Even if we preach to cows and goats, our crusades will go on!

Apostle Elkana

Apostle Elkana was at my house the next day at 6.30pm, and given the way he had arrived, we needed no calculator to know that he was not in a hurry.

Photo credit: John Nyaga | Nation Media Group

If you remember well, on Easter Monday, while other Kenyans were resting with their families, I spent the better part of the day at THOAG – The Holiest of all Ghosts Tabernacle Assembly attending meetings led by the sect's Spiritual Superintendent, the revered Dr. Rev. Apostle Elkana. I was a new convert who had instantly been co-opted into what Apostle Elkana called the church's EXCO - Executive Committee - as an Ex Officio member. Do not ask me what that means.

At the meeting, I had been asked to lead efforts to develop the infrastructure of the church. Among the things I was asked to help the church procure were chairs, a music system, and support to cement the church's floor.

“I hope plans to get us the three things have started in earnest,” Apostle Elkana told me when he visited me the next day. I told him that I was still thinking about it.

“You should have started already as we do not have time,” he said. “You may want to start with one, then go for the next.” He went ahead to prioritise the projects for me. “We urgently need a music system so that we can attract more people to our church. Once they get in, we will get chairs for them to sit on, and only after that will we think about the floor.”

“Thanks for the steer,” I said, adding that I would work on the project in that order.

“But that is not what brought me here,” he added and settled well on the chair, signalling that he had come to stay for long.

“How often do you read the bible?” he asked. The question caught me off-guard, and I told him that I couldn't remember the last time I had read the bible.

“The Bible is the best friend of any child of God,” he said, encouraging me to read at least one verse every day. “That is why I have brought you one,” he said, got one from his huge bag and handed me.

“You can read it in any order or plan, but today I will give you some verses to read then we can talk about that tomorrow.” He asked me to read Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, 2 Timothy 4:2, and Romans 10:14-15.

I read them but I understood nothing. Apostle Elkana was at my house the next day at 6.30pm, and given the way he had arrived, we needed no calculator to know that he was not in a hurry. That is another way of saying that he planned to take supper at our place.

“I know I gave you some work on church developments, but as Christians, we all have another responsibility – to win souls. If you read the verses I gave you, they are all talking about winning souls to Christ; we are all fishers of men.”

He went on: “If you notice on Sunday, the church has very few people, and I am depending on you to help grow the numbers.”

“The people are very difficult, Apostle, very, very difficult,” I told him.

“And who said it is easy to convert people? If it were, the churches would be full,” he answered. I asked him how to woo souls.

“Start with your family, your colleagues at school, your friends at Hitler’s, etc.” I told him that it was impossible to convince anyone to get saved when I had been saved for just a few days. “Allow me to mature first,” I told him, but the Apostle would hear none of that.

In the end, we agreed to conduct a Crusade in Mwisho wa Lami. All the Apostle needed from me was money to hire a loudspeaker and to print some leaflets inviting people to attend a Crusade. And lunch. I was not sure why he called it a mega Crusade.

The leaflets were printed the next day. Mwisho wa Lami Revival Mega Worship, it read. On them was Apostle Elkana’s portrait as the main speaker. I had also been added there as a guest speaker.

We agreed to have it last Sunday afternoon. Over the week, I talked to a good number of people, starting with all boda bodas via Nyayo. With schools closed, I couldn't get teachers, but I visited Leah, her bad hair in tow, and invited her. I also invited Sella. Saphire didn't even let me finish my statement when I tried to convince him.

We all went to the market after church. It was Apostle Elkana, his wife, Anindo, one woman and myself. A makeshift dias had been mounted, and there was loud music blasting from the speakers. Children had collected near one of the speakers and were dancing to the music.

It would be my first time attending a crusade, and even playing a role. This was not the first crusade in Mwisho wa Lami, but the first I would be attending, nay, playing a leading role.

Even as we sat on the dais, the music still continued. At around 2.30pm, Apostle Elkana announced that we would start at exactly 3pm.

Kama uko na mgonjwa ama wewe ni mgonjwa, kuja kwa sababau kutakuwa namiracles leo,” he said before sitting down. The children had increased and they were in a carnival of sorts – happily dancing and teaching each other styles. Other than children, no adults had arrived by 3pm and Apostle Elkana announced that we would start the crusade at 3.30pm. Besides children, there were also cows and goats grazing in the same field.

At exactly 3.30pm, Apostle Elkana went to the podium and started preaching. As soon as the music stopped and preaching started, all the children stopped dancing and within a few minutes, had all left, leaving us with only the animals to listen to the sermon.

“Every journey begins with a single step,” Apostle Elkana told me later when I complained about no attendance. He asked that we do a crusade every Sunday.

“By the fourth Sunday, we will start seeing people, and then this will grow to a big movement,” he said. We were at Kasuku Bar and Restaurant, taking our lunch

Apostle Elkana still expected me to take care of the costs of the sound and lunch, until we break even with sadaka! See you all next Sunday for The Mega Revival Crusade in Mwisho wa Lami Market. Come One, come two, come all!