It is few minutes past noon on a sunny Wednesday.
A team from Lake Region Bulletin arrives at the headquarters of African Israel Nineve Church in Jebrok, Vihiga County.
Reverend Jirus Kilio, the Bishop of the Cathedral is in toe to welcome us.
A few minutes later, two more men join in, and are introduced as a Pastor and a Church Elder.
“These are the people who are well conversant with the mission that brings you here,” says Bishop Kilio.
We had visited the Cathedral to find out the story of the ‘Sinai Rock’, a prayer point where the tears of the church believers are wiped dry, and their spiritual queries answered.
Once we are done with the preliminary briefings, we are led into a room.
“This is always the first stop point for everyone who wants to visit Sinai,” says Kilio.
Special prayer room
According to Bishop Kilio, this room which sits on a space of about 10 feed square was used by the church founder, Paul David Kibuyi for special prayers.
He says before going to Sinai, which is about one kilometer from this point, the individuals would have to stay in the room, praying and fasting for three days.
On the third day, they would leave at dawn, and walk the one kilometer journey up the hill.
“The reason for traveling at that time was to avoid meeting people which would cause distraction and messing up with the spirits,” said Pastor Enos Mboya who heads Education Department at the cathedral.
After prayers, we set out for the short but energy draining journey.
About 30 minutes later, we arrive at the hill at the heart of Givavei village.
The area is surrounded by members of the Tiriki, Maragoli and Terik sub tribes of the Luyha.
We begin the climbing of the steep hill, and a few minutes later, we get to the first point of the hill.
“This is where people get off their shoes, and have initial prayers,” said Semeon Mboya, one of the church elders.
Bishop Kilio then offers the prayer, whose content include seeking for forgiveness for having accessed the place without the going through the usual process of fasting for three days, and offering special prayers.
The Bishop says this the farthest the common church goers can reach. Only those with special calling are allowed to go past this.
But as journalists, we are allowed; remember, the Bishop has sought for forgiveness on our behalf, for any wrongdoing we are involved in, in the process of accessing the hill.
We then proceed to the next stage, about 50 metres up the hill.
“This is where middle level leaders of the church can reach,” explains Pastor Mboya.
Another prayer is offered here before we proceed to the last stage.
“This is the final stage, and this is where the senior most church leaders reach,” adds Pastor Mboya.
It is a huge rock, with some space under it. To the African Israel Nineve church believers, this is synonymous to Mount Sinai where Moses of the Bible was shown vision.
“Just like Moses was told to get off his shoes, we consider this place a holly place, and that is why we get off our shoes,” said Bishop Kilio.
According to Elder Mboya, this hill was once forested.
Discovery of the hill
He says towards the end of 1940s, the church founder got a vision to visit the place, and God showed him some vision.
He then approached the owner of the land parcel where the hill sits, who accepted to hand it over to the church for prayers.
Elder Mboya says since then, numerous miracles have been performed at the site, including healing of stubborn illnesses, telling of visions, and repentance.
“When there is prolonged drought, our church leaders would get a vision to go for prayers, and then it would rain,” said Bishop Kilio.
The Bishop’s father, he says, got a vision of his death from here decades ago.
“He had come for prayers, then the voice of the Lord came upon him, and told him that this would be his last visit to the sit. He died two weeks later without any illness,” said Kilio.
He has a list of several people from within and outside Givavei who have healed after prayers at the hill.
At the end of our stay at the hill, we take another walk back to the cathedral, to the same house where it all begun, for final prayers.
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