Christ transforming culture: A safari adventure in Kenya

By Deb Fox  |  Wycliffe Today Autumn 2024 Edition

In September 2023, Wycliffe Australia sent a team of nine people from Australia to Kenya to facilitate seven training events. The first three events were in far northern Kenya and mostly delivered in the Borana language. One major event was a Contextualisation Workshop, where Borana pastors and lay people studied their culture and worldviews in light of Scripture. Those involved in the workshop learned a new Bible story each day then went to local schools, where the stories were eagerly accepted by the children. At the same time, a different group of Boranas were learning The Matthew Drama script to help bring the words in the Bible to life. Over 900 Borana speakers (most not from a Christian background) attended the performances. 

Team leader, Keith Benn, explains that the purpose of the trip was to provide training and support for African pastors and those involved in Bible translation, while also encouraging Aussies to consider how they can support the global church in Scripture engagement and Bible storytelling. As Keith says, ‘An important goal for every church is making God’s Word relevant for their people’.


Philemon was one of the Kenyan pastors who expressed gratitude for attending the workshops:

In our contextualisation class today, I learnt about the different rituals and the different festivals we do. I realised that, as Scripture depicts, Christ transforms culture – all culture. There is no culture that does not need transformation. Scripture says that God can transform them in a better way to ensure that God is the anchor of everything.


One of the Australian team members, Robert Love, was encouraged by the insights the Kenyan leaders shared during the workshops:

We’ve had a particularly fruitful and interesting time looking at traditional Mbeere beliefs and what the Bible says about them. In particular, we’ve been looking at how the Mbeere people believe that they go to sacrifice and make prayers to Gai (God) at special trees in order to get things that they want. Then we turn to the Bible, looking at some verses that help to throw some light on that particular belief. One passage in particular that has been helpful is Acts 17:24–25, ‘The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.

Images: Evan Mercer

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