Alpha Kenya Trust
Kenya is a country of great beauty and many contrasts and I was privileged recently to have been able to visit not only the country but also Alpha Kenya Trust. My friend, Elizabeth Odera, is the Director of Alpha Kenya Trust so I shadowed her for three weeks in order to see the wonderful work they are doing all over the country, the many challenges they face and their plans for the future.
Taking Alpha out into the community presents difficulties. Kenya straddles the equator and covers an area of 583,000 sq. km. Many of the roads are in extremely poor condition and Alpha Kenya has no transport of its own. In the rainy season in particular, getting around can be a tremendous challenge.
There are more than 52 tribal groups in the country and most of them have their own languages, so Alpha is being translated into several languages (Kikuyu, Luo, Luyha and Maasai) to name but a few. Alpha has even gone mobile in some cases to cater for the Maasai who are nomadic.
Probably the biggest challenge for Alpha Kenya though is the lack of funding. Many Kenyans face extremely difficult personal circumstances (supporting other members of their family, etc) and simply cannot afford to give up their time freely to help Alpha, however much they would like to. Most Alphas in Kenya cannot afford to have fellowship over a shared meal – probably a drink and a piece of dry bread is the most they can run to.
For all these challenges, and many more, the team trust in God.
Looking to the future, Alpha Kenya has many plans. Their priority areas are -
Strengthening the Prison Ministry. So far, around 13,120 prisoners have completed Alpha. 27 prisons of the 105 prisons have been running Alpha. Out in the rural communities the pastors have often had little training and are very grateful when presented with a tool to use with their congregations – Alpha has proved ideal for this purpose.
There are still large areas of rural Northern Kenya in which Alpha has only just started to be present. There is much work to be done there – particularly in the refugee camps situated along the Somalian border.
The team of Alpha Kenya Trust are doing an amazing job with minimal resources. Their optimism in the face of such daunting difficulties is truly humbling.
If you would like to find out more about Alpha Kenya Trust please contact the Director, Elizabeth Odera - firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela Hasler, Maidenhead, UK