“Nothing I would rather do”
By Tohru Inoue | Kenya in East Africa
“Some people think that missions is for western people,” Geoffrey said. He is from Machakos, Kenya. We had lunch in a coffee shop on the outskirts of the capital Nairobi and talked about his desire to serve God overseas.
People ask him, “Is there any need for you to go?” Maybe they ask because they wonder, “Isn’t that where we got Christianity in the first place?” People perhaps imagine men and women carrying Bibles, sporting a British accent and coming to Africa by way of colonial work.
I asked him how he responded to that assumption of mission from “West to the rest.”
He replied, “[It’s] no longer, ‘We need gospel workers.’ We have plenty of them …” For Geoffrey, sending is not limited to geography. He feels the burden to preach the good news.
“Some people in the rural areas of Kenya think that those who do gospel work do so because they haven’t performed well in school,” he added candidly. It’s a thought held by many in his community but seldom voiced.
Some people do gospel work when they have run out of career options. Maybe they would have liked to be a lawyer, a doctor, or a pilot, but the opportunity or grades weren’t there. But that’s not Geoffrey’s story, even if it looks that way to others.
“I know where my heart is,” he said. He found that heart years ago up in a little town in northern Kenya. He thought he would serve there for a year and then go back to school and study engineering. But in the northern and oft forgotten region of Marsabit, he witnessed people who seemed to pour out their lives for the Lord. In comparison, his plans of studying engineering seemed hollow and selfish to him. He was spending his cares on things that were fleeting.
Geoffrey said, “I don’t struggle with thinking I need to do something else… I want to use every opportunity to witness Christ. If I do that, I’ll fulfill my life mission.”
And that means even communities in the UK if God is calling him. And it’s clear after a chat with Myton Church in Warwick – where Geoffrey hopes to serve – that there are communities where God is least known. A culturally diverse population characterises the area. This includes a large Sikh and Eastern European population. “Like the rest of the UK, the wider community is, at heart, secular,” said Jackie from Myton Church. The church has recently launched the Westbury congregation starting with 49 willing church congregants. They’ve done so to try to reach these communities where He is least known. This is where both Myton Church and Geoffrey hope he can serve.
It’s been a tough road for Geoffrey to get to the UK and he’s still not there yet. There have been a lot of things that could have dissuaded him. If not the prevalent attitudes in his community, it’s been the financial hurdles. But he’s got an inner resilience. He’s seen tough times before and God had always come through. It’s helped him to continue trusting. He narrated how a colleague of his recently managed to serve in the Comoros after an equally long wait, saying, “My experience is not isolated.”
If it weren’t for the call on his life, he would likely let others take his place in the gospel work of the UK. If it weren’t for the call, he would likely pursue a career in engineering. If it weren’t for Jesus, he might be doing a host of other things, but he’s not.
There are plenty of obstacles, but it was clear to me after our meal that there’s nothing else he’d rather do.
Would you consider supporting Geoffrey Muatha in the Engage programme? If you feel led, visit our donation portal and use missionary number 1181757.
In the last three months, SIM UK’s ENGAGE programme has received three new gospel workers into the UK. Each worker has been placed with a church partner to help reach a multi-ethnic community with the good news of Jesus. Elkin (Columbia) is focusing on the Latin community in parts of London; Mary (Ethiopia) works with a diverse community in central London; and Ram among the Asian diaspora in greater Manchester.
- For these cross-cultural workers as they transition to life and work in the UK.
- For Geoffrey to raise the funds needed.