July 2022

It is an exciting time at the beginning of each year as we welcome new participants into the TransformD Discipleship Programme. The first few weeks are always hard as young people start to settle in a new environment, start different routines to what they are used to and get to know a new group of people from different backgrounds. TransformD staff team work exceedingly hard in making sure that the young people feel valued and welcome but also in setting out clearly the objectives of the programme.

This year we welcomed 42 students who come from different places around the country. The first five weeks were hard for some as they struggled to settle in. However, it is always encouraging to hear some of their reflections at the end of the programme. Some found our rules and schedules a bit tough, for example, we require that students do not have their phones during the week to encourage them to spend the time interacting with their new friends and concentrating on the learning both in class and outside the class with less distraction. After the first block, some had promised not to come back for the second block if rules were not going to be changed. But in the end, everybody turned up. In fact, those that had threatened not to come back were among the first to report back. When asked why they came back, one answered, ‘I couldn’t miss the second block.’

Over the years, we have had young people who have come and have greatly benefited from this discipleship programme and we have maintained contact with them. However, we have had others who disappeared never to be heard from again but we hope that God is continuing to work in them and through them. We take great consolation from John 6:44: ‘No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.’ We recognise that our work is just to open Scripture with them – the role of saving and sustaining people belongs to God.

From the beginning of 2023, the TransformD programme will revert to operating Jan-June as the school calendar will also revert to its previous routine. The pandemic changed a lot of what we were able to do. This year we also don’t have a mission experience as we have also been limited by elections on 9 August which means that we had to finish before then. Schools will close for a week and we hope that it will not be a long and protracted change of government. 

Allan is from Samburu (a remote place where we usually send the team for mission experience) and he was part of our last year’s programme. Below, he shares his memories and reflections on his time within the programme:

‘My name is Allan. I joined TransformD in 2021. Being at TransformD was an enjoyable moment of my life because it is from there I got an opportunity to learn about the centrality of the gospel, from the gospel of Mark I learnt who is Jesus, what he came to do is to save us from our sins and he expects us to respond in repentance as we seek forgiveness from him.

During my time at TransformD, I had an opportunity to engage with different books and topics and I would like to mention two of them, namely the ook of Ephesians and God’s Big Picture.

Through the book of Ephesians, I learnt a few things. First, I now understand that when we become believers, God gives us a new identity in Him which comes through faith and grace alone. The book taught me how to put off the worldly desires and in its place put on the new self which is created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. All these issues I am continuing to apply them in my life in college and at home.

Reading through God’s Big Picture helped me to see how the whole Bible is connected as one story whose main aim is to point us to Jesus. This made me see that every chapter in the Bible is as important as any other, which is a view I didn’t have before then.

Through TransformD, I feel I was greatly equipped to handle life on campus – particularly on how to faithfully handle Scripture. Since joining campus, I have served in two different roles: as a Bible study coordinator and also as a mission co-ordinator. I am thankful for the skills I learnt at TransformD which I have been able to apply in these two roles. It is tough living for Jesus on campus but I thank God for the Gospel because I have the boldness to speak to my fellow students about the love of Jesus.

I am also involved in running youth and children camps at home in Samburu when we are on vacation. I am grateful to God for programmes like TransformD.’

We have been involved in the work of TransformD for the last six years – since its inception. We have seen so many young people come through and what a joy it has been in seeing their transformation in all aspects of their lives. We have seen some timid young people grow in public speaking skills while also growing in confidence in the gospel. We have seen some who already had a desire to be used by God continue to grow in their love and passion for the gospel.

During the same period, we have seen how so many young people travel from far to come and join our programme and God has planted a desire in us to see this work multiply to other regions of the country. To do that, God has been challenging us to consider establishing a youth workers’ training course so as to equip more workers who will go into those different regions and continue the work of discipleship. By the end of this month, this year’s TransformD programme will be complete and Gerald will finish with iServe Africa. We will then continue to explore options for where and how to start a youth work training course.

Prayer points

  • Pray for the TransformD programme to end well.
  • Pray for elections in Kenya on 9 August, for a peaceful and fair election and for a quick resolution of the outcome. 
  • Pray for the staff team who will continue the work of TransformD after Gerald leaves.
  • Pray for Gerald as he works on transitioning out of iServe Africa and as he plans out the youth workers’ training course after TransformD ends.
  • Pray for Louise and the children as they continue to grow and love Jesus.
     

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