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Turkana water projects handed over to Kenyan team’s supervision

Gene and Melba Morden arrived in the Turkana desert in 1995, called by God to a challenging ministry in a difficult place. Nearly 25 years later, the couple recently had the satisfying experience of hearing many of the people they served express the amazing impact the Mordens had on their families and communities.

Seeing the need

After arriving in Turkana, Kenya, Gene and Melba and their family began to learn the local language and share the gospel with their neighbors, but they soon became troubled by the other needs they witnessed.

“They saw the people’s incredible need for clean water and access to nutrient-rich food,” said Eric Pitts, a current CMF missionary teammate. “So, over the years, God used the Mordens’ willingness to serve to help drill more than 350 wells and start 85 irrigated farms, providing food security for approximately 17,000 Turkana.”

In appreciation

The Mordens’ impact was celebrated at a ceremony in Lodwar, Kenya, this summer. Stories were told, tears were shed, and people laughed and praised God as church leaders, local pastors, CMF teammates and friends shared what they had seen God do through the Mordens and their ministry.

Gene, Melba, Morden, Turkana, Kenya, water, irrigation, farming
Melba and Gene Morden, at right, officially handed over the Turkana Clean Water Project to Kenyan Eric Lorupoe, left, at a celebration service in Turkana, Kenya, this summer. Also attending was CMF’s Director of Church Catalyst Ministries, David Giles, second from left.

“Many Kenyans shared how the wells and farms had transformed their communities and how their children were able to go to school with the Mordens’ help,” said Eric. “Others gave thanks for their coming to Kenya and sharing the truths of Jesus with them through Bible studies and helping them read and understand the Bible for themselves.

“Near the end of the service, Gene shared how God moved in his life to call him to Turkana and how faithful God has been to him,” added Eric.

Passing the torch

Because a significant part of their ministry has been focused on empowering the people they’ve worked with over the years, this ceremony not only celebrated the Mordens’ faithfulness, but was also the day that the Turkana Clean Water Project was officially handed over to local Turkana leadership.

“Gene announced to the whole crowd that Eric Lorupoe, who has worked with him and other missionaries since his youth, and who has faithfully administrated the water project under Gene for years, would be taking over the project with his team,” said Eric Pitts.

Thank you, Gene and Melba

David Giles, Director of Church Catalyst Ministries for CMF, has a long association with the Mordens and was able to attend their retirement ceremony.

“A few words cannot begin to express my appreciation for the Morden family. Gene and Melba responded to God’s call to serve in Turkana, and as a result, Turkana will never be the same. Their passion to make disciples and equip the church was evident in every aspect of their life and ministry. The Lord gave them a burden that equipping the church was more than teaching God’s Word, as many did not have clean water or sufficient food. This led them to developing a water ministry that has grown to transform the lives and landscape of Turkana.

“While the Mordens are making a transition, they will still be actively involved in the work, promoting the water ministry, raising funds, maintaining relationships with key partners and providing technical expertise.”

You can help provide clean water wells and irrigated farms for Turkana with your gifts to this fund.