November 13, 2011
This report was submitted by Daniel Mathuva, Moderator of the AEPC. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AFRICA EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH UPDATES 2011
Before the close of his earthly ministry Jesus told His disciples that He will build the church and the gates of Hades shall not overcome (Matt 18:16). Jesus did not tell the disciples that they are the only people he will use, but one thing he did was to promise the gift of the Holy Spirit who was to empower them for the task ahead of them. After receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit they were to be witnesses starting Jerusalem to the uttermost parts of the earth.
Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church shares this same commission with the rest of the visible church in the world. As a visible church we have the mandate to preach the gospel and plant new churches in all parts of the world but for this to succeed we need each other.
Light in the Tunnel
Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church got established in Kenya as a result of work done by World Presbyterian Mission (today Mission to the World-MTW) in the early years of 1960s. For many years the church remained in one ethnic community and not until 1980s when the church moved to other parts of the country. By this time the denomination started planting churches in Nairobi and other urban towns of Kenya. This was encouraging to the local pastors who saw the denomination growing and acquiring a national outlook. However, a setback started being experienced by this time. The missionaries started leaving the church and the church was left on its own. The times were difficult for the denomination, pastors who had sought guidance from missionaries all those years were on their own. However these difficulties did not deter the growth of the denomination. While being cut loose from the Mission was a major blow for the denomination, it became a blessing in disguise for the church; the local pastors became responsible for the church without any assist from outside.
Years have gone by and the church grew from one presbytery to five by 2010. As this was not enough, the Lord of the church started opening doors for AEPC. Through connection by John Shane a missionary with Mission to the World (MTW) and leader in Africa, AEPC got connected to Zimbabwe churches which became a presbytery of AEPC and a memorandum of understanding got signed in April 25-27, 2011 during AEPC General Assembly meeting. This was a great achievement for the denomination. God bless John and his family. Through John other connection have been made eg: The moderator Rev Daniel Mathuva got invited to give presentation in MTW global conference Tennessee in November 2010, another AEPC member of the Mission Board Rev Richard Kimanzi was invited to attend a meeting in Serrelione with MTW missionaries.
During the General Assembly that met in Nairobi in April 25th to 27th, John Shane a delegate from MTW and representative of Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) gave a powerful message citing an opportunity for AEPC growth, in his preaching he said that there is some light in the tunnel. He concluded that the light might not be very clear but it is almost dawn and AEPC needs to prepare to move and make its name a reality.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC) AEPC CHURCHES.
Some work in DRC which was started in 2005/2006 through the initiatives of Rev & Mrs Daniel Mathuva while planting a church in Kawangware slum became a reality during AEPC General Assembly meeting in April. A Congolese believers and refugee who was nurtured by the Mathuvas and who request for permission to start AEPC churches in DRC had been calling the General Assembly through Rev Daniel Mathuva to go to DRC to confirm the churches he had started. Rev Daniel Mathuva petitioned the General Assembly to sent two delegates (instead of him) to go and confirm the report. Two delegates were sent, these being Rev Peter Kitheka and Samson Musyimi. After return there was a good and encouraging report (see separate report).
The DRC churches (four in number) are calling the General Assembly to go and inaugurate AEPC Presbytery in the country, register the denomination, buy one plot for the mother church (costing ksh 100 000 equivalent to $1000) as well as providing a pastor to guide the churches. The General Assembly through the Administration committee has planned to visit with DRC churches in October 2011. What a blessing from God? John’s message is becoming a reality and the light is beginning to shine.
PRAYER REQUESTS FOR THE CHURCH AS IT EXPANDS ITS WINGS TO REACH AFRICAN SOIL
All this growth is not happening without challenges and hardships. Brothers and sisters pray for us that the Lord opens a door and not only one door but many as well as widows for AEPC to grow in the following areas.
1: Financial stability.
Due to most churches in AEPC being in the rural area where drought and famine is evident, the denomination is indeed very weak financially and therefore in need of partners in Missions. If AEPC has to send a missionary in DRC about ksh 30 000 ($350) per month, this will make this person to move together with his family. Pray for the Lord of the church to provide.
The year 2012 will be AEPC’s 50th Anniversary. Although these are very many years for AEPC, it is unfortunate that no Headquarter for this church. There is need for a secretariat to manage the growing church and co ordinate its foreign missions. Time is gone for AEPC to operate a briefcase office. For AEPC to build it’s headquarter a place has been donated by one of its congregation-Community Presbyterian church Madaraka. The church trusts the Lord and needs to raise Ksh 6m to put up the building. The building will be done in phases until it reaches its last phase. Pray for the denomination for directions on how to go about in raising the needed funds to lay the foundation. We as a denomination are committed to raise half of the funds needed.
3: Mission to DRC in October 2011
As a result of a good report received from the two delegates who went to DRC the General Assembly has been invited through its administration committee to go and commission DRC churches. This has been planned for October 2011. Pray for the Lord’s direction in securing a registration for AEPC in DRC, buying of one plot for the mother church which cost $1000 and raising enough money to travel to DRC.
4: Jubilee Celebration in April 2012
Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church (AEPC) was established in Kenya in 1962 through the efforts of mission work by World Presbyterian Mission (WPM) today Mission to the World. In this case the denomination will be 50years next year 2012. The church is in preparation to hold a Jubilee celebration in April 2012. Different delegates will be invited to grace the celebration. Pray for the preparation of this celebration.