Emmanuel and Udeme sat together under the mango tree, discussing the logistics of the upcoming training. They are leaders of a group of over 20 pastors in Southern Nigeria who meet together monthly to pray for their ministries and their communities.
They are from 12 DIFFERENT DENOMINATIONS!
But these pastors understand that they all work for the King and for the advancement of ONE Kingdom. As they meet together by WhatsApp, they pray for each other, and for the needs they see in their community. One of the needs they had begun to see was that people with disabilities are not represented or welcomed into their churches. While most of the people with disabilities in their communities are hidden, they do occasionally see someone begging or in need. And this began to bother these pastors.
Pastors Emmanuel and Udeme went looking for help. Emmanuel had been on the mailing list of Accessible Hope International (AHI) for a while, and reached out to see about the possibility of some disability training for these pastors. Though the pandemic has altered the way this could be done, AHI arranged for a 3-hour online introductory workshop called “Made in God’s Image.” The pastors live in 2 different states, so each of them gathered the pastors from their area in one location, and made sure they had access to one internet-connected device. Trainers from Sierra Leone met with them online, and facilitated the workshop for 20 pastors in two locations. Despite a few internet glitches, the workshop sparked a new passion in these 20 pastors. They wanted more.
They are now waiting for the completion of the full Theology of Disability workshop to be made available in virtual format, and continue to meet with these pastors from 12 different denominations to pray for people with disabilities and think of creative inclusion strategies. The full workshop should be available by Easter, and they are eager to participate – ensuring that their various churches begin to see people with disabilities through a new lens and reach out with love and acceptance to welcome them in.
Please continue to pray for these pastors in southern Nigeria, and for the people with disabilities in their communities – that EVERYONE would have access to the Gospel and to loving community – growing and serving Jesus together.
Kim Kargbo is the Founder and President of Accessible Hope International. Kim is compelled in ministry by the Voice behind her and the faces before her, who need to hear the Gospel in a way that is meaningful to them.
From the prayer letter of Sammy Imbaya Mwemba, learn the activities of a CHE worker…
Bwindi Forest Mission Report (Feb 2020)
As I write to you now it’s obvious that the world is going through unprecedented times with the spread of the Coronavirus. There is so much uncertainty of what exactly tomorrow holds. But as we exercise government directives on public health control in our respective countries, it’s my hope that the present challenge we are all going through will help us to firmly put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, our rock of salvation. May you be encouraged through and through in your faith.
Besides the Corona virus pandemic, I have good news from Bwindi forest. I came back from there a couple of weeks ago after a very successful time of community ministry
Thank you very much for your prayers and support and being part of God’s work in Bwindi forest. Our ministry success is also your success. Among the things we did included:
1. Showed the Jesus movie in local language
With Easter holidays around the corner, it was prudent to share with the children and adults about the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the significance of his death on the cross and the hope in the resurrection. The Jesus movie was a great attraction largely because it was being shown in the native language. The movie characters and plot became easily to identify with.
2. Preached in a local Batwa church
As a visitor to the local Batwa church, the greatest honor they gave me was the invitation to share the word of God. I wasn’t fully prepared for the surprise invitation to preach, but never the less I enjoyed the experience. I encouraged them through the scriptures to find their value and identity in our Lord Jesus Christ who has made us equal through his death on the cross.
As a marginalized community the message sank in so well that the congregation became very emotional towards the end of the service. I made a special altar call to remind them once again that they matter so much to God that He sent His son Jesus Christ to die for them.
3. Public Health lessons/Fellowship
Public Health lessons and spiritual teachings were our core engagements with the community. I first shared with the mother’s of the kids on the importance of observing basic hygiene lessons to counter common community diseases like typhoid, scabies, etc.
Later in the afternoon we had all the kids gather in a soccer field and shared health and spiritual lessons mostly through stories and games. The boys and girls were curious listeners to the stories as we had intentionally built suspense. We first informed them that we were to have rugby and soccer games played only after the special story session was over plus a special gift awaits those who will participate through the entire session.
In total we had 40 kids of varying ages sit through the teaching sessions. We taught them hygiene, including “tippy taps”, prayed for them and challenged them to share with their families and friends what they had learned.
4. Fellowship through Games
It’s always interesting to introduce something to the community. My travelling partner called Matayo Mwenesi, was my former Sunday school student in Nairobi, Kenya. He took leave from work to visit me and be part of what I am doing in Uganda. I invited him to join me on this trip of sharing Christ in the lives of the kids, the same way I did when he was a child way back. But most important, it gave him a platform of exposure on what missions is all about. He is a guy I want to walk with and mentor him further in missions.
Matayo is a former Rugby player and also coaches Rugby in schools in Western Kenya. He taught the girls, (they were more interested in learning the game than boys who went for soccer), some basic principles of touch Rugby. You should have seen the excitement they exhibited. Some of the girls initially thought this game was another version of Netball but at the end of the day they were very happy to have learned some basic ideas of a new game called Rugby
Thank you again for being part of this special mission to a special people group. May the good Lord bless you abundantly.
With the outbreak of Corona viruses, the government has come up with public policy guidelines to address the spread of the virus. Among the measures is the suspension of public/social/religious meetings and public transport among other policies. In view of that we have had to suspend all our upcoming trainings slated for April and probably May. We shall know how events in the coming weeks unfold and make appropriate decision accordingly. Let’s keep praying for each other in these unprecedented times.Stay safe wherever you are and keep the faith strong.
Thank you and God bless,
Sammy Imbaya Mwendwa
Matayo and me at the entrance of the Bwindi impenetrable forest
Please pray for Sammy and the many CHEs around the world, serving Jesus faithfully. The are the heart of the Global CHE Network!