church hunting

The population of Kilifi is only about 50,000 people, and a significant percentage of that are foreign nationals. Driving around town, you see white people everywhere. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of non-Kenyans here.

With this in mind, we thought it would be simple to find a church with an English worship service, or even an all English-speaking church. This has not been the case!

Just before moving, we had started going to an all English-speaking church there, which we really loved, and we have toyed with the idea of spending Sundays in Mombasa. However, then we would miss the opportunity of being involved in a local church and its ministry in Kilifi.

We've talked with pastors of several churches. They say, "Well, we used to have an English service, but then the people who were leading it moved, so we stopped." They tell us that the people who used to attend those services now drive all the way to Mombasa for church. They don't seem to care, either.

In this town, you don't need to know Swahili to go shopping, to get a haircut, to have a dress made, to get your house repaired, to go to the bank, to put something in the mail, to eat in a restaurant. Schools are taught in English in Kenya (they don't just teach English as a class - classes are taught in English), and people speak English in their businesses in order to get business from foreigners. But the churches won't speak English to minister to these people?

Two churches we know of have English worship services. One is at 7 a.m. We have not made it to that one. The other is the Anglican church. The first time we went, we thought maybe it was an odd Sunday because the service was so not like a worship service. 35 minutes of announcements. Offering and 1 hymn. Then small group Bible study. No preaching. Also, awkward trying to join in a small group Bible study when you have no idea what's going on and have 2 small children in tow. We went back today, and it was exactly the same, so we're beginning to think that's just the way they do things.

Rodgers has left his phone number with some other pastors, "Call me if you want someone to start an English service again." Now we're not sure what to do.


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