Parents are the backbone of any home. It is up to them to provide not just the basic needs and emotional support that their children need, but also the spiritual foundation that is so vital to their lifelong spiritual growth.
The church helps parents do this by catering to their spiritual, emotional and physical needs. Every week, families, single parents and caregivers gather to hear the Word and to connect with each other on common child- and family-related issues.
Additionally, couples are trained in the values of a healthy marriage, based on Biblical principles so that, among other things, they can model the importance of a strong marriage to their children.
Frequantly, the adult members gather in church, sharing the Word, praying for each other and enjoying a day of fellowship. One member describes these gatherings as the “highlight of her week.”
“I don’t think I would be able to get through the struggles without the support of the rest of the group. Every day I thank God for this meeting, and for the church.”
The more invested a person becomes in the life of the church and his/her fellow congregants, the deeper the sense of belonging. To ensure this investment, the church has established a network of small groups. These groups meet and visit with each other in homes to read the Word together and pray for each other. The effect of these groups is unmistakable and they have truly brought together the congregation, and further strengthened and united the church.
Youth and Children’s Ministry
A sound spiritual base provided early in a child’s life, by the church and parents together, will pave the way for spiritual growth and wise decisions later in life. To accomplish this, the church hosts weekly meetings for children of all age groups: Sunday school for children nine years old and younger; secondary class for children between 10 and 15 years; and youth group for teenagers 16 years old and up.
In addition to Bible study, the children and youth have an opportunity to participate in a variety of activities such as coloring, crafts, drama, choir, movies, and sports. These activities encourage the youth to remain engaged and motivated and helps establish a well-balanced life in a world full of social and cultural pressure. To provide further encouragement, teachers visit the young children in their homes and read the Bible with them.
During the school holidays, church leaders implement a more concentrated, more interactive schedule made up of various activities based on age, interests and talents. The children may choose to participate in sports competitions, drama and choir competitions, movie days, day trips and more. This time is also an opportunity for day-long conferences where guest speakers (trained counselors, doctors, and other professionals who specialize in child and family services) talk about common issues and challenges that face youth.
In addition to the occasional, more intimate three-day retreats, at least once a year, the church holds a national youth conference, which is attended by over 120 youth. Speakers who specialize in youth ministry come from all over the world to address the conference and encourage the youth.
Daughters of St. Mary
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” ~ 1Timothy 4:12
The Daughters of St. Mary is a support group that was established in December 2005 to address the challenges faced by young girls, to encourage them to keep themselves pure, stay in school and grow in Christ’s love.
The girls who participate range in age from 10 to 15, and come from our churches in all the area. Young girls face tremendous peer pressure, and pre-marital sex has become so common, indeed expected, that some girls feel like outcasts because they have chosen to maintain their virginity.
Furthermore, many are tempted to prostitute themselves for money. Sadly, many of these teenage girls end up getting pregnant and dropping out of school, therefore propagating the cycle of poverty.
The Daughters of St. Mary are encouraged, through positive peer connections, to be proud of their commitment to save themselves for marriage. For example, for further reinforcement, and to provide an opportunity for fellowship, each month about 120 girls gather in Maseno for a spiritual day of praise and prayer. During the day, the girls will discuss the challenges they face, will hear a talk given by one of the elders, will participate in discussions that encourage honesty, a craft or related activity, sports and have lunch together.
In addition to the spiritual day, the girls get together once a month in their own villages, with their local leaders, who reinforce the message of the month and who can provide more one-on-one attention.