Pastor Calvin Owino is Harvesters’ county co-ordinator for the Siaya region in western Kenya. “I must say that we have been really affected by the Covid situation,” he reports. “We are not able to attend [Harvesters training] classes, we are not able to move freely. We have experienced a lot of deaths, a lot of sufferings of [church] members, a lot of sufferings of friends and relatives. I’ve lost aunties, I’ve lost nephews, I’ve lost cousins. So, I have to say that the situation has been so bad.”
Pastor Calvin describes feeling completely helpless as he watches people seriously ill and dying. Then, his own brother tested positive for the virus. “Now he is down, he’s in pain,” Calvin explained. “He needs medicine, he needs help. We have to give him food, we have to provide for him.” This is unfortunate pressure for the family, who are struggling too because of job losses.
1. Pray for Social Connections and Training
Pastor Calvin identified three areas that need covered in prayer. “Number one,” he says, “Covid has affected us socially.” He explained how lockdowns in Siaya county have impacted his family’s social lives and friendships, but also how they have impacted his work and income. “I cannot now go freely doing business being a businessman.”
Furthermore, training has been slowed down. Calvin expressed concerns that long breaks between sessions “brings a lot of monotony. People tend to give up.” However, his plan is to meet regularly as soon as they can, in order to maintain momentum. Passionate about Harvesters’ programme, Pastor Calvin recommends it to his fellow ministers so they can develop new leaders. “I’ve made friends with pastors’ organisations, like pastors’ fellowships in different areas,” he explains, “I go to their meetings then I introduce [Harvesters] Bible School to them and they have been receptive.”
2. Pray for the Economy and God’s Provision
“Number two,” Pastor Calvin continues, “economically, we have really been affected.” “Putting food on the table has been a problem. The prices of commodities have shot very high. We are realising inflation in our country.” Numerous student pastors cannot provide for their families due to job losses.
3. Pray for Spiritual Strength
“Number three is that we have been affected as a family spiritually,” he says. “We cannot have fellowship outside, we can now not go to church, churches have been closed. This thing has seriously affected us.”
Pastor Dylan Burgess Agoye, Kenya National Director for Harvesters Ministries, expressed how disconnected churches have become. “Bearing in mind that most [pastors] are not digitally connected, so that means that their only way, or the easiest way, to meet with their congregation is physical. Digitally is a very big challenge to them.”
Harvesters Food Support
Thanks to you, Harvesters was able to send emergency food provisions to some of the worst affected families. “Most of the people that were affected, we gave the support,” says Pastor Calvin. “Today when I was in one of the pastors [homes] who was affected, he was so grateful. He’s a pastor but now he cannot even get food. So, when I took that quantity of maize for him, he was so grateful, and he said thank you. I have to thank Harvesters for the kind hand that they extended to us by sending provisions.”
“We assisted 63 pastors in the western side of the country that were under immense pressure due to a lack of food,” reports Thinus Botha, Regional Director for East Africa.
“We really thank God that despite the things that have been happening around, Harvesters Ministries has really come in and helped our pastors,” says Dylan. “We’ve had pastors who have been really struggling.”
Keep the people of Kenya in your prayers
- Pray for their connections in the midst of lockdowns and lack of technology.
- Pray for the economy and that people can find jobs and income to buy food.
- Pray that believers remain strong in their faith although church meetings have presently been stopped.
- Thank God for the passion of church pastors such as Calvin, who is excited to continue discipling people despite the challenges he faces personally.
- Pray for Pastor Calvin, Pastor Dylan and all the other leaders of churches in Kenya.