Kenya-East and West

Country divided into two Salvation Army territories.

In the blistering heat, the flag bearer marches up the path and into the compound.

The following is part of a newsletter home by Western officer Lt. Colonel Jolene Hodder, who is serving as territorial leader of women’s ministries in the Kenya East Territory.

Following two years of work towards creating two Salvation Army territories out of one, Kenya has been officially separated into East and West Territories.

The “old” Kenya Territory¾with its composition of 28 divisions and districts, 601 corps (as of February 29), more than 2,100 outposts, pre-primary schools, primary schools, secondary schools and institutions, and 350,000 junior and senior soldiers¾was more than one territorial staff could lead effectively. In my own field of service as leader of women’s ministries, it was impossible for us to adequately support the 121,000 women and programs the Army had entrusted to my department.

Due to lack of funds, great distances, inadequate transportation and sometimes impassable roads, we have struggled to visit our people. It has also been impossible to keep track of our rapidly growing ministries. At the last field board meeting of the Kenya Territory, 11 outposts (three of which had not previously appeared in our records) were upgraded to corps status. While such statistics are cause for thanksgiving to God, we suspect that they are still low due to the lack of basic math training in the bush.

Last Sunday, we journeyed to Yatta to install new district leaders. While the trip would normally take a little over an hour, it took three hours to arrive at the junction where the leaders were waiting for us. We also found over 1,000 men, women, and children—all waiting patiently for us in the blistering heat so they could proudly march into the compound and receive our salutes.

We were surprised to discover that the district headquarters does not have access to water. It’s not available for miles around. When water is needed, someone is sent to the nearest market to find the “donkey man,” who (together with his donkey!) is then hired to deliver water to the compound. We determined that we will work to find a way to fund the drilling of a borehole.

Later I realized that the corps we visited was the first one we had traveled to outside of Nairobi after arriving in Kenya two years ago. I thanked God that I was still standing on the same solid ground, but that little by little I have ascended the rock. I am determined to continue my climb up the Solid Rock, who alone can make fruitful my life and ministry.

Donations to support The Salvation Army’s work in Kenya (noted on your check) may be sent to The Salvation Army, Officer Services, 180 E. Ocean Blvd. 12th Fl., Long Beach, CA 90802.

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