The village of Chiyumbeyumbe is about 8 kilometers from Global Samaritans Children's Home. We have taken teams there on several occasions because of their proximity. Edwin, the church pastor is also the Head Man over about 10-15 families. We are on first name basis with most of the adults and are beginning to really get to know some of the children. They are farmers who rely entirely from an income received from selling vegetables from a very large garden. Recently the government put in a “bore hole” (a 3rd world country term for a well). This is a great blessing since they traditionally rely on a nearby stream for water – which usually dries up before the harvest season has finished. This year should be very good for them.
Ken with Edwin - Chiyumbeyumbe Head Man and church pastor.
Sharing the Gospel is always beneficial for the villages that we visit. The degree of Bible knowledge in most areas is rather limited. Chiyumbeyumbe is no exception. We always have a time of Q&A and are never with out many, many questions. We could go for days if we allowed ourselves. They ask about polygamy, marital affairs, men/women’s rights and roles…and “tons” of tricky questions about various statements in the Bible. They know enough to get confused when they read about some of the customs and laws form the Old Testament. Most locals are confused and do not understand the concept of The Law vs. Grace.
Last year we made 3 visits with visiting mission teams. In July, after we had developed a method to provide baptisms using a portable “tub”, we went back to teach on Baptism and to “dunk” those who were ready. That day we baptized about 12 people. This year we have been told that we need to come back because there are many more who need to be Baptized.
Doris had told us that she had been saved an needed to be Baptized. It was her request that lead to us develop a portable "Baptistry" [we refer to is as The River Jordan]. Her desire triggered a search to find a way to Baptize in the bush where there was not enough water or where local bodies of water had dried up. Notice the containers in the corner;
we bring the water with us.
A little "tidbit": As in most bush churches, the floors are just plain dirt. They treat it as often as they can by throwing down water and sweeping it around to moisten the whole floor, thereby forming a hard surface similar to concrete (although not as hard). Following this Baptism service we were almost mobbed as we started to take the "River Jordan" outside to empty the water. They said "no, let us use it on our floor". Obviously a very valuable commodity since water is so scarce .
About a month ago (right after Easter) we had an idea to take our youngest children to Chiyumbeyumbe to perform a play. They had performed an Easter play for the church (Hillside Church) here at the orphanage and it was so good, we thought it would make a good impression for the folks there. The children performed even better than before and it was well received by the folks at Chiyumbeyumbe. We only stayed for a few hours, but everyone enjoyed the performance and the children blended as we continue to build relationships with these people.
The folks at Chiyumbeyumbe are good people and as a village, strive to learn as much about Jesus Christ and the walk of a Christian as they can. They are always open and looking forward to our next visit. As we try to spread our time with other villages in the area, we will continue to spend time with our closest neighbors – our friends at Chiyumbeyumbe.
I woke up one day and discovered God wanted me to quit what I was doing for me...and start doing something for Him.