December 15, 2016
Robert Mwago, ECLEA-Kenya regional coordinator
South Sudan report
Apologies for being so late in submitting my report on the All Africa ECLEA conferences that took place in the Jebel region of South Sudan during the last two weeks of November 2016. The extremely long journey by bus to and from SS really took its toll on me this time round, and I had an ordination that was taking place several days after our arrival from SS. Unfortunately, we were not able to take photos in SS owing to highly sensitive security matters.
I did two courses on Expository Preaching, and one course on 1 Timothy, and another on Biblical Theology:
What surprised me when doing Expository Preaching was the discovery that it appeared easier for me to teach the delegates In SS to read the bible in context, than it was for me teaching my fellow Kenyans. It was a shocking discovery for me, and on reflection, I came to understand that it's because SS has not been so contaminated with the false gospel as is the case with Kenya. This has led me also to understand the urgent need of exposing the whole of SS to the true gospel. A lot of work remains to be done in SS and concerted efforts need to be put in place on behalf of the nation, without us growing weary.
1 Timothy was well received except where it teaches that a pastor/leader must be a one woman man; that is a hard one for them, owing to their wife-inheritance traditions. In any case, the truth has now been uncompromisingly communicated to them.
On Biblical Theology, they had quite a struggle understanding the course, but I promised them we could do a repeat on the same depending on the availability of the funds.
We really had a hard time with the finances as many of the good SS people were so much willing to honor their pledges but were not because the recent civil war left their nation and its economy in a shambles, the rate of inflation going almost a hundred per cent. Nevertheless, we appreciate from the bottom of our hearts all the support you have given us all the time we have been together.
God bless you, Robert Mwago
December 14, 2016
Thomas Mwai, ECLEA-Kenya regional coordinator
South Sudan report
BIBLICAL STEWARDSHIP AT UPPER KONYOKONYO
Here we hosted 22 pastors and leaders most of who were from Sudanese origin and about 6 denominations represented. Many were not able to buy books (we had a considerable number which were shared among the participants). It was a good time understanding the connection of God and His creation and how we are supposed to handle the environment. Hygiene is another issue that came up as we were looking at the stewardship of the body and the pastors were happy to know that they have a role to play in ensuring that they prevent diseases by caring for they bodies and environment.
FORGIVENESS & RECONCILIATION AT LOWER KONYOKONYO
The meeting hosted 16 Pastors and leaders from 4 different denominations some of whom went through our 1 Timothy last time. The class was good and very interactive and in fact this is the course that should be taught to all the Sudanese in this time of war because it has all the solutions they need at this time to experience peace. In my hotel I interacted with a government official who asked for the book and I hope he reads it and helps the government.
BIBLICAL STEWARDSHIP AT GUDELLE
This is a place where we have done several meetings and i was able to host 20 pastors and leaders of most Pentecostal Churches. The course was a demand since we saw the need of it when we were teaching the 1st Timothy in the area. The most critical part was the stewardship of the church and finances and many pastors agreed to have church budgets and to teach the grace giving. Also the stewardship of time always takes the center stage because many people are time wasters and time management is critical in the kingdom matters.
FORGIVENESS & RECONCILIATION AT CUSTOM
I hosted 18 Pastors and leaders from different denominations. Here you don't talk publicaly about the communities that were fighting and I used the opportunity to talk about the word of God. They agreed that the church can act as a mediator between the government and the opposition though it is not easy but by the grace of God everything is possible. We also realized that several churches belonging to foreigners were closed due to war so they need our prayers.
Thank you for your support and may God almighty bless you. Wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.
Thomas (Kiambu ECLEA Cordinator)
December 13, 2016
Barnabas Mpekethi, ECLEA-Kenya regional coordinator
South Sudan report
From 14th – 16th November 2016, I took 1st Timothy to Arua Junction. 21 church leaders and pastors attended the conference; 4 denominations were represented. We covered the whole course and many questions were being asked by the participants about the lifting of hands by men when praying. Also, because women are not given the respect they deserve in this country, even the church leaders are rejecting them and they keep quiet in the church and don`t participate even in the projects of the church since they are counted as weak vessels in the society.
When we started chapter 5 of 1st Timothy they all said that they have never heard of the leaders who run the affairs of the church well being paid, because they believe all pastors should be paid by the American organizations. I told them that they should change that mentality. A big number of people are not learned because the learning institutions are for the few and not for all. May God help these people.
On 17th – 19th November 2016 I did Biblical Stewardship with 19 participants both church leaders and pastors and 3 denominations were represented. Due to lack of enough knowledge and language interpretations (because English must be interpreted into Arabic language) we were unable to go through the whole book but we did 3 quarters of the manual. Many questions arose when we were discussing the stewardship of time and our bodies.
I told them that when you mess up with time you are messing up with your life and how you spend time here on earth is the determining factor of how you will spend your life in heaven. When we arrived in the area of the stewardship of our bodies, many brethren said that they go to the river to bathe twice a week. I told them that they should bathe on a daily basis. Many said that they don't use toothpaste, but they use natural trees to brush their teeth hence had bad smell like that of rotten eggs in their mouths. I informed them that it is good to use the modern methods because their bodies are the temple of the Lord. They promised me that they would change that trend and that they would start using the toothpaste and would introduce the same to their children who don't know anything concerning the toothpaste.
On 21st – 23rd Midday November 2016 I did Forgiveness & Reconciliation at Nimule (near the border of Uganda); 16 brothers and one sister attended the conference. There were only three denominations that were represented in this town.
In this town there is a very big enemity and grudge between the Dinka and the Nuer people. These two tribes cannot share the same hotel nor the same church. When they heard a Kenyan teacher of the word will be visiting, they decided to put their differences aside and four Nuer Brothers attended the conference in the midst of many Dinkas. I told them that they should forgive each other since forgiveness is not an opinion but a command from God Almighty. I also told them that reconciliation is not a must, however they should follow the process of reconciliation as it is indicated in our manuals.
They promised me that they would try and put their differences aside and do things in accordance to the Bible without allowing the political influence to dominate their spiritual lives.
From 23rd afternoon to 25th November, I was taken to another village a bit far from Nimule to go and teach Forgiveness & Reconciliation. I taught the villagers about the four steps to reconciliation (decide, discuss, detoxify, and devote). After I noticed that they have settled their differences during group discussions, I spent two nights in a thatched house. I bless God for giving me wonderful people who never minded whether I am a Kenyan, but treated me with a lot of love and care. Though the security is not good enough, God gave me the grace to complete the assignment. May God bless ECLEA in Jesus name.
Bishop Barnabas, Upper Eastern Coordinator
TOP OF PAGE