She’s never slept in a bed.
She’s never stood under a shower.
She lives in a mud hut.
She’s an amazing woman of God.
I first heard about Selina Akorio in 2006 from one of our Kenyan ministry partners who, after reading The Disciple-Making Minister, became very passionate about making disciples and planting house churches. Selina was one of his early disciples, and she was soon making disciples of her own among her people, the Turkana, a primitive tribe of northern Kenya. In Selina’s first six months of ministry, she planted ten house churches. I wrote an article about her in the December 2006 issue of Heaven’s Family’s magazine.
Remembering her story when I was in her part of Kenya just a few months ago, I was able to arrange a meeting with her. Selina walked ten miles, and then traveled by tractor, truck and bicycle-taxi to meet me—a journey of seven hours in desert-like heat. What a blessing it was to listen to her stories (in the shade) that same afternoon.
I learned that her home village had been previously called Khongorea, named after a native tree that produces poisonous fruit. However, because as many as 100 of the 150 families who live in Khongorea have come to Christ through Selina’s ministry, they voted to change the village name to Capernaum! I also learned that, since 2006, Selina has planted over forty house churches as she has spread the gospel to remote villages among the Turkana people, traveling by foot.
Selina’s method works well in the male-dominated culture of the Turkana. She starts churches primarily by reaching women and discipling them. Their husbands notice how their lives are changing and begin asking questions. That is when they tell their husbands about Jesus.
I asked Selina if a bicycle would be a blessing for her. She told me that it would help her travel further in her church-planting ministry. Plus, because the Turkana region is currently suffering severe drought, Selina told me that, with a bicycle, her oldest son could fetch water for her and her neighbors twice a week—from a river twenty miles away.
Fortunately, I knew another good woman, Karin Trotter, who directs Heaven’s Family’s Mobilize a Minister Fund (now merged with our National Missionary Fund). I had no doubt that Karin would approve Selina for a new bicycle, and the next morning, I was photographing Selina with her new bike! It cost $130 and was made in China!
I wonder how many churches Selina will plant in the next five years?