I’ve been invited to speak at a week-long Bible convention in Kenya at the beginning of September. The event is being held in Kwale Archdeaconry in the Anglican Diocese of Mombasa which is in the east of the country. Primarily the convention is aimed at clergy, readers and other church leaders. The event is jointly organised by the local Archdeacon, Venerable Bryson Samboja, and Rev Jonathan Milton-Thompson who is Vicar of St Andrew’s and St Bartholomew’s in Blackburn.
Some of the men in our parish will remember that Jonathan spoke at a Pubmeet a year or two ago about his experiences as the son of a medical missionary couple who served with the Church Missionary Society in Kenya for many years. Even though he has now lived and ministered in this country for many years Jonathan has never lost his love for the country where he grew up and feels a special burden to help the Kenyan Church: hence the annual Bible conventions in Mombasa Diocese.
The countries of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have been blessed with phenomenal church growth since the East African Revival started in the nearby country of Rwanda in the 1920s. But it’s been said that the churches in these countries tend to be a mile wide but only an inch deep. In other words there are many believers with a profound love of Jesus and a passion to spread the gospel, but the bishops and clergy struggle to teach their congregations as thoroughly as they would want. Christians can easily become like infants “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching” (Ephesians 4:14).
Like Jonathan Kenya has a special place in my heart: Isabel and I spent two happy years teaching in rural secondary schools in Eldoret Diocese in the west of the country in the 1980s so we’re delighted to have an opportunity to return and serve the Church in Kenya once again.
I would value your prayers as I prepare teaching on the Book of Exodus for the convention. Please also pray for Archdeacon Bryson and all those who’ll be attending the sessions each day – that the faith of each one will be deepened by God’s word and that they will be equipped to teach others.
My expenses are fully covered but Jonathan has suggested that our parish might like to “put a tin out” for contributions towards running the convention: in particular the delegates will be away from home and will need feeding each day. Any gifts would be gratefully received.
Yours in Christ,