fbpx
Category

Impetus

Download our October 2022 newsletter

By Impetus

October 2022 Impetus.

Welcome to the latest edition of Impetus.

You’ll notice that it’s a little slimmer than normal. Reducing the number of pages in our newsletter is just one of several small steps we are taking to try to minimise costs to the charity.

Despite there being fewer pages in this edition, I think you’ll agree, there is no less activity being reported and exciting opportunities coming up.

With costs increasing, we’re working hard not only to maintain our work in Africa but to grow it. Please pray for our staff team and trustees as we make important decisions about doing just that.

How you can help

Firstly, if you use email, we would encourage you to receive Impetus in digital form rather than on paper. Please let us know using the enclosed form if you would like to do so in future.

Secondly, we always love to meet supporters and share what God is doing through his Church across Africa. Why not invite us to a Sunday service or midweek meeting at your church? We’re taking bookings for online and in-person engagements during 2023 now.

Perhaps you might be able to host a fundraising event for APF? Invite friends and neighbours to an advent coffee morning and we’ll help by sending you some resources to promote APF.

Or you can get in touch to order your Christmas cards or purchase some beautiful African notebooks from us.

Finally, we’d be very grateful if you might consider including a gift to APF in your will.

Most of all, we continue to value your interest and prayers.

Thank you!


Revd Dave Stedman
CEO

Download our July 2022 newsletter

By Impetus

July 2022 Impetus.

I have always prided myself on being able to recall names, faces and details of the people I meet. As a pastor, it’s a very useful skill. In many African contexts where local dialects and languages make pronunciation and recall more difficult however, this can be more challenging. But I think the same is true in reverse. Only this morning, I received an email from someone I recently met digitally addressed: ‘Dear Steve’!

Names are important.

This is especially true in Biblical thought: Adam means ‘man’, Eve means ‘life-giver’, Ruth means ‘friend’ and David (I have always liked this one) means ‘beloved’.

Above all, Jesus means ‘God who Saves’.

Ever since my early involvement in APF there have been conversations about the name ‘African Pastors Fellowship’. How does it communicate to a largely white British supporter base? Does it adequately describe organisational priorities around training and equipping Christian leaders? To what extent does it suggest a forward thinking and pioneering 21st century mission?

The most common response I get when I tell people I work for African Pastors Fellowship is, “but you’re not African!”. We need to be serious about the possibility our name could actually be a barrier to some opportunities.

The conversation is on-going and I would warmly welcome comments from supporters and friends of APF, both positive and negative concerning our name.

In the meantime, I hope you will be encouraged by this edition of Impetus which contains a significant section of prayer requests submitted by African friends and partners and has been prepared in response to your requests for more of a focus on prayer.

Every Blessing,
Dave (not Steve!)


Revd Dave Stedman
CEO

Download our April 2022 newsletter

By Impetus

April 2022 Impetus.

Thank you so much for reading our April 2022 newsletter.

Greetings from Kasese in the far south west of Uganda close to the border with DR Congo. Despite being overshadowed by the Rwenzori mountain range, Kasese is at a lower altitude than many other parts of Uganda and the March weather is seriously warm. As the evening breeze comes through my window and the fan in my room is spinning to keep me cool, I am reminded of ruach, the breath of God’s Spirit.

As you will read elsewhere in this edition one of the highlights of my visit to Uganda was the privilege of meeting Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba. I promised that the APF family would pray with him for his vision to see Uganda transformed through the conversion of:

Heads – improved access to education at all levels.
Hearts – compassion and social justice for the most vulnerable.
Hands – practical action and campaigning against corruption.
Homes – family life and an end to sexual violence against women.
Hospitals – improved access to clinical care.

Archbishop Stephen’s vision is brilliant in its simplicity but profound and far reaching. Together we discussed how eVitabu speaks to each of these aspirations through its various contributors and resources.

Please take a moment to pray for Archbishop Stephen and his team at Namirembe Cathedral in Kampala.

