Pastor in Kenya Uses Soap-Making as a Tool for Evangelism
By Nathan Johnson
12/18/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Antony Kiuna is one of the few Pentecostal pastors who has served Christians in Witu, Kenya for over 20 years. Witu, a historical area in Lamu County, has become a gateway for the growth of Islam in the coastal region of Kenya. This growth of Islam has led to an increase of persecution against those who convert from Islam to Christianity and those who evangelize. Despite this persecution, Pastor Kiuna continues to try to reach Muslims every day. Kiuna oversees the Kingdom of Love Churches in Lamu county. ICC visited him in his rural home in Konambaya where he runs a soap making-business as a tool for Muslim outreach.
Pastor Kiuna shared, “When we first brought the Gospel to the people of Witu, we met a lot of resistance from the Muslim community who until now are the majority. Our lives were threatened because we brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ and proclaimed that He is the Only Way to the Father and the giver of eternal life. We have endured many years of persecution, but through this, we have seen many people trusting in Jesus.”
Having skills in making herbal soap, Pastor Kiuna decided to use the soap making business as a tool for preaching the Gospel to the people of the Islamic faith in Witu.
He continued, “After seeing all the challenges that came with preaching the Gospel in the market places and door to door evangelism, I thought about changing my strategy to be more effective and still preach the uncompromised Gospel but with less opposition. I decided to start making soap in my home and use that as a way to reach out to the many Muslims in my area. I have been doing this for two years.”
He recalled, “I approached the local women groups with the idea of training them on how to make healthy herbal soap for domestic use. That was a win. In these groups, we have several Muslim women that come every Thursday for training on several livelihood topics. It is not possible to preach to these women at their homes. When I have a session with them, I tactfully bring in the message of hope in Christ and the providence of God upon His people. I employ my theological knowledge in preaching Christ in a winsome manner without raising suspicion.”
Apart from training women in soap making, Kiuna also distributes the soap to local shops and institutions. During conversations, he uses the analogy of washing with his product to explain the forgiveness of sins through the blood of Christ.
He explained, “When I am not meeting women groups, I distribute soap to retailers and institutions. I make sure that our conversations are not just business conversations, but also friendly. I relate the washing with the soap to the washing of our sins through the death of Christ. I emphasize that man is fallen and in need of a savior. It doesn’t take long before someone realizes that I have just preached to them.”
Since most of the people in Witu are poor, Pastor Kiuna uses some of the soap-making proceeds to support the needy Muslim families and new Muslim background believers.
He explained, “It is not just enough to preach to these people. Most of them are needy and their husbands depend on casual work to provide for their families. They also have many children. I use part of the profit that I make to support some of the Muslim families. This somehow softens their hearts and they become more receptive to the Gospel, including their husbands who are a hard nut to crack. I also support new believers who face rejection from their families.”
Although Pastor Kiuna is faced with the danger of spreading the Gospel of Christ Jesus within a Muslim community, he remains committed to the course, knowing that there is a great reward in Heaven.
“The Kingdom of Love Church is committed to the call. I have dedicated my life to serving Christ within this community until He returns or calls me home. I am very aware of the risks involved. Until then, I want to be found faithful in the vineyard, for I know that I shall be crowned at the end,” Pastor Kiuna concluded.