Hey everyone it’s Amy!!!!
So on Tuesday we returned to Nairobi from a long weekend in Thika, specifically in a rural slum community called Kiandutu. We only had a short time there to experience and learn what LIA is doing through the local churches in Kiandutu, but thankfully our God is not limited by time. God taught all of us so much and opened our eyes up so much in the few days we had in Kiandutu.
In every community LIA enters into one of the first things they do is unite the local churches so that they are working together. The fruit of this is that a Pastor’s Fellowship is formed and the pastors meet once a week to pray, be trained, and to plan/discuss how they can continue to serve the community. In every community we’ve been to so far, we have had the opportunity to meet with all the pastor’s fellowships, and I can honestly say that the pastor’s fellowship in Thika was the strongest that I’ve witnessed so far. I was so encouraged by their unity, their commitment, and their hearts for transformation. They had not only grasped LIA’s vision and model of empowerment, but they were running after that vision full force. One of the pastors told me that they were more of a family than a group of pastors. I was just really encouraged by that because these pastors have realized that they can impact this community in bigger ways if they work together than if they were to work alone. These pastors come from all different backgrounds, regions, denominations, etc but they have not let those differences blind them from their goal of exalting Christ in their community and addressing the needs of Kiandutu.
Along with the pastor’s fellowship, there are also the TOT (Trainer of Trainers) team and the CHE (Community Health Evangelists)team working alongside the pastors and LIA. These teams are made up of church members mostly and others in the community. The TOT team and the CHE team in Kiandutu shared the same commitment, vision, and unity that the pastors did. Every CHE oversees a couple families in Kiandutu that are considered the poorest in the community. The commitment of the CHEs was clearly seen during home visits. The CHE that was with my group introduced each family to us and it was so clear that she had taken the time to invest in these families so that they were known and loved by her. I could really sense that she spends a lot of time weekly visiting these families and just encouraging them. I was so encouraged to see how committed this CHE was to her role in community transformation. I know that God has put this team together in Kiandutu and that his glory and transforming power is going to be made known in that community and beyond.
Our time in Thika really taught me the importance of unity within the body of Christ. These individuals are all so vastly different, yet they are all united by Christ. And because they are united by Christ they are committed to making his glory known and serving to bring about community transformation. I think about all the churches in Louisville. If all these churches were to put denomination differences aside, unite to make Christ known in Louisville, and address the many needs in our city--how big would that impact be? One church in Louisville can make a small difference, but many churches united and working together in the power of the Holy Spirit would make a much bigger difference. We may all meet in different buildings, that is the local church, to worship, but we are all part of one body--Christ's body.
"And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him
to be head over everything for the church, which is his body,
the fullness of him who fills everything in every way."