In 2004 a German lady called Julianna Rotmann came to Kenya where she experienced a life-changing worship experience through Kenyan music. She then shared her experience and desire to see such worship rise in her home country with Collins Labatt who was then a youth pastor in African Gospel Church in Kitale Kenya. After a series of conversations and prayer, Collins approached Mamlaka Hill Chapel to see if MHC could embrace a vision for missions in Europe. The excitement and gratitude for answered prayers was mutual and palpable. The first Musical worship tour by Kenyan musicians to Germany was organized. At that point Kenya Music Project was birthed. Or as the Germans say it, ‘Kenia Musik Projekt’!
KENYA MUSIC PROJECT
This is an exchange program between Germans and Kenyans in spreading the word of God through music. The first tour which was dabbed “Returning the Truth” happened in 2005. A group of seven Kenyans went to Berlin,Germany for four weeks. It was an opportunity for Kenyan youth to take the Word of God to the Germans who first brought the gospel to Kenya! We saw a beautiful partnership begin to form when fifteen German youth came on board to help with planning and logistics. The regions covered were Saxony Province and the church district of Fuerstanwalde Strausberg.
During this tour Dorothy, one of the Kenyan young missionaries was diagnosed with a growth in her liver that was cancerous. She sadly passed away after the tour. In honor of her dedication to the work of God, the Kenya Music Project in conjunction with the Africa Gospel Church initiated the Dorothy Kindergarten in Kitale which the church runs in partnership with the Germans.
In 2006 a team of seventeen German youth came to Kenya for a musical tour. They served together with 23 Kenyan musicians under the leadership of Collins Labatt, Edward Bulemi and Pastor Frank Koine all staff of Mamlaka Hill Chapel. The partnership blossomed with German youth visiting Kenya once every three years and Kenyan youth going to Germany twice every three years. This project has seen many young people come to Christ and many youth church groups become vibrant for the gospel.
MINISTRY OF THE LABBATTS
Mamlaka Hill Chapel finally formalized its partnership with the Gruenheide State Church. In 2010 Collins was sent to work as a youth Pastor with the State Church, a role he has played very well. Currently he is in charge of three church districts: Gruenheide, Strausberg and Fuerstenwalde. He has an office in the church District at Fuerstenwalde. He also facilitates a conference called KONFI Camp where youth leaders get equipped to disciple and take leadership in the church.
Collins Labatt and his wife Jean reside and work in in Gruenheide. Jean takes care of their son Emleel and daughter Soti as she studies German. She is a very good dancer and choreographer a gift she uses for outreach to women and also in the KP music tours.
In 2013, Rev Steve Maina, the new General Secretary of the Church Mission Society in New Zealand made a call for a team from Kenya to go to New Zealand for a 1 month mission dubbed “Hope for Dunedin.” The mission was to stir up the church in New Zealand. In March 2014, a team of 6 couples went for the 3-week long mission to New Zealand where they passionately shared the word of God in different towns in New Zealand. This was followed up by another 3-week mission in October by a different team of 9.
From these short missions, it became clear that there was need for long- term missionaries to New Zealand. As a response to this need, Pst Joseph and Alice Kinyua relocated to New Zealand in 2016 with their daughter, Kara to serve as pastors at the Ingestre Street Bible Church (ISBC) in Whanganui.
MINISTRY OF THE KINYUAS
Joseph and Alice Kinyua relocated with the daughter Kara to New Zealand in May 2016. They both serve as pastors at ISBC. Kinyua serves as the Lead Pastor while Alice serves with the Children’s ministry.
MINISTRY OF THE AMBUNDOS
Mark and Jennifer Ambundo relocated to New Zealand as missionaries soon after the Kinyuas. Mark currently serves as the Evangelism Pastor at Hope Presbyterian in Christchurch. They relocated in September 2016.
In 2016, God gave Mamlaka Hill Chapel a new frontier in response to a Macedonian call sent through Pst. Ken Stravens of Royal York Baptist Church in Toronto, Canada. This church, set in the midst of a post-modern society, had witnessed its congregation decrease in number from about 1,500 members to only 12 members.
As a response to this Macedonian call, Mamlaka Hill Chapel sent a group of 11 congregants for a short term mission to Toronto. The mission was a success in that the church was refreshed with the Gospel. Today Pastor Ken Stravens continues to share God’s Word in Toronto together with his wife Emily and their 2 daughters.