Saturday, December 4, 2021
I am sorry it took so long to post this blog. The internet would not cooperate and the power was consistently sketchy. The conference in Matete is over and I am presently in Lodwar to meet with the Lodwar Pastors Fellowship and then I travel to Kakuma to meet with the pastors there and in the refugee camp.
Our conference in Matete was the fourth annual conference there and we had over 70 pastors and church leaders attending. Many were returning attenders but we had many pastors who had heard of this but never attended. One of those who had been to previous conferences pulled me aside one day to let me know of his appreciation of the training he and the others were receiving. “I want you to know”, he said, “API is really making a difference in the churches in this county. Previously our preaching was out of ignorance because we really didn’t know the Bible. But now we are teaching the real truth of the word in our churches and our churches are being transformed.” I have to say, it was worth it to travel 10,000 miles to hear that!
During all of our breaks between sessions, you could hear the pastors rehashing and mulling over what they had just heard.
We had four full days of teaching by the API team and I have to say I am very proud of these guys! Four of our API associates joined me in teaching this week. The training they have received over the years is paying great dividends in their own churches and the churches in their counties, and in trainings like this. And more and more pastors and churches are being impacted by the truth of the gospel.
Conference Director Pastor Shadrack Mogesi
Pastor Fred Akello
Pastor Moses Biketi
Pastor Reuben Luvanga
We also had lively and very relevant question and answer sessions each day over the material that was presented. One of the goals of these sessions is to of course clarify what was said, but they also gave us great insights into the issues that the churches in Kenya are facing. I also had a lot of opportunities to have more in depth conversations with several pastors, many of whom I had not met before.
We finished the week with our pastor's forum where we had an opportunity to hear from the pastors what challenges they were facing in the ministry so that we could pray for them and so that we might better serve them where they are.
I want to thank Gary and Lesley Scherer as well for the eyeglasses they left behind to be handed out. Our logistics director, Frank Maina, found those pastors who were having problems reading and provided them with reading glasses. One of the pastors (middle below) actually cried when he put them on and Frank asked him why he was crying. He said, “It is because now I can actually read the word of God! I was really struggling to read and now I read perfectly.”
I want to give a shout out to the cooks who made the meals for those who attended! Everyone agreed that the food was excellent and there was always plenty to eat. Of course, any conference is graded at least in part on the food provided, so in that case, we were really successful!
I also want to give a shout out to Em Westmark and her sister, Elaine Haroldson, for their labor of love in making baby blankets for the Agape Care Net Center. There were two new moms in Matete that were blessed by their generosity!
Thank you for your prayers for this ministry and the pastors in Kenya.