The African nation of Kenya is not often known for religious persecution, unlike the border countries of Somalia and Ethiopia. In terms of religion in Kenya, 85% of the population identifies as Christian—but there’s known persecution against believers in smaller villages among traditional tribes.
The village chief in our story heralds from Kenya’s Teso tribe, a people group half-a-million strong that resides in the western part of the country. He once had a well-known history of persecuting Christians in Kenya, jailing local pastors and other native workers for leading people away from traditional tribal customs. But God had a plan to positively impact the chief’s life and change the trajectory of his destiny—proving no one is ever too far from His reach., as 1 Timothy 1:15 says.
How did his change of heart take place? You see, the chief attended a local funeral where a Christian was officiating; the chief had often arrested this man. As the persecuted Kenyan gave the eulogy and addressed those in mourning, he spoke of hope in eternity with Christ and of salvation through Christ alone, as described in John 3:16 and Acts 4:12. The words the man gave spoke loudly to the chief’s heart. As the believer continued speaking, the chief rose, came forward and declared he wanted to be born again.
Not only was the chief seeking salvation, he also wanted forgiveness from those he had persecuted. In addition, he openly declared that he would never arrest, jail or harass Christians again. His life has been forever changed by the love of Jesus.
In a fitting end to this amazing story of transformation, the chief was recently baptized and continues to testify daily of Christ’s love to his friends, family and others in his tribe. Please pray that the chief will continue to grow in his faith and lead his entire village to salvation.