From Pain To Purpose- The Birth of RE Kenya
Updated: Nov 11, 2021
Written by: Natalie Larson
September 17, 2021
Pastor Maurice and Edna Awiti Testimony The Republic of Kenya held many struggling people, each trying to find their way. In the middle of the country towards the mountain’s plateaus sits the capital of Nairobi, and within it lies the Kibera Slums. A nice warm day for them, sitting outside watching the grass move with the gentle breeze. But with the wind came the smell of the community bathroom near where they called home. She grew up with her family here amid the many vices in the community of poverty, hygiene problems, alcoholism, rape, drugs, petty crime, and so much more. Her mother was born again and both parents valued Christianity and would always say “poverty is NOT permanent.” That gave her a drive and hope for something better. Because of the Christian foundation, she knew that her family was spared and that she was protected from many of the vices. Pastor Edna quotes “I know for me it was God’s word that kept me going in the slums. I remember at a young age wanting to help the people around me. I didn’t know how, but I could feel that calling inside me. I kept trusting God and believed that one day God would open that door for me to serve the community and those that couldn’t get an opportunity to hear the word of God.”
The last time he saw his mom, after his parents separated, she was in a coffin. His parents died of HIV when he was 13 and left him to look after his three younger brothers and two sisters. His sisters were taken advantage of and as a result became pregnant and married at a very young age. He went to Nairobi working hard, trying to survive and support his brothers. A couple of years later one of his brothers passed away. Pastor Maurice questioned God and why he was going through this, but little did he know that God had a plan for him. He worked in Nairobi at the market, but it was too cold one day to sell. On his way home he passed by a church conference, and after listening for awhile, he offered to play as their pianist. One of the ladies there saw a vision of Maurice, and through this interaction at the church, she decided to pay for his college, housing, and even gave enough so he could send money home to support his brothers. The course of his life changed.
Growing up, Pastors Maurice and Edna both knew what poverty, loss, HIV, and crime looked like personally and within their families. Because of this, they were eager to change the narrative. Now, they are married and doing just that. When COVID hit, the situation in their home county of Homa Bay, about 6 hours from Nairobi, grew worse. So, Maurice and Edna took what little savings they had, and along with donations, they served their community. They wanted “to set up a center that would be instrumental in imparting critical and much needed technical skills to the people of Homa Bay County.” They want that center to give the gospel and bring light to those in spiritual darkness. They continued to serve.
In the beginning of 2021, they fasted and prayed for a teacher and for God’s direction. By the end of their fast, Pastor Keisha landed in Nairobi, Kenya, on a personal mission’s trip. By the end of her time there, she reached out to the Assemblies of God Church and through whom Maurice calls “Mama Tonya,” Keisha was connected to Maurice and Edna. Pastor Keisha and her husband Eric had many talks with Pastor Maurice and Pastor Edna, and a seed was sown. Walking through the Word Africa began so that the Word could be taught in more clarity to Maurice and Edna and others in Kenya. Through these interactions of praise and the word along with their couples talks, the thought of that community center Maurice and Edna dreamt of began to be louder. The vision became clearer, and the seed began to sprout into reality for the center that Maurice and Edna longed to create for their community. Keisha told them that “it doesn’t cost anything to dream.” They searched for a house that could be the center, and they started writing down their vision. It took them a month of prayer to get the details written. Once they brought the paperwork to the courthouse, the certification for the nonprofit in Kenya was drawn, signed, and given to them in 20 minutes!
Ripple Effects (RE) Kenya was born. God fulfilled his promise to Edna and that calling that he had placed in her at a young age. Maurice could look back and see all the times that God protected him and guided his life. God is moving in Kenya, Africa. Both pastors kept the hope of the Lord and his promises in their hearts; although the evidence may have seemed thin, their faith was strong. Their testimonies are now a beacon of light for the hundreds of people that walk through RE Kenya each week. The community has noticed a change; they feel hope rising, and they are seeing their friends, neighbors and loved one’s change. The programs at RE Kenya are saving lives both physically and spiritually, causing a ripple effect in the clients, their homes, and their families.
God told Keisha in the very beginning of Ripple Effects that all she had to do was throw the stone and cause a ripple. God oversaw how far it was to go. All of the ripples being made by different people are causing waves! The testimonies and God-sized miracles come in daily, keeping a continuous conversation of “what was God’s miracle today?”. From becoming alcoholics and burdens, to being saved and loved, fathers and husbands. From not being able to support your family, to supporting through learning trades taught at the RE Kenya center. People are noticing the change of others attached to RE Kenya, and this is just the beginning of the story.
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