Our team from Faith Promise Church (Knoxville) chose these three words to tell our story about our journey to the village of Irigithathi, Kenya. The vision for our trip was the fruit of a 410 Bridge strategy session many months ago. Faith Promise would bring all their campus pastors to Kenya along with 410 Bridge U.S. leadership. The purpose of the trip would be twofold: create a deep bond within the Campus Pastor team and have our campuses partner deeper with the community of Irigithathi.
After the long journey from Tennessee, we hit the ground running, meeting with the entire 410 Kenya team and traveling 3-4 hours north to Nyeri County. The staff and students of the Irigithathi Primary school welcomed our Faith Promise team with open arms, music, and dancing. We entered Kenya with a firm understanding of 410 Bridge and its strategy and expected to find a community reeling from drought, poverty, and the pandemic.
To our surprise, we found people who had joy, hope and optimism. We found a head teacher who encouraged her students; declaring that future presidents and doctors were sitting amongst them. She, and the community leaders, were positive, confident, and encouraging to the students and parents.
The 410 Kenya team – Lucas and Samson – did a fantastic job bringing together pastors from four 410 Bridge communities. Over 35 church leaders gathered in an outdoor, open-air building to pour into each other. Pastors and Elders… Men and women… Young and old… A variety of denominations… Different tribes… All coming together to share a wonderful time of worship, prayer, and spiritual development.
We prayed prophetically over East Africa and the future of the Kenyan church. Our Campus Pastor from Costa Rica, Ediar, interceded for the challenges pastors faced in their congregations. We learned that we share many of the same challenges as church leaders. How do we reach more people for Jesus? How do we disciple the next generation? How do we help our people grow? We prepared an encouraging and equipping program for the local church leaders, but we left humbled by their contribution to us and each other. We were even more humbled by the hard spiritual work that the leaders of the Kenyan church were doing for the Kingdom.
We entered Kenya with a solid understanding of 410 Bridge, their vision, and their strategy. Faith Promise has been partnering with 410 for several years in multiple countries, so we had a good understanding of their model before we arrived. Yet the most significant takeaway from the week was that their purpose – to redefine the war on poverty, what it means to win it, what it means for the people living in extreme poverty, and most importantly, how we fight the battle together – is a huge and worthwhile undertaking for our church. The lives that are changed are real and changing in meaningful ways. The holistic approach to discipleship, worldview shift, and overcoming extreme poverty together as a community is biblical. The solutions to problems like water and agriculture are practical, but the spiritual impact of 410 Bridge’s mission honors Jesus and opens the doors to His Kingdom on earth.
Special thanks to the 410 Kenya team, and the leaders in Irigithathi for the opportunity. No other organization has impacted how Faith Promise does global ministry like 410 Bridge. We are grateful…
–Robbie Freeman at Faith Promise
Learn more about partnering with 410 Bridge here.