Keneth, a Crossroads area coordinator in Kenya, leads a worship service inside a Kenyan women’s prison.
Nearly two decades ago, Keneth Wahinya Njau sat in a prison cell in Kenya, feeling hopelessly alone. At nineteen, he had destroyed his chance at an education by selling drugs on his college campus, and his family disowned him.
“Behind bars, nobody would come to visit me. Nobody would come and see me,” Keneth said. “Actually, one time, I tried to go and call my father, and my father said he didn’t have a son; he didn’t have a student that had gone to that college. He said they could do with me whatever they wanted because I wasn’t his son no more because he had disowned me completely.”
Keneth struggled to find a connection with any of the people incarcerated alongside him. Then, one day, a nearby church sent people to share the Gospel at his facility. The preacher passionately shared that there was hope for people even if they were behind bars. Seeds of hope and curiosity were planted in Keneth’s heart and mind that day.
“I began wanting to know, wanting to inquire about the things they were saying,” he told us. “I wanted to know about this Jesus and the hope He would give a person who was rejected by society, rejected by his parents, and rejected by his people.”
After Keneth finished his sentence, he found a church with a pastor who took Keneth under his wing and began mentoring him, explaining the answers to his many questions. The pastor was the only one at the church who knew about his past, and he showed great care and concern for Kenneth. The pastor’s love and support helped Keneth eventually make the decision to follow Christ.
After Keneth accepted Christ, his pastor continued to mentor him and invited him to return to prison and speak to the people there.
“That is how the passion to reach out to prisons came to be in my life,” he explained. “I’ve been doing this now for more than fifteen years. Going into prisons, preaching to the people, and encouraging them. . . . We know these are people that are loved by God, people that God cares for, people that God called to become a part of His Kingdom.”
Keneth became involved with Crossroads nine years ago when he was invited to serve as a Crossroads mentor. His involvement grew over the years, and he now serves as an area coordinator in Mombasa.
In his role as area coordinator, Keneth invites churches to live out God’s calling to care for those in prison and equips them to remember people impacted by the criminal justice system, just as Keneth’s pastor did for him.
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