Ali and Keshule Edapal
Keshule and Ali have been married since 2000. Since then they have predominantly lived in Kenya. For the first few years of their life together, they served and trained in Youth With A Mission in mostly in Kenya but a few months in Uganda. They were part of a team beginning a YWAM location in Eldoret, Western Kenya. In January 2004, they moved to Turkana, North Western Kenya with their young family and extended family. Whist raising their children they became part of the local community and Keshule was able to begin planting rural churches. At that time, Ali was involved with workshops and training days to help develop some of the craft work that HIV effected youth were creating in projects supported by the Catholic Church. Both Ali and Keshule enjoyed preaching and teaching opportunities when invited to different churches. When they set up in Lodwar, they also took on responsibility for six of their nieces and nephews. Their home was a hub of activity, a constant flow of pastors and missionaries, friends and family passing through.
In 2010, they made the tough decision to move back to Eldoret so that their growing children would have greater educational opportunities. Ben and Chloë enrolled in Gulab Lochab Academy a school offering British exams (International GCSE). While Lydia enrolled in the Aga Khan Nursery school. They are currently all students at Gulab Lochab – Ben and Chloë enter their final year (year 11) in September 2019 as Lydia progresses to year 7.
Moving to Eldoret really changed the pattern of life for the Edapals. Whilst the ministry (Churches, literacy projects, community gardens, micro enterprise) in Turkana continued via commute Keshule was also able to further his education, and initially did a diploma in Transformational Christian Leadership and later obtained his degree in Bible and Theology. With Keshule traveling fairly frequently to Turkana Ali found ways to serve being in Eldoret things such as volunteering at Lydia’s nursery with the reading program, teaching bible stuff with women in the local prison, getting involved in the local hospice, helping other missionary mum’s with home-schooling. Life in Eldoret felt very different to the life of Lodwar. Easy access varieties of food, improved internet, electricity that is more reliable and water and a cooler totally different climate from the semi-arid North made Eldoret easy to get used to. However, the feeling that is Turkana home has never left Keshule, Ali or the children.
The churches in Turkana have grown over the years and the mentorship style of leading that Keshule initiated years ago has really been a blessing. There is a core of local Pastors and Leaders who now do much of the day-to-day organising and shepherding of the church community. Keshule goes roughly every other month to guide and participate in events such as baptisms, baby dedications and conferences. The seven churches reach out to their surrounding communities and were able to be part of the distribution of famine relief efforts earlier this year when Keshule and Ali coordinated in Kenya and overseas to raise money for the drought in Turkana.
Widford Parish has been involved in the life and work of Keshule and Ali since it began, in fact since before Ali even left to go to Kenya. Widford Parish, the leadership and the congregations have been constant in their prayerful and financial support of the lives of the Edapal family in Kenya for which they express thankfulness and gratitude.
“The power and presence of God in our lives has never been underestimated. We have felt him close to us in so many ways over the years. From keeping us safe when we have travelled on roads with bandits dispersed along them to the healing we have experienced through traumatic and devastating family events. From the feelings of disappointment when things have not gone as WE had planned or hoped to the total joy of having three wonderful children. From the delight in partnering with local first generation, believers to build the church in Turkana to the wonder that God chooses to keep on using us. From leaving the land and people we love in Turkana to move to Eldoret, the determination to always serve Our Lord in the capacity that He makes clear to us – is how we have felt God close. This is how we have felt part of the body of Christ over the last two decades. With underserved privileged and unmerited favour, we seek to follow God. We choose to believe the truth that He gave us a long time ago before we left to go to Turkana. From Isaiah 58 it says,
“The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.”
We have seen and will continue to see the faithfulness of God” – Keshule and Ali Edapal June 2019
Please see here to view a recent initiative to help those in their area that were starving as a result of food stortages.
Keshule (in black) baptising a new believer in the river
Pastor James preaching
Two groups of local Turkana people