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

Packing up

It’s that time again. I head out to visit my friends in Kakuma refugee camp (Kenya) this week.

One nice thing about the semi desert there is that it helps me pack light 🙂 Daily highs there are presently hovering around 100 F. Meanwhile back here I watched the snow falling out our window while packing today…

Follow the trip at https://kenya.iafr.org

Photo: 2 weeks worth of stuff to pack

Lunch with Gatera

Photo: Pastor Gatera in Kakuma refugee camp

I had a long overdue lunch with my friend and IAFR colleague, Pastor Gatera. We first met when he was pastoring a refugee church in Kakuma refugee camp (Kenya). He now lives less than a 15 minute drive from my office in Minneapolis.

We spoke of family, leadership, theology and ministry (both in the US and in Kakuma).

He shared how he has spent his life immersed in multicultural settings. His ministry has always been interdenominational in nature. His posture is always of a learner.

His calling is clear. He has a vision to help strengthen interdenominational associations of churches in refugee contexts. Refugee churches play a life-saving role in keeping hope alive in desperate places. But they get very little support and encouragement from the church-at-large – much less from a highly respected Christian leader who spent 20 years in a refugee camp himself.

He is in the early months of support raising. He needs help developing a network of financial partners.

Would you pray with me that God would raise up a circle of generous donors to release him into ministry? He needs about $5500/month.

Click here to donate to his ministry today!

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).

Supporting Nicholas

Photo: Nicholas Gagai

It was with a big smile that I notified United Refugee and Host Churches (URHC), our refugee partner organisation in Kakuma refugee camp, that IAFR is able to begin assisting them with support for their full-time worker, Nicholas Gagai!

Nicholas has been serving URHC for the past 10 years with no support. His ministry responsibilities include Director of the Kakuma Interdenominational School of Mission (KISOM) and Director of Refugee Youth Ministries – both core ministries of URHC and both ministries with which IAFR closely partners with URHC.

Nicholas is originally from a city far from Kakuma. He fled to Kakuma during post election violence in Kenya back in early 2008. He quickly found his calling to serve alongside of refugee churches in Kakuma.

I’ve known Nicholas since IAFR began its work in Kakuma back in 2011. Over the years we’ve become good friends and ministry partners. It is a joy for us to partner with God in his answer to Nicholas’s prayer for a more predictable provision for his ministry.

Click here to learn more about Nicholas and his ministry in Kakuma refugee camp.

You can partner with Nicholas in his remarkable ministry! Click here to donate toward his support today!