the church started in West Pokot District. Missionaries from Norwegian Lutheran Mission (NLM) established in 1978 a church center at Chesta in Lomut location, Sigor division.
|Under the moriokwo-tree.|
The joyful service was done under the very same moriokwo-tree where it started, providing some shade to guests, while most people spent a long day in scorching sun.
|Bishops Ocholla, Lokipuna and Lopeta preparing for a long day!|
|Some of the first Christians in Chesta - with Rev. Philip Lodwar.|
From Nairobi came Bishop Bakari Kea, while ELCK Head Office was represented by acting Archbishop Joseph Ocholla and Gen.Secr. Benjamin Lemosi. The service was led by Rev. Edwin Pkemoi while the sermon was given by the archbishop. The diocese's own bishops, Rev. Samson Lokipuna and Rev. William Lopeta, were assisting.
|Rev. James Otete|
When the service was over it was an historical presentation, a number of greetings from mission boards, friends as well as local politicians. Governor John Lonyangapuo joined us towards the end and brought greetings and expressed his gratitude for what God had done through ELCK in the county in the years past.
People had travelled from far to attend, and in between the different parts of the service several choirs were singing. The week before there was youth camp in Chesta, and the winners of the choir competition did very well.
Late afternoon the celebration was over - and we are just thankful for what God has done. In April 1978 a few workmen gathered mornings to listen to God's word and pray before starting to work. On Sundays some children and women came as well. From August 1978 the Sunday services became more regular. Christmas service was well attended. After Easter 1979 people were invited to join baptism class. On June 10th, 1979 15 adults were baptized under the moriokwo. Today the NWD consists of about 256 congregations in 42 parishes with 14.000 adult members (not counting children). The diocese sponsors 120+ primary schools, 27 secondary schools, 3 health centers, 1 polytechnic, and 1 teachers training college.
John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
|Governor, prof. John Lonyangapuo greeting the Christians.|
The good news of Jesus and the love of God has now been firmly rooted in the hills and plains of West Pokot, Baringo, Turkana, Trans Nzoia and Mt. Elgon. We are now praying that God will strengthen and mature his people - and show us how we can continue to bring the good news to other areas where the message is still unknown.