As of March 11, 2018
In July 2001, the Lord led William M. (Bill) Johnson on the first of what is now ten trips to Kenya. Because of Mr. Johnson’s obedience to go on his first mission trip to Kenya, he met Rev. Simon Mwaura, who was planting his first church in Wanjohi, Kenya (Central Highlands). Faith Ventures Foundation, the Johnson family foundation, provided training in the USA for Simon through International Leadership Institute and The Mission Society. Simon taught the Global Outreach Seminary with Dick McClain at Weddington United Methodist Church (near Charlotte, NC) and at Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church (Alpharetta, GA). It was during the closing session of this teaching in 2002 that Simon realized God was calling him to become a cross-cultural witness to the 22 unreached tribes (3.5million people) in Kenya. In 2003, Simon took his first trip to the unreached Samburu tribe in response to Matthew 24:14. After wearing out a Toyota Corolla donated to Rev. Simon by some friends of the Johnson’s, a rugged 4-wheel drive Land Rover was donated in 2006 by Faith Ventures Foundation so Rev. Mwaura could travel the 8+ hour trip
over almost impassable roads from his home base in Nyahururu to Samburu County.
In 2004, the Johnsons bought a second home in downtown Charleston, SC and began worshipping at St. Michaels Anglican Church ("SMC"). Following the Call of God in 2000 to help the Body of Christ obey the Great Commission, the Johnsons began encouraging SMC in 2007 to enhance its involvement in Jesus' Mission. That resulted in an invitation from SMC’s new Rector, Rev. Al Zadig, to conduct a Global Outreach (“GO”) weekend seminar at SMC in April 2008. Rev. Mwaura was recommended to teach the seminar along with The Mission Society’s Rev. Dick McClain and Br. Bill Johnson. Since 2002, Br. Johnson had organized several opportunities for Rev. Mwaura to learn how to conduct the GO seminar, resulting in much fruit coming from this ministry.
In January 2008, the Lord began showing Rev. Mwaura the path to starting a new ministry whose
vision would be "That all the 122 tribes in Kenya would have access to the Gospel of God’s Love". By April 2008, when Simon and his wife, Lucy, arrived in the USA for the SMC Global Outreach seminar, Simon and Lucy had become convinced it was God's timing for them to start a new ministry called "God's Grace for All Nations (“GGFAN”). God used the Mwaura's visit to the USA to refine their strategy and tactics by which they would launch GGFAN. They followed the method used by Missionary J. Hudson Taylor when he started the China Inland Mission 143 years earlier: (God's Vision, done God's Way, never lacks God's Provision);(paraphrased). God used the organizational and financial resources of Faith Ventures Foundation, Weddington United Methodist Church (Charlotte, NC), and several others to help the Mwaura's launch GGFAN.
In February 2009, Br. Johnson organized a mission trip to Samburu County for two couples
(Corbetts and Simmons) who were leaders in SMC's obedience to the Great Commission and who
had met the Maura’s in April 2008. While in Samburu County, they dedicated a Water Mission
Living Water System of a GGFAN church plant in the Samburu village of Morinjoi. Br. Johnson
and two of his sons made their first visit to Samburu County in August 2009 to experience the impact of the Living Water System donated by Faith Ventures Foundation six months earlier.
In August 2011, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson visited Kenya. On Saturday, August 27, 2011, Maralal Pastors from multiple denominations were invited to the Thompson Falls Lodge in Nyahururu by Bishop Simon Mwaura of GGFAN to meet with Br. Bill Johnson of Faith Ventures Foundation. It was here, after deliberating on the situation in Samburu County, that the Holy Spirit inspired the Nkalup (a Samburu word for 1,000) Vision to plant 1,000 churches having 50,000 followers of Jesus so that Samburu County would become a county reached with the Gospel of Jesus.
On January 30-February 2, 2012, Br. Johnson and Rev. Mwaura met with the Maralal Pastor's Fellowship at the Maralal Safari Lodge to develop official statements of Vision, Mission, Goals, and Strategies for the Nkalup Vision. NKALUP is focused on all the tribes of Samburu County: Samburu, Turkana, Pokot, Borana, Rendille, and Somali. These tribes are nomadic pastoral groups who subsist by maintaining small herds of goats, sheep and/or cows in the challenging semi-arid climate of Samburu. Water is a precious commodity in Samburu and most families do not have safe, clean drinking water. In the rural village beyond the six regional trading centres of Samburu County, families live in huts made of mud, cow dung, sticks and tarps. Africa Gospel Church (AGC) Bishop Robert Lang'at attended the meetings at Br. Johnson’s invitation with the hopes that AGC would open a mission field in Samburu County. (This was done in August 2012 and has been very fruitful.)
Faith Ventures Foundation commissioned a census to be taken to determine the impact of the Gospel in Samburu County since the Church of England sent the first missionary to the village of Sirata in 1934. It was found that there were only 158 churches in Samburu County having only 6,250 Protestant Christians (2.5% of the population). Therefore, 842 more churches would need to be planted in Samburu County to accomplish the Nkalup Vision.
