A people group with a population of roughly 455,000, the Duruma of Kenya live on the semi-arid plains between the coastal city of Mombasa and the border with Tanzania to the south.
“Despite having substantial Christian and Muslim populations on record, many Duruma are simply nominal Christians or Muslims who have adopted these faiths in order to receive aid from faith-based charitable organizations,” says LHM—Kenya Director John Maina. “Some have even been known to change their names depending on the affiliation of the organization bringing aid. The reality is that the majority are actually animists who practice spiritism and ancestor worship.”
Not so with Emmanuel Tsuma. Emmanuel is a faithful Christian lay leader who has received Lutheran Hour Ministries’ Equipping the Saints training and been commissioned as an ETS volunteer. Emmanuel has had an important role in LHM—Kenya’s outreach among the Duruma.
“Commissioned in 2011, Emmanuel is our contact person in the south coast region that includes Kwale County, which is huge and largely unreached,” says John Maina. “Emmanuel has a burden for his people. Like Paul, who cries for the Jews in the book of Romans, Emmanuel cries for the Duruma.”
With Emmanuel handling most of the coordination, the Kenya ministry center has made connections and established relationships in Kwale County, particularly around the community of Kinango. Outreach began with open-air rallies that featured the Jesus film. Emmanuel and other trained volunteers then followed up with door-to-door evangelistic visits. They enrolled many of the people they visited in LHM Bible Correspondence Courses. The ministry reinforced the relationships it had established by sponsoring two medical-camp events in the Kinango area.
“Last month, under the shade of a mango tree at Kinango, 68 new Duruma converts were baptized by Rev. Bakari Delle and received into three new Lutheran congregations!” says John Maina. Even though the baptism ceremony took place beneath a tree, says Maina, “there was nothing lacking in the excitement during the service. It was filled with pomp and color as the people sang, danced, feasted and fellowshipped in the true spirit of brotherhood.”
Want to know more about the ministry of LHM—Kenya, a.k.a. Nuru Lutheran Media Ministry? Visit nurulhm.blogspot.com.