By Peter Galia and Daniel Nyaoke
Photos by Abel Musungu
Sunday 29th July 2018 marks an important day to the people of Luanda as disciples gathered from various parts of the country to witness the launch of ICOC Luanda church held at the Amazing Grace School, Luanda. Among the top leaders who attended the function were the former lead evangelist and Western block leaders John and Jane Maleya, Eastern bloc leaders Mike and Liz Odwallo, Kisumu leaders, Paul and Betty Nthei, Paul and Nancy Wasonga from Kakamega, Elias and Margaret Aketch from Kisii and other representatives from different blocks. The bright and hot climate in Luanda contrasted sharply with the July cold in Nairobi providing a great relief to some of the disciples who travelled from cold regions. The service started at 10.45 am after powerful prayers from James Opwondi and captivating songs and praises that appreciated God’s mercies and his unending Grace.
Luanda church began from a humble beginning in 1998 when Gideon Omito, a disciple who was baptized five years earlier in 1993 in Nairobi, travelled to Luanda after the death of his father. Left with no option as the father was the family’s only breadwinner. Gideon was compelled to settle down in Luanda from Nairobi. Drawing strength and encouragement from God and amidst life’s difficult challenges, he organized bible talks and midweeks despite heavy responsibilities that he had back at home. He is closely associated with the launch of the ICOC Luanda church that currently has twenty disciples.
Nelson Malele shared the message of the Cross drawn from 1 Peter 1: 17- 21. He began with his personal life borrowing strongly from his life in prison which would have lasted three months and shared how his fellow workmates raised Ksh. 500 to have him released from jail as this amount was the ransom fine in the same judgment. He helped the congregation to see the debt of eternal condemnations that Christ’s death on the Cross ransomed.
The stage was then turned upside down with very energetic and artistic performances of memory verses, songs and dances from the Amazing Grace International School, the Kingdom kids and the Kisumu City Church leaving the congregation yearning for more and setting a perfect mood for the sermon.
Evangelist Mike Odwallo encouraged the congregation with his message from the book of Mathew 28: 16-20. Using the parable of the Mustard seed, he reminded the Luanda church that they may have started from a small beginning but with God they are the light in Luanda town. They should provide illumination to the neighbours and villagers by setting a good example to attract them to love God and to spread his love. Liz Odwallo drove the point home with her reference to Esther of Persian time who fasted for the salvation of her people.
Evangelist John and Jane Maleya took the congregation a notch higher and reminded the disciples about the great commission from the same Bible books read earlier and particularly echoing verse 19 “Go Ye Therefore“. The evangelist narrated the reasons why Christ came to the earth from the scriptures and equated the work of the disciples in Luanda for granting freedom to captives. John Maleya expounded on several prisons that people of the world have been locked in challenging the whole church to take the Good News about Christ to all people around them including those who are locked up in physical prisons as well as those tied in prisons of unsound doctrines around the world. Using Gideon’s (brother from Luanda) example of faith he reminded all disciples to commit themselves to serve God. Borrowing from Hannah’s prayers in first Samuel, Jane Maleya guided the congregation to adopt prayers for the newly launched Church and other challenges facing all disciples in Kenya today. Evangelist John Maleha and his wife Jane have been commissioned by the ICOC churches to relocate to South Africa to continue with the good news of spreading Gods love to all nations.
Time for the Lord’s supper came and the discipes shared in this, with the preaching coming from Malele.
Luanda is a major town in western Kenya. It is the administrative centre of Emuhaya district that was created in 2007. The town’s popularity is drawn from Luanda market that is located on the Kisumu – Busia Highway. Among the main features on the Kisumu, Busia highway are Maseno University and Maseno National School that are along the highway on your way to Luanda.
Other disciples who encouraged the congregation in Luanda were Evangelist Elias Aketch and his wife Margaret from the Kisii church, Paul and Betty Nthei, Paul and Nancy Wasonga. Among the powerful disciples behind the Luanda church who participated in the Launch were Mike Okwemba and his wife and James Opwondi and his wife. The Luanda church will still be overseen by the Kisumu church since there it still has no fulltimer.
The heart of the celebration was crowned with the cutting of the cake that marked the jubilant entry of the Luanda church to the ICOC global fraternity.
To God be the Glory.
To God be the glory
Praise God great job Luanda people this was awesome, God bless you abundantly. Amen.