June 2022

Dear ministry partners and friends,

ACK Diocese of Marsabit Youth Leadership Summit (DYLS)
The Diocesan Bishop’s charge and vision for the church here has been: ‘Disciple the church to transform the nation’. For several years now, we (the Diocesan youth department) have been striving to invest in discipling a few (at least three youth leaders drawn from each of our 20 parishes) in the hope that these will reach and disciple others in their respective churches and communities (delegates from this year's DYLS pictured at the top in Bible study and personal reflection). 

We strongly believe that the church is God’s missionary body, set at the heart of his eternal purposes and plan. God is on the mission to save sinners and reconcile them to himself in and through his beloved Son, Jesus Christ. This mission shapes the identity and work of the church. And this is what the theme of this year’s Diocesan Youth Leadership Summit (DYLS) was built on: Christ sends us (the church) on the same mission that his Father sent him to accomplish: ‘As the Father sent me, so I send you’ (John 20:21).

Bishop's opening speech

Perhaps it’s worth noting the context in which Jesus gave this mission. It’s given to weak, vulnerable, and fearful followers of Jesus. At that time, they were actually hiding to save their skin from the hostile world. In John 14 and 16, Jesus narrates how this world will be hostile to him and his message. Then he makes it very clear that this is the very same world where he is sending his followers. ‘As the Father sent me, so I send you.’ This implies that Jesus is sending us with the same message from the Father to the same people – the hostile world.

We are a people on a mission to a hostile world. This world will hate and even persecute us, but we must labour in the mission field to the very end. We explored this theme through a number of sessions including:

  1. The mission of Jesus – answering the question of what the Father sent Jesus to do and what he has sent us to do, based on Luke’s Gospel.
  2. An exposition of Jonah considering an unwilling messenger sent by God to a rejecting world.
  3. Discipleship 1: The what and the how of discipleship
  4. Discipleship 2: Keeping faith amid youthful struggles and powerful forces (drugs, stigmatisation, radicalisation and sexual purity)
  5. Christian Leadership
  6. Bishop’s charge
  7. Fulfilling the mission of the church in a tough and hostile world
  8. Exposition of Romans aimed at:
    • Understanding the problem at hand – sin and how we find ourselves here
    • Understanding the solution – Jesus, the only solution and our state in Christ
Group photo after opening and Holy Communion service

Challenges
The issue of insecurity has been a huge challenge in this year’s summit. This has been brought about by tribal conflicts between the two communities that form a majority of the locals. During the sessions on the second day of the training, we had some shooting and tear-gassing just a few meters from our venue. People were confused, scared and tense, but we managed to continue and complete the summit successfully. Do plead with us for peace and cohesion in our county. Praise God for safe travel of both delegates and facilitators.

Encouraging Stories
Despite security issues and concerns, the 2022 DYLS was a huge success. We have seen the parishes grow a great deal as a result of these DYLS. Seven beneficiaries of these summits for the past few years have now joined gospel ministry. They have now joined theological college for further training and equipping. Thank you for praying with us for this – prayers have been answered!

Clergy washing feet at Maundy Thursday service

It’s also encouraging to see our vision for these summits (equipping a few that they may equip many) being realised. After the DYLS, youth delegates from Kargi parish organised and ran a VBS. The youth leaders from Archers, Ngaremala and Lowangila parishes teamed up to plan and ran a three-day youth camp. Those from Marsabit teamed up to plan a two-day youth get-together and training, which ended with a youth Sunday. The Waso team had a week-long training course, passing on what they learnt both to the young people. These are just a few of the encouraging stories we heard off the back of the DYLS!

Rev Daniel Odhiambo

There is no greater joy than seeing young and energetic young men and women grow in their faith, knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus. The Lord is building his church here in northern Kenya, despite huge forces and challenges. We praise God for the ongoing work here in Marsabit. Many thanks for being a close partner in this successful and encouraging journey.

God bless.
Jomo Nderitu

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