A Vision Takes Root

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

by Nigel Warr
Emmaus Ministries Regional Leader for Africa


In 2013 church leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Kenya had a vision to create a barrier across central Africa to stop Boka Haram and ISIS from moving further south into Africa.

One of the tools for this was to build up spiritual leaders in central Africa and re-ignite the lay people to become the hands and feet of Christ.

I think of the words of Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church outside of Chicago, Illinois. He once said, “The local church is the hope of the world.” I believe that we, Emmaus pilgrims around the world, need to pour the Emmaus movement into the local church in Kenya, to bring this hope.

Bishops from Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo identified the Walk to Emmaus as a program that could build up leadership in the local churches in Kenya.

The joy so far is that we have had leaders of many denominations—the Free Methodist, the United Methodist Church, and the Charismatic Church in Kenya—who have done a walk. They are truly excited about an Emmaus community emerging in Kenya.

I asked the Bishop of the United Methodist Church, Bishop Hawkins Mugaya, if he thought Emmaus would be well received in Kenya. His answer was that Kenya is hungry for the word of God, and the Kenyans are very spiritual people. He said they would receive Emmaus with open arms.

I then asked Bishop Mugaya about his Walk to Emmaus experience. He replied, “I have been a Bishop for three years and a pastor for many. I realized during my walk that I have been doing God’s work all wrong. How can I ask my people to serve when I their leader do not serve them? The Walk to Emmaus has turned everything upside down. If I want my people to serve God, I myself have to set the example. I am going home to make many changes.”  

To date we have had 10 Kenyan women and 15 Kenyan men who have done their Emmaus walk in South Africa. The next step is about to take place when I, as the Emmaus Ministries Regional Leader for Africa, will be visiting the Kenyan folk this fall to set up their steering Committee, do training, and set dates for the first Walks in Kenya in 2017.

Kenya is a very poor country, yet so hungry for Gods word, I ask for your prayers and any financial support to make this vision come true.

I invite Emmaus communities around the world to hold Africa in prayer and consider giving to the Emmaus Gift program to provide needed resources, funds for travel, and training materials.

Click here to watch a short video from Nigel Warr.

Visit http://emmaus.upperroom.org/gift to learn about #EmmausGives on #GivingTuesday, a special initiative encouraging pilgrims around the world to join in support of emerging communities.