It was realized that these new churches would have to be started primarily by Samburu people from the existing 158 churches. Therefore, a 3-day church planting curriculum was developed
and a team of leaders who were part of the February 2012 launch meeting volunteered their time to travel around the County to “fertilize the existing seedbed” of leaders in the 158 existing
churches so that new pastors would emerge from the existing churches. The Nkalup Vision was shared by the founding leaders with the trainees in such a powerful way, that new preaching points were started immediately following each of the training sessions throughout the remainder of 2012 into 2013.
On December 20, 2012, the Samburu County Nkalup Vision (SCNV) was awarded the status as a Community Based Organization (charity #4375) by the Kenyan government. This status as an official Kenyan charity allowed Faith Ventures Foundation in April 2013 to start funding Ksh3,050 (approximately $30.00USD) per month to 32 Preaching Point Leaders (“PPLs”) who had started
new preaching points. Funding was also provided at the same rate to the six division coordinators who would be overseeing the new PPLs.
In August 8-13, 2013, Br. Johnson returned to Maralal, Samburu to assist the SCNV Board with advice on the operation and governance of the Nkalup Vision. The Board members took Br.Johnson to visit several new Nkalup preaching points. They introduced him to one elder who had attended the Loroki Division training. As the elder greeted us, he was carrying his well-worn syllabus our team had given him months earlier at the Nkalup training. He shared his testimony of how the Nkalup Vision had energized his ministry so much that he had started 3 preaching points without any financial assistance. (We were so inspired by the obedience of this elder that we offered to add his PPLs to our stipend program.)
In February 2014, Bishop Mwaura was invited back to SMC for the 2014 GIC (his first visit since the 2008 Global Outreach Seminar). As a result of this visit, Br. Johnson and Bishop Mwaura submitted a $20,000.00 grant request to SMC to underwrite GGFAN’s Transportation Ministry of going to the unreached tribes of Kenya. This grant was funded in two instalments in 2014 and 2015 and had a significant impact on the effectiveness of GGFAN’s ministry in Samburu County.
In July 2015, Faith Ventures Foundation organized a Consultation on Church Planting in Kenya with its partners at Africa Gospel Church, Asbury Theological Seminary, God’s Grace for All Nations, and SCNV. The members of the Consultation Team traveled 910 miles across the northern part of Kenya, including a visit to the Wamba Division of Samburu County July 31- August 3, 2015. The Team worshipped with the congregations at 6 new preaching points. The two AGC preaching points at Resim and Tree Top (Wamba Town), which were visited, had already met the criteria to be called “churches”, because they had reproduced themselves by starting other preaching points. Based on the fruit we observed coming from obedience to the Nkalup Vision, it was concluded that SCNV should move into the development phase of training pastors, constructing buildings for worship and nursery schools, and improving the transport and storage of safe drinking water.
In January 2016, the SCNV board concluded that the Nkalup Vision was influencing the church planting strategy of forty-two (42) different denominations in Samburu County, but that 68% of the Nkalup preaching points were concentrated under the ecclesial leadership of only twelve (12) of the forty-two (42) denominations. It was decided that the SCNV board would be expanded from 8 to 17 members in April and May so that all 12 denominations of SCNV’s largest “customers” would have a voice on the SCNV board. A certified public accountant was added to the staff in January 2016 to enhance the financial accountability and transparency required by the SCNV board and the donors to the Nkalup Vision. The SCNV Board now includes 14 pastors and bishops from 14 Protestant denominations.
Br. Johnson organized a 4th visit (2008, 2014, 2015, 2016) for Bishop Mwaura to St. Michaels Church in February 2016. The video report of the July 31-August 2015 visit to the Wamba Division was shown, demonstrating the obedience to undertake the Nkalup Vision. The enthusiasm created by this video and by Bishop Mwaura’s visits to the homes of several members, resulted in 12 people saying “here am I, send me” in response to God’s call on February 7, 2016 to join Him in His Mission in Kenya.
In May 2016, six motorbikes were funded by two donor families of SMC through an initiative of Faith Ventures Foundation and SCNV. The motorbikes are being used by the six Nkalup divisional
coordinators to enhance their effectiveness in overseeing the preaching points.
In July 2016, Br. Johnson led 10 members of St. Michaels Anglican Church (“SMC”) went to Kenya to discover what God may be calling SMC to do on His Mission in Kenya. An overview of what the Team did in Samburu County can be seen in several videos at www.vimeo.com/nkalupvision and www.vimeo.com/ggfan.
As of December 31, 2017, SCNV has reached 55% of its goal of 1,000 churches and has trained 600 pastors. SCNV is now the largest church planting ministry in Samburu County. By God’s grace, the Nkalup Vision will be realized in 2023. However, from that historic milestone, the SCNV Board realizes that only 20% of Samburu County will have been reached with the Gospel. Therefore, SCNV is praying for the anointing to take the Gospel to the remaining 80% of the people in Samburu County.
Some Possible Next Steps of Obedience
We praise God for His choosing us to join in His Mission to Samburu County (John 15:16). Truly, we are learning that our small steps of obedience are being used by our Heavenly Father to engage others in His Mission. Obedience begets obedience.
Based on the preliminary results of the surveys, the following are strategic opportunities to advance the Nkalup Vision:
This Report was prepared by:
William M. (Bill) Johnson
Founder & President - Faith Ventures Foundation, Inc.
748 Iron Mountain Road, Canton, GA 30115