Update: Mara North Cluster of churches

A couple of weeks ago, we shared some of the measurable signs of growth in two of the geographic clusters of churches in which we’ve spent the most time.  Well, it turns out my information for the Mara North cluster was already outdated.  I’ve copied below an excerpt from an email yesterday from William Koya, a church elder who used to be our neighbor (about a 15 minute off-road drive, but easily within walking distance) in Endoinyo Erinka.

Hope you are doing well.  This is to inform you about the meeting held by Mara North cluster church leaders at Endoinyo Erinka today.  The main agendas of the  meeting are
……….1.  updates of CCC  development.
……….2.  Unity.
About development many people are called to join CHRIST and have been baptized. Between November last year and January this year 196 new people are baptized.  Four new churches are planted which two of them have already built semi permanent [buildings].  … For unity they planned to have such men’s meetings three times a year, the second one shall be at Talek  7/6/2014.  They also want to build a strong relationship between CCC and CMF as partners in CHRIST.   Find the attached pictures of the meeting.
In Christ
William  Koya

Celebrating 2013

2013 was a good year for our churches in Kenya.  December was a particularly good month.  In the Narok Central Cluster of churches alone, there were 3 new church plants plus a fourth that is still underway.  On 29 December, 48 new believers were immersed into Jesus within those four congregations.  And in the Mara North Cluster, there were 78 baptisms in December.  I’ve chosen to share the news from these two clusters because we lived in the Mara North area our first term, and in Narok for the first part of our second term.

Do you want to read more?  Read the update or see more pictures here.

untangled

A theologian, properly speaking, isn’t someone who theorizes ABOUT God with fancy academic language. But rather, “if you are a theologian, you pray truly; and if you pray truly, you are a theologian.” A theologian is someone who is in conversation WITH God. (Only then do we have something worthwhile to say about God.)

To explore how God has been untangling our hearts, visit Ruth’s new blog, untangled.

Telling the Story

Storytelling is an important part of East African cultures.  But often in the churches this cultural strength has been exchanged for the lecture or yell-a-lot methods of teaching and evangelism.  We recently held a storytelling workshop for the Narok Central cluster of congregations to help church teachers and youth workers (re)learn how to be good storytellers of the greatest Story.

Read more …

On our manner of evangelism

In my research for my Church History and History of Mission curricula (for teaching at Turkana Bible Training Institute and Mission Institute East Africa, respectively), I ran across this gem from Claudius Buchanan.  He was addressing a meeting of the Church Missionary Society on January 7, 1814.  The famous William Wilberforce was one of the speakers at the meeting.  Dr Buchanan’s style  may seem a bit old-fashioned now, but give it a listen:

“In your endeavours to convert the heathen, let your address be ever characterised by the meekness of wisdom (James iii. 13).  Address them not in too impassioned a manner while they yet continue in an unconverted state.  They will not understand you.  They will not themselves be in the least affected by your vehemence, and will consider the use of it as a kind of intemperance or folly on your part.  They cannot always perceive the truth of your arguments, but they will understand your courtesy of manners and can admire the beauty of Christian conduct.”

~ quoted by Charles Hole, The Early History of the Church Missionary Society:
for Africa and the East to the end of A.D. 1814
(London:  CMS, 1896), 420.