Pray also that APF, through the gift of eVitabu, might be part of seeing a nation changed. Pray for the life giving breath of God to blow in this land and among this people.


Revd Dave Stedman
CEO

Download our January 2022 newsletter

By Impetus

January 2022 Impetus.

Thank you so much for reading our January 2022 newsletter.

I attended a very long and hot graduation ceremony at Kapsabon Pastor Training College in Kenya in November. I was given a minute to introduce myself and APF which I think I stuck to (unlike everyone else!) My address to the gathering was undoubtedly the shortest, with “all protocols observed” to coin the phrase of the day. It was a privilege to see women and men receiving their awards and being sent out to serve but I was tired, dehydrated and more than ready to stretch my legs at the end of the five hour extravaganza.

My highlight of the occasion was a joke in the keynote address. It went something like this:

A man had a dog. He loved the dog very much. But sadly, the dog died. The man went to see the pastor and asked if he would provide a burial service for the dog. The pastor declined, explaining the church did not offer rites of passage for dogs. The man was disappointed but as he was leaving, turned to the pastor and said, “I can pay $5,000 for my dog to be buried.” To which the pastor replied, “My friend! My brother! Why did you not tell me at the start the dog was born-again?!”

Many become cynical about African friends and money matters. There’s a seemingly bottomless pit of need, different understandings about budgeting and ownership, a lack of financial transparency to name but some of the cross-cultural challenges.

But I also hear myself in their appeals. For APF, there remains the constant need to chase down every donation, the pressure to maintain enough regular income to pay our staff and keep up with demands, not to mention the preparation of dozens of funding proposals to ensure we have growing funds to support our partners in Africa.

As we begin 2022, APF is looking to diversify and strengthen our leadership team to take on some of these activities. This will release my time so I can give more energy to implementing strategy, reflect more deeply on digital theology and foster key relationships both in the UK and Africa.

I’m not yet taking payment for canine cremations or barking burials, but I do want to see APF able to support more graduations (although I will happily sit them out!) and be better placed to help equip dedicated but under-resourced leaders with training, eVitabu and many other life-changing projects and initiatives.

Thank you for your generosity and trust. Please pray with me to stay focussed and trust the Lord for his provision in this new year.

Thank you for your continued support


Revd Dave Stedman
CEO

Download our October 2021 newsletter

By Impetus

October 2021 Impetus.

Thank you so much for reading our October 2021 newsletter.

Do you remember when the world was young and ZOOM was just an onomatopoeic word used in primary schools? Or when it became the title of a hit song by Fat Larry’s Band in the 1980’s? Now I suffer ‘Zoom fatigue’ and I have developed my own brand of ‘Zoom wear’: smart up top, casual down below!

I have spent a lot of time, too much time, on Zoom calls over the past 18 months. In the midst, some excellent contacts have been made and relationships developed.

I especially enjoyed meeting the Archbishop of Uganda, Most Revd Dr Stephen Kaziimba. We were introduced because in addition to the obvious synergy between his ministry and APF’s, we share a common concern for children and families living with disability.

Archbishop Stephen shared his vision for the conversion of heads, hearts, hands, homes and hospitals and we prayed together for the outworking of this defining motive.

Another excellent contact is Pastor Edward Kiwanuka. Edward is founder and national overseer of Deliverance Church Uganda, a network of more than 500 churches, schools and clinics in Uganda, Burundi, DRC and Kenya. The movement began at Makerere University in the late 1960s. Pastor Edward has already received funding from APF for local language Bibles and we are working towards online eVitabu introduction workshops with church leaders.

There is no doubt the world has changed; the word ZOOM will never be the same again. Here at APF, we’re adapting well to the new normal and planning for the future. I believe this edition of Impetus illustrates the agility of APF and ingenuity of our partners, finding ways to minister despite lockdowns and loss. But I also pray for more opportunities to meet friends like Archbishop Stephen and Pastor Edward and many others in-person during 2022.

