The Church in Chyulu Emerald Hills

The Church in Chyulu Emerald Hills

News Release

The beautiful Makutano Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sits in the thickets of isolated Chyulu Hills. It was in Chyulu that some of the first pioneers of the Church met as the Kasue family produced the first two Kenyan missionaries and their older brother, Julius Kasue studied the gospel for four years before he joined the Church in 1986. He moved back to his village of Chyulu, a rural area southeast of Nairobi. Julius and Sabina Kasue became the nucleus of a little branch of the Church there.
 

 

Chuylu seemed a hallowed place for a leadership training to take place on June 30, 2018. With nine of the ten branches represented, the Public Affairs Council, CCPAC, re-iterated the principles of bringing the Church out of obscurity by serving the community with Mormon Helping Hands projects and missionary open houses that introduce the beliefs of the Church.

The Chyulu Hills area is nearly a five-hour drive from Nairobi, halfway to Mombasa Seaport. The roads have a reputation—being the worst of roads and the best of roads. The traffic can be horrendous, yet the newly tarmacked highway is one of the smoothest in Kenya. In the villages, transportation consists of motorbikes, bicycles, but mostly foot traffic.

Sunday, July 1, was a fast and testimony meeting at the Mbukoni Chapel and Branch President Francis Mbai presided, approximately 50 members were in attendance by the end of the meeting. Testimonies and prayers were given in Kikamba, Swahili, and English. The Spirit was strong in any language.  For sacrament, the priests broke crackers into tiny pieces, just as they did in the early days when a drought threatened starvation. Today loaves of bread are not readily available in the bush as chapati is the preferred bread. 

              


 

However, in those first meetings there was no meetinghouse—the members built and met in a small bowery constructed of branches and twigs interwoven, and a roof of palm fronds, constructed on Branch President Kasue’s land. This bowery was eventually replaced by a meetinghouse. Since there was no road to the village in that day, the members carried all the building materials on their backs up the hill, the last two kilometers to the building site. One of the four chapels in Chyulu is built in front of the old structure where members plant their shamba.

Recently the members, wearing their yellow vests, have participated in the community with rebuilding washouts, planting trees and cleaning market areas as well as the hospital. They know the benefit of working with the county government to provide trucks and they plan to do another Mormon Helping Hands event soon.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.