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Lack of tithes pushes Thika Pastor into Covid-19 innovations for survival

Rev. Raphael Ndung’u Kamau of the Faith Impact Outreach Church in Gatundu North (left) at his workshop in Thika town where he assembles handwashing units that he sells to survive during the corona period. Photo by KNA.

As  the effects of Covid-19 continue to bite, a pastor in Gatundu has tapped into the coronavirus innovations for survival following the lockdown of churches by the government.

Rev. Raphael Ndung’u Kamau of the Faith Impact Outreach Church in Gatundu North has invented a unique hand-washing machine that he sells to locals. The machine uses foot pedals to press both the liquid soap and the clean water instead of using bare hands.

He learnt the technology from local eateries where clients wash hands without having to open water taps with their hands. In his workshop in Thika town, he has 15 employees who help him in the venture.

Rev. Ndung’u makes about five units each day as per orders, using the 100-litres water containers which he welds with metal rods and plastics to make a complete unit.

He says the materials for assembling the units were locally available and that he supplies his products locally.

He says since the hand washing units were durable, they could be used in the post corona period in eateries and public places.

“I developed this venture after seeing the demand of the products being high. It was an eye opener and also a life changing opportunity that I tapped into and will continue with it even post covid-19 period,” he said.

The Reverend says before coming up with the innovations, the pandemic had hit him so hard that earning money for survival was almost impossible.

“Since the closure of churches almost two months ago, I have never received any tithe or offering through M-pesa from my followers as it was before. As a result, God has given me a new idea of survival instead of depending on the tithes,” said the man of God.

He wondered why the faithful had all off a sudden deserted the people who they have believed in all that while at their time of need, saying most of his colleagues who depended on the church collections every Sunday were facing hard times and suffering silently.

He said the innovation would take him through the hard period as clergymen waited for the government to reopen the places of worship so that their livelihoods may resume.

He also challenged his fellow Pastors not to be a burden to the congregants, but rather look for ways they could tap to make a living.

“This covid-19 period has taught us to have several opportunities that we can tap into to generate income. Our overreliance on offerings and tithes have been our undoing and has led to the suffering that some of us are in,” he said.

He called on the government to consider reopening churches like it did to restaurants, saying they would adhere to Health Ministry’s guidelines as required.

“We shall adhere to government’s directives of hand washing, wearing masks and keeping social distance when conducting our services to keep covid-19 at bay,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by faithful of other churches who said most new converts were slowly backsliding and going back to their sinful nature due to the freedom of not attending church.

By  Muoki  Charles

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