Thank you for your continued support


Revd Dave Stedman
CEO

APF 40th Anniversary Celebration

Join us at St Margaret’s Church, Whitnash (near Leamington Spa) on Sunday 3rd October* from 10am to celebrate 40 years of African Pastors Fellowship.

Start by joining us at for a Celebration Harvest Service.

This will be followed by:

  • Wonderful African catering and music
  • Keynote addresses
  • Recorded greetings from African partners
  • And more!

For catering purposes, please register your attendance by visiting https://bit.ly/APF40
Call us on 01227 681186 or email [email protected] for more information.

* The event was originally scheduled for June 26th but has been postpone due to closeness of this date to the planned easing of lockdown restrictions.

** If it is not possible to have a physical gathering because of Covid-19 restrictions, we will have an online event instead. Although in that case, you may have to do the food yourself!

Download our July 2021 newsletter as a PDF

By Impetus

July 2021 Impetus.

Thank you so much for reading our July 2021 newsletter. As we continue to mark APF’s 40th anniversary year, I have been reflecting on the years of my own involvement.

I was aware of APF from the earliest days of local church ministry. I was even interrupted while preaching one Sunday in the early 1990s when a church member unexpectedly brought a brand new bicycle into the church for APF to send to Uganda.

Back in 2013 when I was a trustee, we conducted a review of APF’s Africa and UK activity and set several strategic objectives for the future. In the intervening seven years, I took on an executive role leading the charity toward these goals. A key aspiration was for APF ministry to be active in Africa even when UK personnel were not there.
At that time, the possibility of having a network of African ‘Regional Overseers’ was also mooted, together with African representation at board level and perhaps, in time, an African Director, based in Africa. We felt that building a team of regional APF leaders would extend APF’s reach and influence significantly, release local leaders for contextualised ministry and demonstrate better value for money.

Although in the end we didn’t run with Regional Overseer as a name, we do now have a strong, established and growing network of trusted partners spread across several African regions. These leaders exercise brilliant, contextualised pastoral training and holistic ministry regardless of whether I, or my colleague Geoff, are in Africa or not. This pan-African network is the bedrock on which APF’s future is being built.

This edition of Impetus identifies and celebrates these individuals and their unique contributions. Please join with me in praying for these sisters and brothers; that APF will continue to enable them to thrive in ministry and that in them, God’s Kingdom comes through local African churches. After all, partnership is fellowship in action.

Thank you!


Revd Dave Stedman
CEO

APF 40th Anniversary Garden Party

Join us at St Margaret’s Church, Whitnash (near Leamington Spa) on Sunday 3rd October* from 10am to celebrate 40 years of African Pastors Fellowship.

Start by joining us at for a Celebration Harvest Service.

This will be followed by:

  • Wonderful African catering and music
  • Keynote addresses
  • Recorded greetings from African partners
  • And more!

For catering purposes, please register your attendance by visiting https://bit.ly/APF40
Call us on 01227 681186 or email [email protected] for more information.

* The event was originally scheduled for June 26th but has been postpone due to closeness of this date to the planned easing of lockdown restrictions.

** If it is not possible to have a physical gathering because of Covid-19 restrictions, we will have an online event instead. Although in that case, you may have to do the food yourself!

Find out more...

Download our April 2021 newsletter as a PDF

By Impetus

April 2021 Impetus.

Thank you so much for reading our April 2021 newsletter. Here are some of the highlights you’ll find inside this edition:

  • I talk about why it was so important for me to travel to Uganda during March.
  • Find out about our monthly online meetings with African partners.
  • Read about some fantastic fundraising undertaken by supporters.
  • Revd Lloyd Chizenga talks about the difference 20 years of partnership with APF has had on his ministry.
  • We explore the ‘African paradox’
  • Revd Daniel Odour Gwara provides an update on the West Kenya training hubs.
  • Walter Rutto from Transformational Compassion Network explains why the local church is best placed to work alongside rural Kenyan communities to address sensitive cultural issues and gender-based violence and promote sustainable development.
Download 'Impetus' here

APF 40th Anniversary Garden Party

Join us (hopefully!) at St Margaret’s Church, Whitnash, Leamington Spa on Saturday 26th June, 2-4pm for a garden party to celebrate 40 years of APF.

