KISOM update

Photo: The Kakuma Interdenominational School of Mission (KISOM) building project today

Nicholas Gagai, a Kenyan serving full time with our refugee partner in Kakuma refugee camp, sent me the above photo last week via Facebook. It is encouraging to see the KISOM building rising out of the semi desert at long last. Everything looks on schedule to complete this phase of building before the end of the year.

Nicholas serves as the director of KISOM. IAFR has been helping him and the school strengthen their curriculum when it comes to theology and trauma care. Wheaton College and it’s Humanitarian Disaster Institute have been partnering with IAFR to assist KISOM.

IAFR is putting a lot of time, resources and energy into this part of our work in Kakuma as we believe KISOM plays a critical role in equipping refugee pastors and church leaders. We are thankful to our financial partners who have made it possible!

Photo: the KISOM building project during my visit in 10/2018

Skyping Kakuma

Today was punctuated by an email conversation with people in Washington D.C. and Kakuma, Kenya. I’m coordinating a Skype conference call for Sunday morning (at 3 PM in Kenya, 8 AM in D.C. and 7 AM here in Minneapolis).

I am looking forward to seeing our ministry partners in Kakuma and talking with the 5 girls that the D.C. church is sponsoring through high school (in partnership with IAFR). The girls are from South Sudan, Burundi, DR Congo and the IDP camp sheltering over 2000 Kenyans.

The sponsoring church is eager to meet the girls via Skype. I am encouraged that they want to do what they can to personalize the sponsorship.

We’re tentatively planning on having someone from the church join me on my April 2019 visit to Kakuma so they can meet the girls in person – as well as get a first hand look at some of the other IAFR projects that the church is sponsoring.

Assuming everything works according to plan, the girls should start their freshman year in January 2019.

A good Friday

Finally. We set something life-giving in motion – three international transfers of funding made possible by the sacrificial generosity of many people, most of whom will never meet – people who pooled their resources together to joyfully partner with God as he answers the prayers of our displaced brothers and sisters on the other side of the world.

Finally. IAFR sent the funding to our partner agency in Kenya (National Council of Churches Kenya – NCCK) so that…

The KISOM building project can now enter phase one!

The IDP Water Project can get under way!

We also wired the first monthly contribution to our partner refugee agency (URHC) so that they can begin offering ministry support to the Kenyan missionary – Nicholas Gagai – leading their Interdenominational School of Mission and their refugee youth ministry.

Many refugee lives will soon change.

Pastors, evangelists, missionaries and church leaders will have a dedicated safe space in which they can gather for training and equipping for their calling.

Thousands of women, children and men – an entire village of internally displaced people – will have a local supply of clean water! This will greatly improve their health. It will also improve their security as the present 6-7 mile round trip through semi desert bush to fetch dirty water entails many risks. It will also increase their capacity to hope, as God demonstrates that he hears their cries and provides for their needs.

And our faithful brother, Nicholas, serving full-time with our refugee partner organisation, will finally have some regular support to enable him to more fully invest himself in equipping refugee church leaders for ministry and in mentoring refugee youth, encouraging them to live faithful lives serving Jesus. He has been serving for nearly 10 years without any source of regular income. This has taken a toll on his health over the years.

All this was set in motion yesterday. It was a good Friday.

A time to build.

KISOM = The Kakuma Interdenominational School of Mission

KISOM was established by churches in Kakuma refugee camp back in 1997. It’s 2 and 3 year programs prepare pastors, missionaries and evangelists for ministry. It has graduated over 1,000 students, many of whom are now pastoring churches in the camp and surrounding host community – and even in other countries, both in Africa and beyond. The stated mission of the school is “To reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ from Kakuma.”

Our refugee brothers and sisters have been praying for more than 2 decades that God would give them a proper school building for this important ministry. IAFR helped them purchase land for the building in 2016 (photo).

Perhaps you can imagine my joy this week when I told IAFR Finance to transfer the funds that we have raised to build the school!

Our NGO partner in Kakuma (National Council of Churches Kenya – NCCK) will work closely with our refugee partner (United Refugee and Host Churches – URHC) in both planning and constructing the school. NCCK has needed expertise and capacity that our refugee partners lack.

Many thanks to the generous IAFR financial partners who contributed a total of $70,000 for this project!

What a joy to be able to partner with God in his answer to the prayers of the refugee churches in Kakuma!

Click here to learn more about KISOM (lots of beautiful photos included).

Two new projects

The IAFR.org website is the front door of our mission. It’s where most people first meet us and discover the unique ways that we are helping people survive and recover from forced displacement.

Somewhere along the way, I picked up website design skills. That has been an asset to IAFR as I design and maintain our site at no cost. Nevertheless, at some point we need to find someone else to take this part of our ministry on.

Today I had the joy of adding 2 new IAFR projects to our website.

NICHOLAS GAGAI – STRATEGIC WORKER (Kakuma)

Photo: Nicholas Gagai

The first project invites people and churches to consider supporting our first “strategic worker” – a Kenyan serving full-time with our refugee partner agency, United Refugee and Host Churches (URHC). I’ve known Nicholas Gagai since IAFR began working in Kakuma refugee camp (2011).For $375/month, he can be fully supported. Click here to learn more about him and the opportunity of supporting his work through IAFR.

SECONDARY SCHOOL REFUGEE SCHOLARSHIPS (Kakuma)

Photo: 3 of the 5 girls learn about their scholarships in Kakuma (4/2018)

In January, National Presbyterian Church (Washington D.C.) asked us if we would partner with them to scholarship 5 refugee girls through secondary school in Kenya. They were ready to commit the funds ($5,500 per girl for 4 years of secondary school).

While IAFR has invested in educational scholarships in Dzaleka refugee camp (Malawi), we had not yet done so in Kakuma (Kenya). After consulting with our NGO partner, National Council of Churches Kenya, we were ready to commit.

I’m praying that God would move people to commit to sponsoring another 5 girls through secondary school by April 2019.

Click here to learn more about this new scholarship opportunity.