OAK is the Ordinands Appeal in Kenya
The OAK project is an exciting way that we can contribute to the building of God’s kingdom in Africa. We give money to pay for the training of Ordinands in Kenya and to pay for further training. When new priests are ordained, Bishop Samson is able to set up new parishes in his diocese. This means better provision of services, pastoral care, teaching and evangelism in the villages and towns of Kenya. We started supporting this project in 2003, after our curate Fr Robert went to Kenya with Rev Roy Taylor and the congregation of All Saints have been supporting OAK since then.
We first supported Margaret and Eunice, who trained in 2004-2007. Then we funded Patrick through his training for Ordination, in Bishop Samson’s Diocese of Taita Taveta in Kenya. Patrick graduated in November 2010 and was Ordained Deacon on December 5th 2010. Next we supported Jemima Mkiwa Mgalu, who has completed her training. Jemima had her graduation Ceremony for her diploma Studies on Saturday 23rd November 2013. It was wonderful that Fr Jeremy was at Jemimah’s Graduation and the Ordination Service, as All Saints Church has funded her training and we have been praying for her. Richard Mwagha Wughoma is our new OAK Ordinand on the Diploma Course. We are currently supporting Richard and Stephen.
Since 2003 there has been a dramatic increase in clergy in Kenya including the people that we have helped to sponsor their training. Once ordained it is quite common to be sent out to form a new church community. Imagine if that was the normal practice in our country! The return on our financial support is immeasurable in terms of growing the church in Kenya.
Fr Jeremy visited Kenya as part of his sabbatical in 2013. Many will have seen his presentation and heard of his inspiring time in the Diocese that we are supporting.
Historically a small number of people have made regular contributions towards this work with the balance being paid from church funds. At present we are sending £1800 per annum to Kenya. We have an offer of £1500 per annum for 3 years from church members. (2017-19) To sustain funding we need to initiate an annual fund-raising activity capable of raising £500 or more towards this well-established mission outreach. In 2017 a fund-raising supper was held with Fr Robert and Fr Jeremy reflecting on their memories of Kenya. The event raised £1200; a combination of direct proceeds from the supper and significant donations.
Bishop Samson (who has now retired) sent this news and appreciation in October 2014:
‘‘Greetings from the Anglican Diocese of Taita Taveta Kenya: We indeed appreciate the work of All Saints Maidenhead in supporting in the training of clergy through OAK. Margaret is married to a clergyman in Mombasa Diocese, serves in a parish, she graduated with BD St Paul's University two weeks ago. Patrick is serving with us in one of our parishes and doing very well. He is married. Eunice has been doing further theological training in St Paul's University. She developed ill health during her last semester so she is on recovering break before going back to try and finish her BD studies. Our next ordination will be early next year. It is very likely that we shall ordain Jemima then. Richard is doing well at Bishop Hannington College Mombasa. We were very grateful with the fees you sent to us for him which we received in our Diocesan Account. Stephen has settled in St. Paul's University for his first year. Thanks so much for your support for him. Our greetings to Fr. Jeremy and all members of All Saints.’’
It has been good to hear more about Kenya and how OAK is appreciated there, from Fr Jeremy, following his visit there as part of his Sabbatical in 2013.
Margaret, Eunice, Patrick, Jemima, Richard and Stephen are very grateful for the financial and prayer support from All Saints’ Church. Please will you continue to give financial and prayer support to our OAK project?
Thank you, Elizabeth Bryson (OAK Co-ordinator)
Additional information about OAK following Fr Jeremy's visit in 2013
The support of the training of clergy in Kenya is of vital importance as each clergy person is central to the community in which they serve. I was able to see this when I travelled in 2013 to the Diocese of Taita Taveta in Kenya and shared with Bishop Samson Mwaluda and his clergy a number of ministerial opportunities.
Bishop Samson has written a book entitles ‘Re-Orientating A Church For Accelerated Growth’ which focussed on a number of important ways in which the church could grow in Kenya.
Following research based on his diocese the Bishop set this vision for growth.
- Liturgical renewal – A more varied use of styles of worship and music.
- Renewal of the Episcopate – greater emphasis on the teaching ministry of the Bishop and servant leadership. Evidence of the Bishop visiting every parish and having regular contact with the clergy and people.
- Renewed ministry for and by the young people of Voi.
- Renewed parish ministry – There are young and enthusiastic ministers who are being encouraged to continue to study to improve their teaching and leadership skills in the communities to which they serve. We are playing our part at All Saints by supporting Revd Stephen Norman in reading for a Bachelor of Divinity degree at St Paul’s University, Limuru. Bishop Samson has during 20 years ministry grown the diocese from 20 parishes to over 90. Clergy are often faced with building churches and indeed their own home to live in when they arrive in a parish.
- Female leadership – Women’s ministry has been accepted and many parishes are flourishing as a result. I witnessed growth in parishes with a number of the women we have funded through OAK growing congregations in a wonderful way.
- Greater value given to the healing ministry. I again was given the moving and challenging opportunity to pray alongside people in their homes.
Alongside this work the Taylor family who worship at St Mary’s, Maidenhead have over a number of years developed fantastic educational opportunities for young people. The Kazi Mingi Foundation which is trying to further develop education in Africa is supporting places like St Bartholomew’s, in Voi. I witnessed the wonderful ministry of Revd Liverson and his teaching colleagues as they give opportunities for young people to develop.
Over the weekend of 18th – 21st September 2015 churches in Maidenhead will welcome Bishop Samson and his family and the Bishop Elect the Revd Liverson Mng’onda. We will have the opportunity to welcome the Bishops to our 10am Eucharist on the 20th September.
Finally I have been receiving opportunities throughout 2014 to share blogs and pictures from Spain, Kenya and Portugal and this has raised some funds to go with the commitment we make at All Saints to support ministry in Kenya. There will be more opportunities in 2015 to support events and talks to continue supporting the people in the Diocese of Taita Taveta.
With my prayers,
Click here to see Fr. Jeremy's Blog of his Kenya trip.