Imbumi and Martha Makuku are native Kenyans who came to know Christ as their Savior and Lord in their early teens. They met while working with World Vision in the slums of Nairobi, were married July 31, 1994 and have two boys, Elmer and Isaac, as well as legal custody of several other children.
At the urging of friends and mentors, Imbumi came to the United States under a full scholarship to attend Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida and received his Master of Divinity Degree in 1999.
He returned to Kenya and worked for Sudan Interior Mission in the slums training pastors, but he always felt his calling was to preach to the lost. In 2002, he began the Kibera Reformed Presbyterian Church (KRPC) in the poorest section of the Kibera slum, Silanga Village.
Since then, the Makuku’s ministry, under the Mamlaka Foundation, has expanded to include a school, feeding program, and health education outreach at the church, as well as the purchase of land outside the slum that includes a guest house, the Shunem Family Home, a ‘farmhouse,’ vegetable gardens, livestock, gristmill, and most recently, the Hope Community Church.
The ministry is not an easy one. Imbumi describes Kibera as “degrading, undignified, and having no privacy. It is the rape capital of Kenya. Sin is out there in its raw form. It is not hidden. It is all there right before your eyes. If God is not with you, you are a ‘sitting duck’ for Satan. The enemy will get you very, very quickly. Ministering in a slum as a pastor is not easy. It can be very lonesome. The opposition from the enemy is very, very fierce. It is Satan’s domain where he rules in all his power and where as you enter in, you feel very oppressed. Even after being in the slum for only a few hours, you come out feeling like you have been in a boxing ring. You come out very physically and spiritually drained. It is because Satan will not let his people, his captives go very easily. He will do everything possible to make sure that those people do not come to Jesus Christ, who is the Light of the world.”
Imbumi goes on to say, “It would be easy to give up, easy to say I’m tired of all this, I am ready for heaven. I have often become discouraged and wonder if it might be easier to just teach at a Bible school. As a young believer, I committed Hebrews 12:3 to memory and it has been a great encouragement to me during the hard times. ‘For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.’ And so, as we look back to what God has done, we are able to press on, to continue persevering in the work. We look at what He has done as tokens of His might, tokens of His presence, His pleasure in the work that we have been called to do.”
The Makuku Family