Mwai John joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2001 May and got baptized in Jan 2002. He was actively involved in different departments of the Church, with the keen desire of winning souls for Christ. Yet in all the avenues for soul- winning provided, he loved the publishing ministries department most since it gave him the chance to present the gospel directly to people of all walks of life.
Pursuant to this he became a part-time Literature Evangelist in 2006, working on weekends and evenings by visiting people in their homes, which led him to regard the publishing work with a higher esteem seeing that it opened new ways for hearts to be impacted with the saving truth. He still felt that God was calling him to dedicate more of his time to Literature Ministry and so in 2007 he became a full- time colporteur.
"Serving as a youth LE was both fun and challenging. I worked for several months before finally responding to God's call to still come up higher and become a pastor. He joined the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton in September of the 2007 and joined the student Literature Evangelism club. Since then, I has worked as a student LE both in Kenya and abroad," says Mwai.
More recently he had an opportunity to canvass in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the big town of Lubumbashi in the months of August through December in 2013. It was such a blessing to him and fellow students from UEAB, Bugema and Arusha Adventist University. To begin with, he had never interacted with large groups of people, more so among the rich and influential, who had such a keen desire to hear the present truth for this time. In some instances he would knock offices, and after a brief introduction and canvassing, the senior most officer would canvass to his colleagues at work. Some would even request to be notified the moment new titles arrived.
Secondly, there were the pastors of other faiths who would purchase books for their congregations, and even extend invitations to preach to their church members and even sell books to them on Sundays. It was such an encounter with those whom the Lord is leading us to minister to in foreign lands, especially those not of our faith. The pastors would also ask him to pray for them, at times also invite him to visit with some of their church members to pray with them.
Thirdly, there were the numerous requests to supply Bibles to individuals and the clergy of other Christian faiths, especially study Bibles. John says "the best bit about selling to Christians within this region is that most of them are very honest, living up to the light they have received. They try to pay up on time and even introduce their friends and clergy to me so that I can meet their leaders to show them our books."
However, there were several challenges that he encountered while working at Lubumbashi. There was the language barrier: most people use French, Lingala and Bemba to communicate, and French mainly for business especially on prices, time and residential addresses. They expect one to quickly master day to day French clichés, which to some is challenging if you don't know how to calculate money or reckon time in French. There is disparity in wealth and income distribution, that some individuals are not able to meet the very basic needs such as quality education and housing. Whenever possible he would assist them to pay part of the price for some books.
The greatest challenge, however, was lack of variety of new books, since the last lot as we discovered, had been received in 2009. It was quite discouraging after all the challenges I went through to get to Lubumbashi only to find that the stock at the book depository were the very ones my would-be clients had purchased years before. We pray that God may bless the publishing department to enable them to order new diverse titles and study Bibles to ease the work of LE's.
Glory, praise and majesty belongs to our God and Christ forever, Amen.
Mwai John Kimotho, is currently a third
year student at the University of Eastern Africa,
Baraton, pursuing a BA in Theology.