In 2009 Living Waters partnered with Maranatha Volunteers International and ASI to begin the newly launched world wide One-Day Church project in Kenya. Maranatha and ASI provided the materials and funding for the Kenya project to erect 74 buildings which are used primarily as churches, schools and medical clinics. The materials were shipped in two containers from Minnesota and arrived in Nairobi, Kenya April 2010. Seventy two buildings were erected in many areas of Kenya over the next 6 months coordinated by Living Waters and my son Joby Oft.
The buildings were primarily used for church congregations that either had no structure to meet in or whose structure was unfit for human occupancy. In most cases the church attendance grew to double of that before the building was erected. It was the responsibility of the local church to complete the building with whatever materials they chose to use.
All funding for the One-Day-Church project was provided with funds specified for this objective. Praise God in how He is working with providing places for worshiping Him in Kenya.
These ODC buildings are now providing places of worship, schools and medical clinics for more than 15,000 people. Joby traveling across Kenya, living and working with the Kenyan people to start this good work. Four Kenyan men were trained to work with impact drivers, squares and a variety of tools to provide the steel frame and roof building. The completion of the walls are the responsibility of the local congregations of which many choose brick, reed, metal siding or just open ventilation.
The buildings were provided to congregations who either had no structure and met under a tree, or the current structure was condemned or the current building was much too small to hold the number of people meeting there. In most cases, the size of the congregations has doubled since receiving the new structure. “The thing that amazed me and I did not expect, was that many of the churches were used seven days a week for schools, nurseries and a place for medical services to be provided. It isn’t just a church, it is a place for community activities during the week,” reports Joby.
Five of the structures were ferried in canoes across large bodies of water to two islands in Lake Victoria. Then all of the materials were hand carried up steep mountain trails as much as two miles inland where some of the churches now stand. The work was grueling, but in the end all of the construction team was very satisfied to have a part in providing a place of worship for so many.
Stories of miracles abound and God provided His hand of safety to the crew. On April 28, Daryl Oft and son Justin returned to Kenya to erect 37 more churches in the Kenya Coast Field. This is a particularly challenging location as the majority population with 75 to 95 percent being Muslim.
Maranatha reports that 1650 One Day Churches have been erected in twenty two countries worldwide. Living Waters has built just fewer than five percent of those churches and continues to increase that number.
Living Waters also takes a part in filling the churches. In February 2011, four members of our local church and a family member from Oregon traveled to Kenya and held two concurrent evangelistic campaigns.
The fishing villages of Litare and Lwanda, both in Kenya Lake Conference had two weeks of meetings which resulted in 186 baptisms in Lake Victoria. Husband and wife teams of Russ and Sharon Judd and Daryl and Mary Jo Oft directed the campaigns. Twyla McKinney, Daryl’s sister provided children and health talks and many Kenyan nationals assisted to make the meetings a success.
Many nights the average attendance at each site was over 1000. The meetings were held outside with cattle, goats and pigs walking through the meeting sites.
All of those baptized were provided with Bibles, which for the most part is their most prized possession. Everyone was asking for Bibles but they had to be limited to just those who were baptized. The funding for the Bibles came from the Payson SDA church.