Revd Abraham Koech is Chaplain at Koitaleel Somoei University College in Kenya. He tells us how APF inspired him to set up online services during Kenya’s Covid-19 lockdown.
“Koitaleel Smoei University College (KSUC) is part of the University of Nairobi. KSUC has two campuses, one at Mosoriot and another under construction at Nandi Hills, Kenya. The main courses offered include Education, Commerce and Business Administration among others. We currently have over 300 students and believe the student population will keep on going up every year. Hopefully we will soon receive a charter from the Kenyan government meaning the college can run its programs independently.
“I have been the chaplain at KSUC since December 2019 and I enjoy serving the Lord here. My contract has been renewed and the work designation has changed slightly to Lecturer/Chaplain. It is my prayer that through my ministry here many will come to the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“I would like to thank APF so much for inspiring me to begin online church services at KSUC. The inspiration came from an APF online gathering in July 2020 which I attended. We had a wonderful time of fellowship and prayers with other APF partners from across Africa through Zoom. I had never taken seriously the importance of online meetings before. After the meeting I said, “Why should we not begin online Church services at the university using Zoom? If we can have a meeting online, why not Church online.” Our students and staff had been at home since March, due to the pandemic so reaching them with God’s word online became crucial. I shared the idea with a number of people at the university and they supported it. We began the services without delay.
“The university IT officers were willing to help me with facilitating the online services and helped students and staff get a web link and login to the services in good time. Many students would join the services online along with most of their parents and siblings from different parts of the country and everyone actively participated. The university staff also joined the services.
“The link to join the services was sent through the students and staff WhatsApp groups. The services always lasted one hour every Sunday and included praise and worship, prayer, hymns, testimonies, encouragements, scripture readings, a sermon, and an offering. God gave me the grace to preach in these services.
“I am so grateful to God for APF as without the inspiration from the APF Zoom meetings I wouldn’t have started Sunday services at KSUC. I am also so thankful to the university for supporting this ministry.
“I believe that online platforms have a great role in expanding God’s kingdom in Africa and in the wider world now and in the future. I pray that pastors will seize the opportunity and start spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this way. In Africa today, a big number of people have mobile phones with access to the internet. Reaching them online has become easy. Through the internet a local church pastor is connected not only to his local area but to the entire world. Let’s take up this challenge today in obedience to the Great Commission of Jesus Christ (Mathew 28:19-20).”
Give thanks for the African partners who have been able to network together online during 2020.
Pray for new initiatives that have arisen from online gatherings including Lawson’s farming project in Zambia, the partnership with Eaglelite Associates in Uganda and Abraham’s online church ministry in Kenya.
Please pray for those African partners who have not been able to use Zoom, asking that they continue to ‘feel’ connected and be supported.
As face to face contact restarts and APF personnel return to Africa in 2021, pray especially for Dave Stedman as he prepares to visit Kenya and Uganda in January and February.