One of the leading causes of crime in the East Pokot region of Kenya is cattle raiding. Although livestock theft has been a problem in rural areas for centuries, modern bands of cattle raiders are increasingly well-armed. They storm villages at night, taking all the livestock in the community, and shooting anyone who gets in their way.
The economy of an entire village can be devastated by one of these attacks. Each family’s herd is their financial capital, so when cattle raiders steal all the livestock in an area, it creates an economic disaster. When villagers try to recover their cattle, another gunfight usually breaks out and more lives are lost. In places where cattle raids are common, people live in constant fear of them.
GNPI’s Nomad team from Eldoret, Kenya, went into one of these regions with a Solar Kit and an original film produced by our team in Nairobi. This Swahili film, called Shida Ya Samweli (Samuel’s Trouble), tells a compelling story about the power of Jesus’ love to resolve conflict. In communities where people live with the threat of violence all the time, it’s a message that feels relevant and draws people in.
When our team arrived in the village of Tiling'wa, a man named Mudang sat in the crowd that night. Mudang and his gang of cattle raiders were wanted by the government for crimes throughout the East Pokot district of Kenya. Among locals, they were known for frequent raids and relentless violence.
“We didn’t care who died, even if it was our brother. All we cared about was stealing as many cows as we could,” Mudang told us later. But when he sat with the villagers that night and watched Shida Ya Samweli, he was transformed by the message of the Gospel. “I finally realized that stealing and killing were bad. I stopped completely and went to the Church.”
Mudang left the gang of cattle raiders and joined a local congregation. Word spread, and when other people heard about his transformation, they were eager to learn more about the God who could produce such a change. Villagers who used to live in fear of Mudang began to follow Jesus alongside him.
Mudang’s transformation had an effect on his former gang, too. Many of them repented and became Christians, so the local church initiated several livestock projects for them. These former cattle thieves put their herding skills to use taking care of cattle instead of stealing them, building up communities instead of destroying them.
One of our Nomad team members, Protus, says Mudang “has been instrumental in helping us with evangelism in the whole region of East Pokot. We have seen Mudang grow from a terrorist to a humble, caring, and loving disciple of Jesus Christ. Indeed, God has continued to restore hope in Mudang's life.”
Mudang’s life was changed when he heard the Gospel, and as a result, an entire community was affected. We want to see transformations like his happen in every culture and people group on the planet. Would you like to partner with us in those efforts? See what strategic evangelism looks like in a few other places, and consider funding the kind of work GNPI is doing in Mudang’s village and around the world.