Overcoming barriers through the Ephesians 2 Gospel Project

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The Ephesians 2 Gospel Project was born out of a realization that Ephesians 2:11–22, a text about the gospel of peace through cross-cultural unity in Christ, is widely ignored as part of the gospel.  

In our Western culture, the gospel is often viewed through an individualistic lens. With this perspective, much is missed about how we are to love and live amongst others. By limiting the gospel in this way, could it be that we are missing something of the glory of Christ which is found in our cultural diversity?  

On a recent visit to Kenya, we met with friends of Mission ONE—Drs. Gershon and Gladys Mwiti. They had become familiar with the Ephesians 2 Gospel Project. Dr. Gershon wanted to share it in Kenya’s network of Christian leaders. “We need this for Kenya,” he said. The General Election on August 9th was approaching. There were widespread fears of tribal violence. Many Kenyans remember the 2007 election, when 1,100 people were killed and 600,000 were displaced.  

In Mission ONE’s conversations with Kenyan leaders over the past year, we discovered that everyone, including pastors, had a high awareness of tribal conflict, yet pastors rarely preach on tribal conflict in the church. Most pastors have not been taught that Ephesians 2:13–17 addresses the conflict between Jews and Gentiles; they do not know this text can be used for tribal reconciliation in the church. 

As Kenya’s presidential election was approaching in 2022, uncertainty and anxiety grew within the community. Gershon and Gladys believed this was the perfect time to share the Ephesians 2 Gospel Project with denominational leaders. They had two goals surrounding the election: 1) Distribute a series of sermon outlines we created in the Ephesians 2 Gospel Project—to counter tribal violence, and 2) call the Kenyan church to pray for peace. 

Six days after the election, on August 15th, Dr. Gershon joyfully wrote to us that the Kenyan election had taken place and that it was largely peaceful: A new president—William Ruto—had received a majority of the vote. Dr. Gershon wrote: 

The President Elect [William Ruto] responded to the announcement by thanking God, the clergy, and Christian prayers in general. He is a man of God and before addressing the Audience present and live broadcast in Radio and TV, the ArchBishop of the Anglican Church in Kenya offered a prayer all believers felt was from God Himself. 

As I said in my earlier emails, Kenya has never experienced intense prayers in all our past elections like this. I am happy to be part of these mighty prayers offered for our leadership in Kenya.     

All this was possible due to Your Prayer Support and the Eph. 2 Gospel materials given to us by Kristin and Werner of Mission 1 Ministry. We thank you for the materials and the manner in which they were received and used for preaching and prayers. Very good notes for expository preaching. 

Dr. Gershon had visited denominational leaders one by one and shared a series of sermon outlines with them based on the Ephesians 2 Gospel Project. These sermon outlines—created by Werner Mischke, Mission ONE Vice President and Kristin Caynor, resources developer for the Global Church—were used by pastors in many churches in Kenya. The intent? To encourage believers that peace with God and peace between tribes can be found in the gospel and the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.  

Though only God can know the depth of the impact this series had on the leaders and their churches, we are honored to be a part of the work of sharing the gospel of peace with these communities.  

After the election, when much hostility was anticipated, the country was met with more peace than they have experienced in years past. Several of our Mission ONE local partners in Kenya said they saw a difference; this election was peaceful in comparison to the vast amount of tribal conflict and division that they faced during previous elections.   

We know some of this is due to the improvements the country of Kenya has made on their electoral process, but as followers of Christ, we also know that the focus teaching on the gospel of peace and on praying for peace—in churches all over Kenya—also made an impact.  

It is our vision to see the body of Christ living in peace amongst each other through the power of the gospel. We are hopeful that God will continue to use the Ephesians 2 Gospel Project to transform communities to look more like the Kingdom of God.

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