CHEPILAT, Kenya — In 2015, Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) gave a $250 grant to Kenyan pastor and entrepreneur, Kefa Moirore, to fund his business, Loafstar Bakery. “The amount has multiplied like the ‘loaves of bread and fish’ in the Bible,” said Moirore, allowing him to acquire a plot of land worth 1 million Kenyan shillings (about $10,000).
“With that seed money, he has been able to expand his business -— and subsequently, his self-funded ministry,” said Debbi DiGennaro, EMM’s regional representative for East Africa.
This property, located in Chepilat’s market center, provides space for Moirore’s business, housing for some youth who previously lived on the street, and a temporary location for the Chepilat Mennonite Church.
In 2015, EMM and All Nations, an international leadership-training and church-planting network, led a training for church leaders in this region. Trainers provided resourcing on “simple church” multiplication.
Moirore reflected on this event, “The training was great and we were blessed with a lot of knowledge which has influenced the way I am doing my normal church activities.”
This training led Moirore to focus on ministry to street families. “I realized that the street families are one of the unreached people groups in the society who need a lot of attention. They have been forgotten by the church and the governments,” said Moirore.
From his self-funded ministry, Moirore has provided food and clothing for street families. At times, he has helped the youth learn “some income-generating activities instead of begging on the streets.” This has included selling coffee and paper bags in the streets.
Moirore offers an opportunity for some youth to work in the bakery, where they are paid like other employees. “They can learn how to bake doughnuts the way I do in my bakery,” Moirore shared.
He hopes that when the young men conclude their employment, they will have the skills to run the same kind of business on their own.
Moirore’s bakery is an alternative for youth in his community. He also disciples the young men on how to become God-loving Christians, good citizens, and self-reliant.
Currently meeting on Moirore’s property, the Chepilat Mennonite Church hopes to eventually have a site of its own. The temporary structure has a polyethylene roof, which “is very hot during sunny days and becomes uncomfortable to stay in for worship,” said Moirore.
The church set a goal to raise 60,000 shillings (nearly $600) to purchase corrugated sheet metal to replace the polyethylene. After a fundraiser in August, the church still needs to raise another 40,200 shillings (nearly $400).
Moirore also pastors a church in Kisii, which he visits about once per month. Like his ministry in Chepilat, the work in Kisii is also predominantly with street families.
When EMM gave Moirore a grant in 2015, it was stepping out in faith with this approach to multiplication. Several years later, Moirore’s business is flourishing, and as a result, the churches in Chepilat and Kisii are meeting needs in their communities.