It is Friday evening and I am still in Lodwar after returning from Kakuma. We held a three-day conference in Kakuma starting Monday this week and finished on Wednesday. We were hosted again this year by the Solid Rock Fellowship Church led by Pastor Benjamin. We returned to Lodwar Wednesday night and then Rob and Tim flew back to Nairobi Thursday morning, along with Pastors Shadrack and Reuben who flew to Eldoret.
We had 102 pastors in attendance for these three days, with 46 of them from Kakuma Refugee Camp. Since transporation was an issue for them, we provided transport to get them to the conference.
Pastor Jared from Life Challenge in Nairobi came with us to Kakuma to do some training on Monday on reaching Muslims with the gospel. We want to give a big thanks to Jared and the Life Challenge team for partnering with us to equip these pastors and church leaders in Turkana.
Both Tim and I took the sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. You really can't see it in these pictures, but this church was pretty much a giant oven by 11 am, and by the end of the day, we could literally wring our clothes out! Tim was instantly recognized even though this was his first time in Kakuma. At our last conference, I showed several of his teaching videos he sent as he couldn't be there, and he was warmly welcomed when he walked in. He's kind of a rock star in Turkana!
Pastor Reuben not only translated for me, but ran the media with Rob. Rob came down with the same bug that got Tim on this trip, but he had done such a great job training John and Reuben that we allowed Rob some well-deserved rest this conference. By the second day however, he was feeling will enough to get back in the saddle.
Shadrack did an incredible job as our Conference Director, here and in Lodwar and we are fortunate to have him on our team.
All the pastors and church leaders were very appreciative of the foundation teaching they were receiving, and most of them had never had this kind of teaching at all. "API is really helping, not only our pastors, but our churches to grow" one pastor told me between sessions. "This training is so helpful to us to understand the Bible".
Both Boniface and George came with us as part of our team to help in the conference. I can't say enough about what these guys contribute the ministry of API in Turkana.
We ended our time by handing out food and cooking oil for each participant, along with two very helpful resources for Bible study for these pastors.
We hadn't told them we were going to be giving out food, and you should have seen the smiles break out when we brought in the food and oil.
Most of these pastors, especially from the camps and the bush, are having a very difficult time feeding their families and wanted me to express their deep gratitude to their brothers and sisters in the U.S. who remembered them.
A very great thank you to all of you who contributed to our Famine Relief this year.
Thank you too to those of you who have been faithful to pray for us. Please continue to pray as we are not yet through. Although Rob and Tim were scheduled to fly out tonight, Rob called and his flight has been delayed till Sunday. I believe Tim's flight is still leaving tonight.