Tree planting in Narok during El Nino rains

World Concern is taking advantage of El Nino rains in Kenya by planting trees.

Members of staff are contributing money to help restore forest cover in Narok which is under threat of being wiped out.

Yesterday we kicked off our tree planting campaign in Kuntai primary school at Naroosura, planting 200 trees.

Primary_school_children_planting_trees_in_Narok_2

Primary_school_children_planting_trees_in_Narok_3

The students and teachers were elated. And we had fun!

We thank God.

Mukuru kwa Njenga comes calling

Sunny, yet so chilly. Nairobi.

In mid-July, World Concern launched The Nairobi Slum Development Programme at Mukuru Kwa Njenga in Embakasi. Tens of representatives from 5 youth groups who are impatient to see positive change attended.World_Concern_Kenya_Mukuru_Kwa_Njenga

The launch was for an multi-sectoral programme in which World Concern is partnering with Commons Agencies, to build capacity in the slums. Youth who had taken part in an earlier Common Agencies’ training programme on self awareness and empowerment dubbed ‘Pepeta Initiative,’ described how it had impacted them:

“When we started out, we were earning about Ksh 5, 000 per month. The 35 of us would share it among ourselves. Now we earn up to Ksh 80,000,” said Alex Kyalo, Chairperson of Vijana Wa Neema self help group.

Together with partners, World Concern will offer Biblically-based life-skills training, Leadership development, Group management, Entrepreneurship, Mentoring, Apprenticeship as well as Addiction and family counseling. We will also empower churches to become agents of reconciliation in their own communities.

In his speech, Kenya Country Director Harun Mutuma emphasized that real transformation comes from Christ, terming that as a distinct area of focus for World Concern’s programme. The programme was then commissioned by Pastor Christopher Maina of LifeSpring Chapel-  Embakasi.

Some photos from the launch, below.

NASDEP Launch-11
NASDEP Launch-4NASDEP Launch-6NASDEP Launch-5

NASDEP Launch-1-2

NASDEP Launch-2-2NASDEP Launch-8NASDEP Launch-13NASDEP Launch-12NASDEP Launch-16NASDEP Launch-15NASDEP Launch-18NASDEP Launch-20NASDEP Launch-21NASDEP Launch-22NASDEP Launch-27

 

5 admirable qualities in a church

The meteoric growth of a church in Narok made me reflect about my own; the more members discussed, the more I drew parallels between them and the early church. Today I want nothing more for my church. . .

Below, members of the African Gospel Church share five things that the Church Community Mobilization Process (CCMP) has done in helping them turn-around. I juxtapose each with scripture from Acts 2:38-47 (NIV):

Reaching out
Acts 2:39: The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off
“The facilitator challenged us to start visiting people who stopped coming to church. We rarely thought about them but we started.  . . For instance, we visited a couple who had been involved in an accident and whose mother had became ill shortly after. They were so happy to see us. After that, they rejoined the church” – Irene Limo.

Quote2

“We started constructing a new large church, but we have realized that if we invite (and care about) people as we have been taught, we might need a larger church” – Pst Jonathan Limo

Having joy and compassion
46: they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts
“We have learnt to take keener notice of our neighbors too, and visit them from time to time. Whenever we do, we purchase something we know they might need for their house” – Irene Limo

45: …selling to give to anyone who has need
“There is a church/ group member who was sickly. Although she recovered, she really desires to own a cow that she can milk some¬day, and maybe even have some extra to sell. We are all contributing monies to purchase one for one her.”

38: Repenting . .
“Patricia (World Concern facilitator) helped us to repent, and be true Christians. After showing us the characteristics of a succeeding and the failing church, I decided that I am not going to be the one to pull the church downwards. . . We’re fighting for this vision” – Chepchirchir Sang.

At the start of the course, participants are asked to reflect on what they want to see in the church in 5 years; what is preventing them from getting there; and what do you need to do in order to get there. Then together with the facilitator, the group analyzes characteristics of a growing church and those of a dying church and members place themselves in one of the grids.

47: . . .the Lord added to their number daily
“There is a woman who is not a believer, but whenever her husband who works far away visits home, he comes to church. After visiting her, she started coming to church every Sunday together with her children” – Irene Limo.
Through the CCMP, members have also realized that small things matter, for instance decorating the church, being punctual, and making the church lively when it’s worship time. This marks new beginnings for them.

The CCMP empowers communities to meet their own issues through better understanding of their contexts. It focuses on the process rather than the product. World Concern has added the CCMP as a component to savings groups training curriculum in Narok. “If you want to initiate meaningful development, start in the church and it will stand,” facilitator Patricia believes, before outlining the whole curriculum off-head during this interview!

Which of these aspects is common in your church?

Through the eyes of children

We asked pupils aged 8-15 years the question: What work has World Concern done around you, has it impacted your life in any way?

Their responses . .

ASCA_Group
Availability of business capital for mum from her loans from savings group

Livestock_upgrading_project

Bigger and improved sheep breed for more milk at home

Solar_lantern_project
Bright solar lantern so I am able to study comfortably at night
New_church
We now have a new church building to worship in
Clearing_compound
Hygiene club lessons in action which have improved our general cleanliness. Also there is a flourishing school garden
School_garden_project
Our nutrition is improved due to well maintained school garden
school _sanitation
Improved water and sanitation in our school due to new toilets and water facilities
water_pan
My father’s cows drink from a nearby water pan

Well, what more! 🙂