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By David Stedman (CEO)
An exciting new three-way partnership is being established between St Barbara’s Church, Earlsdon in Coventry Diocese, APF and St Paul’s Theological College in Kapsabet, Kenya.
After visiting St Paul’s Theological College on a trip to Kenya, some members of St Barbara’s Church were so impressed by the dedication of staff and students that they agreed to make regular donations to help the college develop its vision, improve its infrastructure and make theological education more accessible across western Kenya.
Rather than sending funding directly to St Paul’s, however, St Barbara’s approached APF to help manage international transfers and monitor how funds were being used. Whilst the church and college retain a direct relationship, both know APF are there to provide support and guide the cross-cultural exchange when needed.
With funding starting in the Spring, college staff have already identified the library as a key priority for improvement. A small computer suite is also planned to help students access online resources and supplement the two eVitabu tablets already used by college students.
APF made a short visit to Kenya in October and Dave met with the college’s principle, Rev Elizabeth Cheruiyot. Elizabeth has a remarkable testimony. In an environment often hostile to women in Christian leadership she overcame many obstacles to pursue a clear call to ministry. She is also an incredibly busy person, serving the college, local church, diocese and national synod in various capacities.
With travel to and within Africa becoming easier, more and more UK churches are developing their own links with churches and projects in low- and middle-income countries. The three-way partnership being modelled between St Barbara’s, APF and St Paul’s seems a good and sensible one. St Barbara’s can have confidence that with APF’s access, experience and expertise, their generous donations will be well used.
It is a win-win-win opportunity for all parties!
- That the three-way partnership with St Barbara’s Church, APF and St Paul’s Theological College should lead to significant and much needed improvements to the college.
- For Rev Elizabeth Cheriyokot as she oversees administration, academics and infrastructure developments at the college.
- For other theological colleges and Bible schools with which APF has close ties including Atirir Bible School, Uganda (Baptist); Kapsabet Bible College, Kenya (AIC) and Wisdom Bible School, Rwanda (Free Methodist).
- For students currently receiving academic scholarships to study for degrees including Tom Opiyo, Simon Laboso and Victor Turikumwe.