About 70 pastors and leaders showed up yesterday for the first day of the Nairobi KS 2 day conference. They hail from 6 or 7 neighboring counties; one person coming from 650 miles away, one bishop came from Rwanda. Several students at our host college also came from Sudan and Uganda. It cannot be easily overstated: it’s very special in Africa to have pastors from different denominations and regions meet together in one place, share their stories and their struggles, laugh and eat together. They are normally “tribal” and isolated.
The flow and impact of the first day mirrored the first conference; God is moving and laid the foundation yesterday for a great 2nd day today. Here is a super fun story…
Some of you may know that KS hosted two Anglican bishops from southern Sudan to be transported and housed here in Nairobi for the conference. It’s a long way and finances for them are as you can imagine, tight.
Last night I had dinner with the two bishops and their spouses. What a delight, what men of passion and commitment who have suffered under Islamic persecution and persevered in their calling. And what eagerness they had to discuss the possibilities of making KS resources available to train young pastors in their two southern Sudan counties in the years ahead. The church has grown and practices evangelism diligently. Discipleship is another matter. The condition of the church is weak, and many members remain immature in their faith and lifestyle. This is not surprising when you also consider many of their pastors are young men without even a full high school education. And both bishops are convinced that the foundation for maturity includes a deep heart familiarity with God’s word. And they love the KS approach; they love story!
What also came out during dinner is that there are three counties that cover all of Southern Sudan for the Anglican Church, and each of these counties also has an ecumenical church group that brings together all the area pastors and denominations in the area for collaboration. The Anglican bishops are excited down the road to use their influence to share the KS resources with these pastors as well. They imagine our work with them going viral in south Sudan.
So what the third county’s bishop? He wasn’t invited to the conference, or present yesterday. But at dinner I added a little miracle to our collection: Peter, the bishop of the third county had phoned them. He was “just happening” to come into Nairobi tonight from Sudan to do an interview to get an out of country visa. Yes, he could join us for the 2ndday of the conference! Moses and Abraham want us to all have lunch together to finalize the follow up plans for each of the bishops in their three countries for the year ahead! They are asking me to consider dong a training conference in each of the three counties of south Sudan in the year ahead.
Be encouraged. God is on the move, and went ahead of me here. Thanks for your prayers and support…and know that the fields are white for the harvest, the pastors eager in this country. Our work to this point has prepared us well to be and serve here.
To God be the glory!
Post a Comment