From its inception, SOHI has held the community’s spiritual growth as its fundamental priority. In Kenya, where the primary mode of transportation is walking, many small churches have been planted to accommodate the lack of mobility. The spirituality, passion, and joy (in the face of stifling poverty) of these churches is amazing.
However, membership is small and means of outreach to non-Christians, as well as resources for the churches is sorely lacking. Many churches are led by rural Kenyan pastors that are committed to the Lord but have no formal Biblical or pastoral training. To help guide the growth and development of these churches, their members and the pastors, SOHI has implemented the following regular and ongoing initiatives to support the Christian community:
Evangelistic Outreach Campaigns
Every two years evangelistic outreach campaigns are held at different locations within the region. The most recent, held in September of 2018, attracted approximately 4,000 community members. More than 1,000 gave their lives to Christ.
SOHI is teaming with the local Kenyan Spiritual Development Committee to cooperate with local pastors to reach out to these new Christians in order to provide them with a Bible in their native Luo language (provided by SOHI) and connect them with local congregations.
Rural Pastor Biblical Training
SOHI sponsors Rural Pastor Biblical Training for 30 pastors at a time. The current program is a three-year curriculum that provides exhaustive training. Since the waiting list of pastors anticipating training is long, SOHI is working to develop a one-year program that can accommodate a much larger group of students.
Christian Youth Conferences
Depression, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity, satan worship, and hopelessness are common struggles among students as they struggle to see the path out of poverty and to a better life. SOHI sponsors a Youth Conference every August for 500 high school student leaders from each secondary school in the region.
Conferences focus on helping students put their hope in the Lord for their future and help them find the purpose that God has for them individually in their lives. Students that attend the conferences return to their schools and share the Good News with other student starting prayer and Christian support groups.
Vision Trips: Visits to Local Prisons, Pastor Training
Every year, a SOHI Vision Trip makes at least one evangelistic visit to a local prison. Many prisoners accept the gospel and their lives become filled with a new and real hope for the future. Local pastors work with the new Christians to help them reconcile with family, the church, and the community as they are released from prison.
The upcoming September Vision Trip is focusing on providing discipleship training to a large group of local pastors. The pastors will be encouraged to teach this skill to active members of their current congregation. This “train the trainers” approach will help many churches more effectively nurture the spiritual growth of existing members as well as reaching out to neighbors, friends, and family members.
Spiritual Development Updates
These are the most recent updates to our mission to deepen peoples’ relationships with their Creator.
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Donations made to the Spiritual Development Fund will be used for these and other activities as determined in cooperation with ecumenical Regional Spiritual Development Committee.