In 2012 we formed a partnership with Mariakani Baptist Church in Kenya...

On 27 June 2013 a team of 25 members of St Mark's set out to visit our friends at Mariakani. And then we climbed Mt Kilimanjaro and raised over £50,000 for Compassion! It was so good that we did it all again in 2017! Click here for more information on that trip.

Mariakani Baptist Church

Mariakani Baptist Church is located in Duruma, 38km northwest of Mombasa, Kenya. The community of Duruma is home to approximately 45,000 people; most adults are unemployed but some work as labourers and earn the equivalent of £16 per month. The community faces an unemployment rate of 70% and they are in need of further income opportunities. Typical houses are constructed of dirt floors, adobe walls and grass or thatch roofs. The primary ethnic group living in Duruma is Duruma and the languages they speak most commonly are Swahili and Kiduruma.

Mariakani Baptist Church, led by Pastor William and Esther Vivide, ensures that vulnerable children in their community receive food and nutritional advice, clothing, medical and dental check-ups, educational opportunities and social and emotional care. Most importantly, the children also get an opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel. As two churches in partnership, our aim is to change the world for these children.

Compassion aids this by:

  • Providing information, support and resources to help us connect with issues of poverty and experience God’s heart for the poor.

  • Helping to arrange trips for us to visit the projects we support.

  • Helping to arrange visits for individual sponsors to meet their sponsored children.

In June 2018 Pastor William shared, “I have been amazed at seeing children who enrolled at the age of 3 years (currently 6 year olds) confidently recite memory verses, sing and even lead their morning devotion. My greatest highlight was most recently during a group sponsor visit at our project to see children praise and worship God with little help from their teachers. I was greatly touched to see our program has had great impact on their spiritual lives”.
Prayer requests for Mariakani:

  • For the project children to have a good education, train in skills that will enable them to be self-reliant individuals and grow spiritually to be a blessing and role models in society.

  • For children’s caregivers and their families to grow spiritually and their lives be changed for the better through the programme.

  • That we, as St Mark’s community, will be transformed as we draw close to children and their families and experience God’s power in new ways.  

In 2017 we formed our second partnership in Kenya 

St Mary’s, Mata is an Anglican church in the diocese of Taita Taveta in Southern Kenya near the border with Tanzania. Mombasa is the closest major city. The church is led by Rev Jefferson Mwavula. St Mary’s is currently ministering to 246 children through the sponsorship programme with Compassion. 63 of them are sponsored by the members at St Mark’s. Whilst St Mary’s was founded many years ago, the partnership with Compassion has only been in place since the end of 2016. Mata is a poor, rural community of 20,000 people whose primary livelihoods are animal herding, subsistence farming or casual labouring. In recent years drought has been a significant problem for the community. Other challenges include:

  • Maasai cultural practices (FGM and early marriage).

  • A high unemployment rate.

  • Poor road network.

  • Water shortages leading to a lack of clean drinking water.

  • Witchcraft and dependency on witch doctors.

  • Drunkenness amongst male caregivers. 

There is only one public school for the whole community and few health facilities that are not easily accessible due to expensive transport means. Many people suffer from malaria and jigger infestation (a terrible condition exacerbated by the dusty conditions).
Compassion staff have shown the identity of Christ, love to the community and their conduct is exemplary. Their service and giving out their lives to the service of children, caregivers and the community is admirable. Volunteers have come and are giving their time and energy to support the project in different capacities.
Prayer requests for St Mary’s:

  • The challenges listed above.

  • For the community to understand the church (as people share different religious backgrounds).

  • “That we will fully carry out the mandate accorded to us in the Will of Almighty God to effectively serve these little ones.” 

If you would like to sponsor a child in Mariakani or Mata please email

Charlie Thomson