Over 40 years ago, on a hot day in July, we entered the prisons. The prisons in Kenya were terrible, the heat and the smells were indescribable. We had been invited to visit the inmates in a prison with departments for both men and women. Being inside the big enclosures with a concrete floor and surrounded by concrete walls was absolutely terrible. The scorching sun under the equator was quite intolerable. The sun is high in the sky all day and the temperatures rise to 40-50 centigrade with no movement in the air.
In the middle of this misery we saw women and children. The small children were holding on to their mothers’ garments, but there were also children who were all on their own. We soon noticed that the women had different coloured garments. Some were pink, some were grey and some were black. We asked what these colours signified and were told that the pink ones were short term prisoners, the grey ones were long term prisoners and the black ones were prisoners on death row. When the death sentence was executed, the children were left inside the prison till they were seven years old and then just left outside the gate. Usually there were no family members or relatives coming to pick them up and they ended up in the streets and on the rubbish dumps in order to survive.
We were unable to watch this and realised that we had to do something. This is how New Life Mission was born.
The first orphanage was built in cooperation with the missionaries Aila and Bengt Sundh from Sweden. This was the start of a great work which would save thousands of lives in Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin-America.
40 years of miracles
It has been a fantastic journey. During these 40 years we have witnessed miracle after miracle and we are extremely grateful to each and every one who has been a part of making this happen. Together with all the volunteers, staff and partners over the years New Life has been an answer to prayer for tens of thousands of people in need.
Together we have brought thousands of tons of aid shipments and built and supported orphanages, hospitals and institutions in Eastern Europe; Poland, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine, in Latin America; Brazil, Haiti and Guatemala, and also in Africa; Kenya, Congo, Uganda and Tanzania. All of the work has been done in close cooperation with the local population and local churches, as it still is today.
New Life Mission – Aid does not only give food, clothing and education, but we give the most important thing of all: we give people Jesus. This transforms lives and sets people free from poverty and misery.
We have a lot of fantastic testimonies showing that it works. We have provided education for hundreds of young people who now work as doctors, nurses, teachers, policemen, pilots and engineers. These were children without any prospects in life, but who, through our help, have been given a new life and a hope for the future.
Most of the work in Eastern Europe and in Latin America is now handed over to local people and most of our work is now focussed on Africa, especially Kenya.
We work closely with local churches and have four main collaborators who we support:
Mama Winnie and Silas Owiti
Voice Of Salvation And Healing Church was founded by Silas Owiti (who died in 2018) and represents approx. 2.000 churches in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The work is now headed by Silas Owiti’s widow, Archbishop Winnie Owiti. She is also mama Winnie top manager of Ebenezer New Life Centre, which we have supported since the start in 1990.
This program has now a big orphanage with several hundred children, a centre for street boys, a program for widows, pre-schools, primary schools and a secondary school. Under the same «umbrella» we also have Ayweyo pre-school and primary school with several hundred children. All in all the Ebenezer-project cares for more than 1000 children in addition to teachers and other staff.
Turphosa and James Ayuko
Turphosa and James have been engaged in New Life Mission since the beginning of the 1980s. They were youth pastors in the Jerico church in the Nairobi slum and later teachers at the bible school which we built in Thaita Hills. Here we also built a church and completed big water projects. We also built a church and a pre-school in the little village of Paranga.
The organization Conquerors Covenant Saints Church was founded by James and Turphosa Ayuko in the Kariobangi slum outside of Nairobi. They are still the leaders here, and also the leaders for several other churches in Kenya.
Today we are running Gunnhild’s pre-school in cooperation with this church. We also support their work among poor families in the area. In addition, we run a pre-school and a primary school in the mountain village of Kitui together, and a pre-school, a primary school and a small medical facility in the village of Maseno.
Gold in The Slums, Diamonds in The Dust! This is one of the latest programs we have started, and it is run in close cooperation with Heidi Ayuko, the daughter of James and Turphosa. This work takes care of girls from poor families in the slum. The girls have dropped out of school for economic or other reasons. Through this program we save the girls from poverty and a life on the street which, for many, otherwise is their only way of survival. We have seen fantastic results and girls who had no opportunities have now been given schooling and education! This program has a huge potential and is something we really want to expand. We envisage a girl centre which, in addition to being a safe home, may be a place where they can learn various trades.
In total there are approx. 2.500 children receiving food, clothes and schooling every day through the programs which New Life Mission - Aid supports and runs in Kenya today. In addition, we employ approx. 200 teachers and workers who are engaged and take care of the children, the buildings and the agriculture.
Shireen and Roger West
Since we started in 1978 we have been involved in evangelization, meetings and outreaches headed by the slogan «The Gospel to All Nations». We have actively supported the building of several churches, distribution of hundreds of bicycles to native evangelists and been engaged in prison missions and rehabilitation centres for ex-cons.
We have had a number of missionaries sent out from Norway, especially during those early years. Liv and Kjell Haugen were deeply involved in the building of the water project and the bible school in Thaita Hills. Heidi and James Curwen, Dudley Fairbarn, in addition to many more, were sent out by us for longer or shorter periods of time. Hilde and Erik Bedsvaag were engaged in the mission for quite a long time, taking special responsibility for evangelisation projects, outreaches and radio work. We also had big outreaches using our own equipment.
More than 25 years ago we started a co-operation with the evangelists Shireen and Roger West. They took over all of our equipment, amongst others several cars, mobile platforms and light- and sound equipment to continue this great evangelization work. During all these years we have also supported them with a fixed amount every month. In addition to outreaches in Kenya, Shireen and Roger have expanded the work to Congo and other African countries and we have seen fantastic results. Through their efforts thousands of people have received help and a new life!
The home front
In addition to administration, follow up of donors, planning and holding mission meetings, events and outreaches, New Life has, for several years, had radio- and TV programs. We were also, for a period of time, registered as New Life church in Oslo.
New Life has held events and arrangements in several places around the country, with preaching and mission meetings. On these occasions we also collected offerings for the mission and were able to build a network of mission partners.