Jay and I arrived back in Nairobi yesterday from Lodwar, going from 100 degrees to a more comfortable 75! I asked Jay to give you all an account of what has been happening with our Biblical Counseling program so this is his report.
The API team obtained two important milestones Saturday.
The first was to meet with the pastoral leadership council in Kakuma and set up our first pastor’s training conference inside the borders of the Kakuma refugee camp this coming August. While many pastors in the camp barely have enough money to eat, they persevere in giving the hope of the gospel to refugees from wars and uprisings in the Congo, Uganda, Burundi, South Sudan, Sudan and Samalia. Now the API team will be coming to them. For those that would like to contribute to this conference in Kakuma, please click here.
The second milestone was launching a second Biblical Counseling team in northern Kenya for the express purpose of doing on-site pastoral training for the next year in the Kakuma camp. This team will be led by Boniface Lokuruka (1st picture below) and George Lokwawi (second picture below), API associates in Lodwar. These men have been used by the Lord to plant tens of churches throughout the Turkana area and Boniface currently is the bishop over four churches in Kakuma camp and town. Once we have sufficient funds ( click the link here to contribute ), Boniface and George will start monthly trainings to help pastors disciple and counsel not only people in the church, but also as a ministry to the larger Kakuma camp. The training will include crisis counseling areas like how to counsel those in distress and depression, but also peacemaking ( a key issue since all these refugees were displaced by faction fighting ) troubled marriages, anxiety, or those in fear for their future. After two years of counseling training and meetings with Kakuma camp officials and the local churches in Kakuma, API’s biblical counseling team is now crossing over into in-camp pastoral counselor training.
Here is an update on API’s first biblical counseling team led by Reuben Luvanga and Moses Biketi. They started in-person training six months ago in Matete and Majengo. They have 20 pastors in each of those areas that have completed the first of the three training modules. This training has caught the attention of some pastors outside of Matete. Moses has been invited to start training approximately 80 pastors in Checkalini. The training will include biblical theology along with biblical counseling as we are currently doing in Matete. The local team is designed to augment the conference training with on-going in person training and this is proving to be exceptionally popular with the pastors who want to increase their skills as a pastor.
This team was also our first team to introduce biblical counseling and biblical theology training for pastors in refugee camps when they taught pastors in the Kyaka II and Nakivale camps in Uganda in November 2021. The pastors have been eagerly awaiting an API team conference inside the refugee camps with almost daily calls to our team. We have been working to this end and please join us in praying that we can finally accomplish this goal.
As the world went on lock down and resorted to Zoom calls to stay connected, API capitalized on this resource to increase training between conferences. Mike and Jay each introduced weekly on-line Zoom teaching in 2021. On May 24, we will be expanding our reach into Nairobi with the launch of biblical counseling training by Zoom in Karura Community Chapel, an extremely large church with a focus on being a center for pastoral training for their church and also for the local pastors in Nairobi. They just completed a four-story building for the Sunday School and are next looking to create a counseling center for their church and the community and we will be training a core group of their pastors and leaders over the next year to kick-start this effort. This church is just a couple kilometers from our hotel in Nairobi, so we now have the possibility of adding new conference training every time our team comes into Kenya with no additional logistics or cost. This work was initiated by John Kamau, API’s Media Director, who is a member of this church and set up meetings for us last year to explore this new partnership.
We want to thank all of you who have prayed and supported us as we have ministered in Kenya this spring. God is opening more and more doors to train and equip more and more pastors and church leaders, and we are running to keep up! Jay and I head back to the States tomorrow evening; Jay to California and me to Washington. We than God for our outstanding Kenyan team this year as we head back! These guys really worked hard and made things happen.
Left to right back row: Jay McBee, Edward Amase, Frank Maina, me, Moses Biketi.
Middle row: John Kamau, Shadrack Murimi, Reuben Luvanga
Front: Benson Ntuntai