Phases of Ministry: Planting, Parenting, Partnering

There are different phases of ministry.  Missionary pioneers begin with the Planting phase:  proclaiming the gospel, making disciples, and planting new churches.  In the late 1970s, CMF was kicked out of Ethiopia by the new communist dictatorship.  Some of the CMF-Ethiopia team came to Kenya, starting pioneering church planting work among the unreached Maasai and Turkana.  When we affiliated with CMF in 2003, the ministry had reached the Parenting phase.  As a result of CMF’s work, today there are strong churches in both Kenya and Ethiopia.

Moreover, our team is blessed to have entered the Partnering phase of ministry with the Community Christian Churches of Kenya.  At the end of 2015, there were 201 congregations.  As of this writing (April 2016), there are at least three new church plants for a total of 204.

Check out this short and exciting video, in which our teammate Joe Cluff explains what’s going on:

August update

TBTI class, May 2012: morning worshipThe power of stories, a TBTI course, a Story-telling workshop, a new church plant & baptisms …

Click here to view a PDF of our latest newsletter.


The picture is of part of the TBTI class in May 2012. Each morning we started with worship. For some reason or another I couldn’t add a caption today.  Visit our Video page for a clip of this worship.

Turkana worship at TBTI class

Joshua’s “Church History” class at Turkana Bible Training Institute in Lodwar, 15 May 2012

The Turkana Bible Training Institute meets in Lodwar to train Turkana church leaders.  Joshua taught “Church History” and “Missions & Evangelism” for TBTI in October 2011.  In May 2012, he taught “Church History” to a new group of students:  17 men and 2 women from the CCC congregations.  Most class sessions begin with a worship song and with prayer.  This is a short clip of the worship from 15 May 2012.

For more videos, visit our video page.

2011 church growth

In 2011, there were 38 new churches planted in the CCC.

There were 23 congregations planted in Maasai land (including two, I believe, in a tribally mixed area).
There were 13 congregations in Turkana land.
There was 1 new congregation planted in the Kibera slum of Nairobi.
There was 1 new congregation planted in Samburu land.

The growth in Turkana land is particularly encouraging.  In addition to the 13 new churches, there were baptisms of 1,026 new Turkana believers.

Meisisi Olaitoriani!  Kuperoi Ekapolon!  Bwana Safiwe!
(“May the Lord be praised / Praise the Lord” in Maa, Nga Turkana, Kiswahili)

One of thirteen baptisms in March 2011, part of a new church plant in Changamwe, just outside Mombasa on the coast; pictured are pastor Moses, new believer Rana, and our teammate Joe Cluff


Happy Epiphany

Today is January 6, the day which the Church traditionally observes as “Epiphany,” the “Revealing” of Christ to the Gentiles.  So yesterday was the 12th day of Christmas and this is the day we should sing “We Three Kings” and the day when the ancient church liturgies would read the verses about the baptism of Jesus.

Today is also the day when we finally have a new update ready:  click here to download a PDF of our January 2012 newsletter.


Turkana camelsIn October, I (Joshua) spent about two weeks with our teammates in Turkana land.  I taught two courses at Turkana Bible Training Institute (TBTI) in Lodwar and was able to get out in the bush a few times.  I’ve finally been able to post some new albums to our photo album page:  my TBTI classes, the irrigated garden plots with which our teammates are empowering the Turkana believers, and my time worshiping with Turkana believers.

Over on our video page, I’ve embedded a clip our teammates put together about “Farming God’s Way” in the Turkana deserts.

Christianity is NOT a “western religion”

A highlight from teaching Church History to Turkana church leaders in Northwest Kenya:  at the end of the course two of the students told me, “now I can see that the Church is not a wazungu (foreign white people) religion.  It has been in Africa since its beginning and has deep roots in African soil.”  A third told me, “The Church is not an exotic plant here.  It is indigenous.”