Daniel Kenaston Family

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Daniel and Christy Kenaston have been working among the Konkomba people in north-eastern Ghana since December 1999.  They currently have four children: Abigail (14 years), Nathaniel (12 years), Anna (8 years), and Ruth (5 years).  They were back in the United States in the spring of 2014 for a medical emergency during which their fifth child, Serenity, went home to be with Jesus.

Daniel currently focuses his ministry in three directions: Church planting and discipleship among the Konkomba tribe, Youth Discipleship and missions motivation through directing the Sent 1 youth teams, and long-term Missionary Training through directing the Sent 2 teams of aspiring missionaries.  Each of these can be a fulltime job, so managing them concurrently keeps Daniel very busy.

Church planting and discipleship: Over the 15 years that they have ministered in Ghana, Daniel and the men that he has discipled have had the privilege of preaching the gospel in about 60 villages.  In many of these villages it was the first time that the word of God had ever been shared.  Small groups of believers have emerged in about 45 of these villages.  These groups vary in size, from just a handful of believers in some villages, to the larger churches which may have 60 members.  About 35 of these village groups look to Daniel for discipleship and guidance.  Daniel is assisted in this work by about eight men who work with him to rotate among the villages for meetings, counseling and encouragement.  It is a delight to Daniel and his family to work with these men who they led to Christ in their early years of ministry.  Much of the day to day work of the church is done by these dedicated men, while Daniel focuses on further leadership training.

SENT I School: The SENT I teams began in 2007 and have continued every year through 2014.  These teams, usually comprised of 15-20 youth, come to Ghana for three months of missions exposure and youth discipleship.  Daniel has been the principal for six out of these eight years.  In addition to guiding the daily activities of the team, he also teaches 2-3 of the missions courses each year.  The entire family gets involved in team interaction, especially on the weekends, when they often go to the school to cook a special meal for the team.  Youth discipleship is Daniel and Christy’s passion, and they are thrilled for the opportunities given to them through the interaction with the SENT 1 teams!

SENT II School:  From 2004 to 2009 various missionary families hosted young people from the United States and Canada. These youth wished to experience missionary life for a longer period than the SENT I team allowed.  These young people, referred to as GES volunteers, came for one or two year terms and volunteered as English teachers in rural schools.  Out of the success of this program, coupled with a desire to equip young missionary candidates for long-term service, SENT II was born.  Under the SENT II program singles and young families can come to Ghana and experience missionary life for a two year period.  During this time, the candidates are coached and trained in various aspects of missionary life and service.  Daniel and Christy relocated to Tamale in 2009 to accept responsibility for this new program.  Since then, two groups of missionary trainees have gone through the school, with the current group due to end their term in March of 2015.  The Kenaston Family lives on the SENT II base in Tamale, and is very involved with every aspect of this program.  Daniel carries a heavy teaching load, while Christy overseas meal preparation for the team so that they can study, and the whole family tries to create a family atmosphere especially for the single youth who are part of the program.  Daniel and Christy love missionary life and are delighted with the opportunity to pass on some of what they’ve learned over their 15 years of missionary service.  The SENT II teams provide an excellent way for this to happen!

Family Life: The Kenaston children were born and have spent all of their lives on the mission field. Village life, with its unusual foods, bucket baths, and Konkomba friends is normal to them, and most of the time they love it all! Homeschooling poses some unique challenges as the family follows Daniel’s ministry, sometimes in the village and other times in Tamale. Studying when your hand is dripping sweat on your paper isn’t fun, but lots of neat experiences which could only happen in Africa balance the challenges. The highlight of the children’s lives is lots of interaction with village friends, as well as with the teams.

Current Plans:  The 2014 SENT I team finished out their time in Ghana just before Christmas. The months of January through April of 2015 are focused on finishing out a couple more courses with the SENT II team which completes their time in Ghana in late March, as well as spending as much time as possible in the village, doing discipleship and interacting with the village churches during this dry season. Several meetings are planned to aid in the discipling of the men who lead the village groups, ranging from many small meetings with just a handful of men, to other meetings which will have representatives from 25 village groups.

Furlough in 2015: Daniel and Christy are due for furlough in the spring of 2015 and are tentatively planning to be in the States from May through October. They plan to visit extended family, enjoy some relaxed family time, visit some educational sites and museums, as well as interact with as many of the SENT I and II alumni as is possible in their limited time stateside.