From All Saints EB to All Saints Malakisi, Kenya
Since around 1999 the C of E diocese of Peterborough has been linked to the Bungoma diocese in Kenya and there are over 40 churches and schools in Northants who have linked up with each other, including All Saints in Earls Barton! The emphasis is on an equal link as all involved feel that there is much we can learn from each other
Hence the components of the link are considered in the following order:
3) Financial support
We’ve been thrilled that recently we have been able to strengthen our links with Malakisi as a small group of us from All Saints met up with the diocesan co-ordinator and we have been able to send a letter and photos to Kenya with a group that was visiting and now we are having regular email contact with the new vicar there. This means we are able to pass on prayer needs and share these with our churches and communities. So we are putting updates about this on the All Saints (EB) website and are making sure we pray for our friends in Malakisi every week in our services.
It’s been great to hear more about the new vicar and the community in Malakisi through the wonders of email. Previously communication was slow and unreliable with letters taking weeks or even months to reach Malakisi, as it is in a very rural part of the west of Kenya quite near to the Ugandan border.
The vicar is Rev. Elisha A. Okendo and he is married to Rosemary and they have 6 children aged between 18 and 6years old. They have a congregation of 120 people per Sunday and have 3 services, including Sunday school, youth service and the main adult service. They also have 4 small prayer groups and Rev. Elisha has just told us that they have now started a 5th prayer group at the beginning of September as the numbers are growing!
For a while now we have been running Traidcraft stalls, coffee mornings and other fair trade events, the profits from which we have been able to send to Malakisi through the link arrangements. This money has helped the community to complete their church building (which you can see in the photos), and has also contributed to providing an accessible clean water supply and, more recently, the building of the new Archbishop Wabukala secondary school which means the children no longer have to all be accommodated in the primary school building, which must have been very difficult to manage.
There are still many material needs in the parish and all of Kenya as, for example, HIV/AIDS affects 75% of the population so there are many widows and orphans. One of the projects that the church in Malakisi hopes to do is to provide more for the orphans in particular and enable them to attend the schools. Rev. Elisha is especially concerned for the welfare of the school as he is the school chaplain. We hope that through our prayers and support, things will continue to develop and improve and hope that more of our village community can be involved in the link.
Please see the Fairtrade page and information for ways that you can contribute to improving the lives of our Kenyan friends and many others by buying Traidcraft products from us and supporting event.