Including:

  • African catering and music
  • Keynote address
  • Recorded greetings from African partners
  • And more

Visit https://bit.ly/APF40 to reserve your free entry ticket today!

* If it is not possible to have a physical gathering, we will have an online event instead, although in that case you may have to do the food yourself!

eVitabu Sponsorship

Since the launch of the eVitabu sponsorship portal in January, we have recruited over 40 sponsors! Thank you so much for your generous support of eVitabu. For a monthly contribution of less than the
cost of a paperback book you can place a library in the hands of an African church leader. Visit www.africanpastors.org/evitabu and sponsor a pastor in Africa using eVitabu today!

And as ever, thank you.


Revd Dave Stedman
CEO

Download our January 2021 newsletter as a PDF

By Impetus

Looking back and looking forward…

Forty is a Biblical number. Moses, Elijah and Jesus each fasted for forty days. The Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years. Ezekiel lay on his side for forty days. The rains came down and the floods came up for forty days and nights. Saul, David and Solomon each reigned for forty years and Goliath taunted Israel for forty days before being slain by David. Forty years is a Biblical generation.

APF was founded in 1981 so 2021 marks our 40th Anniversary. It seems timely that we celebrate God’s faithfulness throughout that time and look back at APF’s ministry and achievements.

Looking back

This edition contains memories and testimony from one of our founders, a long-standing trustee and a grateful beneficiary of APF’s ministry in Africa. There are also recent examples of how APF continues to enable effective ministry that brings community transformation through local African churches in Kenya, Zambia and many other nations.

Looking forward

Our lead article highlights the progress being made with eVitabu together with an invitation for you to be among the first to use our new eVitabu sponsorship portal and sponsor an eVitabu user. For less than the price of a paperback book each month, you can give an African church leader access to an library of resources from their mobile phone. Visit:

www.africanpastors.org/evitabu

For our 40th Anniversary, we are praying for 400 eVitabu sponsors.

As ever, thank you.


Revd Dave Stedman
CEO

Download our July 2020 newsletter as a PDF

By Impetus

The interruptions are our work.

Henri Nouwen wrote of a now-famous conversation which helped him think about interruptions as something other than a bother. He writes, “While visiting the University of Notre Dame, I met an older experienced professor who had spent most of his life there. While we strolled over the beautiful campus, he said with a certain melancholy in his voice, ‘You know… my whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted, until I discovered that my interruptions were my work.’”

The coronavirus pandemic has been a major interruption to the work that APF had expected to be doing in 2020. Scaling-up the eVitabu app, training conferences, tree-planting, bike and Bible distributions and more… It has all been paused as various forms of lockdown, quarantine and curfew affect everyday life in Africa. Future planning and visits have been mothballed so, in addition to the anxiety and loss surrounding Covid-19, it has been a painful bother.

But in the space created by lockdown, APF has adapted. We’ve held regular Zoom conference calls connecting partners from across Africa for reflection, Bible study and prayer. Technology has been harnessed to bring UK supporters together too. Using social media, we set up a Covid-19 Relief Fund. Within two weeks of opening, your generous donations raised over £10,000 which we quickly passed to African partners who have set up local community-based responses to the triple threat of lockdown, locusts and landslides which have hit the region in recent months.

This edition of Impetus contains theological reflection on these calamities as understood by our partners in Africa and tells just a few of the stories of how the Covid-19 Relief Fund has been used to enable effective ministry in lockdown. APF’s plans have unquestionably been interrupted but the work continues: maybe we too have discovered that the interruptions are our work.

Thank you for your continued support.


Revd Dave Stedman
CEO