By Aubri Uitvlugt
Last November, DRIME Kenya celebrated their 10th anniversary. DRIME Kenya has always been a highly respected team in the DRIME community, but Kenya can feel like a vague and faraway place for many of us. What does life look like for the team? How can we pray for them? We hope to give you a better understanding in this new 4-part series: Getting to Know DRIME Kenya.
“Can anything good come out of Kibera?”
Imagine you’re living in an overcrowded slum, sleeping in a tin-roofed shack with hand-fashioned metal walls, a curtain for a door and dirt floors; you have little to no access to electricity or running water; the ground outside is packed with garbage and heavily polluted by human waste; narrow, unmarked pathways randomly twist and turn around each corner. The deeper you go in, the closer everything becomes. This is what it’s like to be in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa. And, it’s here that the DRIME Kenya team not only ministers, but also lives.
There’s a drastic contrast between the rich and the poor in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, especially when you enter a place like Kibera, which spans roughly 630 acres. “On one side of Kibera, there’s this big wall and you can’t see over it,” says Lillian, the Director of DRIME. “But if you could, you’d see a beautiful golf course on the other side.”
Many Kenyans think that nothing good could come out of Kibera, and many that live in the city will never enter the slum. Local churches are often surprised to realize that this professional-looking team is based out of Kibera, and amazed at the faithfulness of the leaders and the team in continuing to do ministry—the team is in its 11th year. “Outsiders have commented, Wow, God must really be in this ministry,” says Janna, who has worked with the team for ten years. “God is in it. The only way it is still going today is because of His guiding, His leading, His provision.”
As a team, “Life is hard for them,” Janna says. “Finding stable employment is difficult. Providing for themselves and for their families is a daily challenge. That often affects their ability to do ministry. Often they either don’t have finances so they can’t get to the ministry location, or they have an opportunity to work and they will take that because that provides money, which provides food and shelter. You can’t fault someone for wanting to work to provide for themselves and their family.”
Despite the challenges, “The team is incredible. They work really hard.” Janna is often humbled and challenged by how they endure and persevere through life’s everyday difficulties. “The amount of faith they have in God and the faith they put in Him is inspiring. They are some of the strongest people I know.”
Serving (With) The Local Church
One of the strengths of the Kenya team is their connections with churches. “Every Sunday when they go out, they are always with a church so they have a place where they can connect people for follow-up,” Janna explains. “That is something they worked hard at. It is paying off and working well for them.”
The team is lead by Eva, a strong and resilient leader dedicated to sharing the gospel and making disciples. For her, evangelism and discipleship is not just something she does, it’s her way of life. She works hard at meeting people and getting to know churches.
On a Sunday, the team attends the service of a church they’ve connected with. “We fellowship together and if they allow us to do some dramas in the church, we perform one or two dramas,” says Eva. “We explain to them what we will be doing, then we always ask them if they can also join us so we can do ministry together.”
Evelyn comments, “Many DRIME teams aspire to have a partnering church for each time of ministry, but I think only Kenya has done it with this level of success.”
When the team, and willing church participants, arrive at the street they’ll do ministry, the team announces who they are and begins the dramas. “Most of the time, the crowd will come immediately,” Eva says. “When people see we’re just acting and not talking and in black, they wonder what’s happening. They come quickly to see, and they watch the performance. We do five dramas all of them at once, and then we stop and we begin talking one-on-one for some time, and then when that slows down we do more dramas so we can begin another conversation.”
DRIME Kenya stirs up people’s curiosity, and makes Jesus inescapable on the streets of Nairobi; every time they do, they put full faith in God knowing He works when they follow His lead. A lot of good is coming out of Kibera, and the impact is felt not only in Kenya, but also all around the world where their story is being told.
Right now, imagine yourself in Kibera, and as you do, pray for Eva and the team. Pray for the work they are doing. Pray that the team will continue to walk in God’s will and continue to see God move through their ministry. Thank you for partnering with DRIME Kenya!
Stay tuned for the next blog on what DRIME-style evangelism looks like in Kenya, and follow DRIME Kenya on Facebook for their updates!