first graduation! (CCBTI – Kajiado)

Sometimes you plant carrots.  In two to four months, you get a harvest.  Sometimes you plant avocado trees.  Tend it diligently, and you’ll start to get repeated harvests each year — but not right away.  There will be a few years with nothing to show for your labors.  But slow, steady growth will be occurring nonetheless.

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Ministry & discipleship is often more like growing trees than growing carrots.  Results don’t always come overnight.  Patience is required.  Some of you may remember that we returned from our first home assignment for our second term in 2010 to discover that the Maasai Discipleship Training School had not had any sessions while we in the States.  It had a five year drought before we were able to help Francis Yenko and the CCC relaunch it in 2014 at a new campus, during our third term.  Then in 2016 the newly rechristened Discipleship Training Institute (DTI) went mobile, reaching new areas of Maasai land.  Since we began in 2010 to work to reestablish this ministry, the harvest has been tremendous.  But we had to wait long than for carrots.
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There was a similar story of a slow wait and long work for the establishment of and harvest from the Community Christian Bible Training Institute (CCBTI).  First the Turkana Bible Training Institute (TBTI) was transformed into the initial campus of CCBTI.  Then in 2016 we were able to help the Community Christian Churches (CCC) to successfully establish two branch campuses of CCBTI in Maasai Land.  This year sees the first graduations of the Maasai branches of CCBTI.  Today, 30 November 2018, believers gathered from miles around in Ng’atataek in Kajiado County to celebrate the CCBTI graduation of a group of Kenyan and Tanzania Maasai pastors.  The CCBTI graduation for the Ewaso Ng’iro campus is scheduled for 8 December 2018.

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Here are some pictures from today’s graduation in Ng’atataek.  Those who are kneeling are the graduating pastor-students being ordained.  The washing of feet was a public demonstration of the nature of servant leadership.  As we are still abroad in America, Ntinga Sam Tome, our colleague and the administrator of the two Maasai CCBTI campuses, sent us these pictures.

2013–2017: An Overview

Successes and failures and ongoing challenges. During our first eleven years in Kenya, we’ve seen our share in each of these categories. In this update, we want to share with you some of our key successes from our third term (2014-2017) as we continue to work with our support partners in the work of expanding Christ’s Kingdom in Kenya.

To learn more, read our August 2018 update here.

new church plant: Oltarakwai CCC

new church plant:  Oltarakwai CCC — 2018 June 10th
photo credit: Thomas ole Pesi

expanding influence

Most of you know that our Eating the Word of God curriculum has been published in three languages:

Enkinosata Ororei le Nkai (in Maa)
Kujilisha kwa Neno La Mungu (in KiSwahili)
Akinyam Akiroit a Akuj (in NgaTurkana)

(Maa, the language of the Maasai, is spoken in Kenya and Tanzania.  KiSwahili is the primary second language of most Kenyans and Tanzanians, and is spoken across East Africa.  NgaTurkana is the language of the Turkana people, who live primarily in Kenya’s northwest, between Lake Turkana and Uganda.)

Just to remind you, this is the textbook for the Eating the Word of God course of the Community Christian Bible Training Institute (CCBTI; there are three branch campuses).  The highfalutin academic title would be “Equipping Congregations for Biblical Understanding,” but we keep it simple.  The books are also used for teaching grass-roots level seminars.

Today some missionaries to the Tonga in Zambia (in Southern Africa) have asked if they can adapt our materials for the Tonga churches.  (We said “yes,” of course.)

CCBTI update

We may be in America, but we continue to be engaged with our ministry in Kenya, mostly behind the scenes.  The two CCBTI branch campuses in Maasai Land are still going well.  Last month (June 2018), Sam Ntinga Tome was in Ewaso Ng’iro to teach Life of Christ and Gospel of Mark.  Here are a couple of pictures.

Expanding Christ’s Kingdom: June 2017 update

Last month we shared with you our team’s vision — unhindered disciple-making — and new mission statement: “to be a catalyst of God’s Kingdom Expansion in Kenya and the world through our own actions and partnerships with CCC and others.” (“CCC” is the Community Christian Churches with whom we partner — these congregations now number well over 200.) Then we listed the first four of our eight key values which provide the foundation for our mission strategies — Christ-centered, Prayer-powered, Empowerment of nationals, Holistic Ministries. Our other key values are Partnership, Church-focused, Community, and Culturally Appropriate.

To read more, including an update on our Community Christian Bible Training Institute (CCBTI) — now expanded to three campuses! — here is a pdf copy of June’s newsletter.