Travel Diary 10: ITEM YOUTH MINISTRY TAKES ANOTHER STEP

Hi Everyone,

I am back in Nairobi. Another day of travel. Covid testing and creating contact tracing records have become very tedious but both are a must if you want to continue to travel internationally. But as tedious and as arduous as it can be a times. In the end, it’s worth it. Today was no exception. Up at 4:45am in the DRC. At the airport by about 6:15am for a 10am flight. And by the time the check in process was finished there wasn’t a whole lot of time to spare. But the day ended with an exciting Zoom call where a group of us discussed the possibilities of a spring Apologetics Conference probably here in East Africa. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I see apologetics as the avenue ITEM will use to build a youth ministry. 

TRAVELING 

Every destination requires proof of a negative covid test within 72 hours of departure. And now, it seems every country wants you to register online and receive a QR code that tells health officials you have registered online with where you will be, for how long, where you are coming from and where you are going next. But it is one price you have to pay to travel internationally these days. No less than four different people at four different stations in the airport had to see proof of my negative covid test. Tomorrow, Saturday, I will be tested for the sixth time between Aug 6 and 21. But after tonight’s Zoom conference, it was all worth it.

REACHING YOUTH

You may remember me mentioning that 40% of Africa’s population is between 14-26 years old and the questions about Christianity that group is asking is similar to the questions they are asking in the US.

Tonight, I hosted a Zoom meeting and was joined by Kevin Muriithi (Apologetics Kenya), Ben Clifton (Adventurous Apologetics, Oregon City OR), Nathan Chiroma (ITEM Special Assistant, Nairobi, Kenya), and Chris McMillan, ITEM VP.

We met for about 45 minutes. Ben and Kevin have the experience and networks in the area of apologetics so I wanted them to do most of the talking. It was an exciting 45 minutes and some plans started to come together.

SPRING CONFERENCE?

Right now, it seems that the direction God seems to be moving us it to organize a conference next spring and bring together 30-40 leaders who are experienced and or interested in apologetic. The goal would be to organize an effort to raise up a team of apologists and in come cases, add to the apologists who are already ministering in this part of the world. And what excited me the most was hearing Ben and Kevin talk about widely known apologetics groups and individuals that would be a blessing and a half to meet and work alongside of.

That’s about all I can say at this point. Ben is going to put together some proposals and get back to the rest of us. I promise, you will be hearing more about this as the plan starts to come together. This is a part of the expansion we are going to be talking a lot about between now and the end of the year.

Saturday is an off day, sort of. Nathan and I will meet to discuss ministry here in Kenya and he will take me to get tested once again for Covid. Then it will be time to pack and prepare for my trip home beginning Sunday night.

I believe God, again, has done more than I had hoped for or prayed for during this trip. I had an encouraging meeting with our teams in Cameroon and the DRC. I’ve delivered the first box of books that I am donating to ILU. The Vice Chancellor of ILU agreed to allow us to use their address to register in Kenya and hold further discussions, when appropriate, about setting up an ITEM Office on campus. I’ve been a part of meeting to discuss an Apologetics Certificate program that Apologetics Kenya is developing and has asked me to participate in. And got the ball rolling for an Apologetics Conference next spring that I see as a part of building ITEM’s Youth Ministry. 

As you know, if you’ve been following the trip, there have been challenges but, in the end, much was accomplished . . .. 

By His grace and for His glory,

Steve

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