KING'S HIGHWAY CHURCH, KENYA
St James' Church has twinned with King's Highway Church, Eldoret, Kenya. King's Highway Church is led by pastor Henry Wedende and pastor Fred Weswa. King's Highway Church has a congregation of about 150 people and is situated on the outskirts of Eldoret by the side of the main highway. The community that the church serves is largely poor, with few having regular jobs. St James' Church has much to learn from our Kenyan brothers and sisters, and also things to share. The aim of the twinning is primarily for St James' Church to enter an ongoing relationship with King's Highway Church in order for the two congregations to learn from each other and support each other in growing in faith and ministry.
Find out more about Kings Highway Church: http://kingshighwaychurch.co.ke/
King's Highway Twinning Partnership
St James' PCC and Kings Highway Church have formally agreed our twinning partnership. Find out more here.
King's Highway Twinning Steering Group
Our partnership with King's Highway Church and School involves working out principles of how we grow and develop our twinning partnership, communication between our two communities, planning reciprocal visits, organising fundraising and many other things. So we have a Steering Group to initiate and oversee much of this work. The Steering Group meets 3 times a year and is made up of the following people:
Mark & Julia Dyer
Judi & Sam Johnson
Please chat to anyone on the Steering Group for more information about our twinning.
King’s Highway Kumi Visit to Eldoret – February 2019
After much planning and preparation, the time to depart for Kenya came upon us quite suddenly. This, despite doing the majority of our packing a week prior to departure! Most of our luggage space was taken up with resources for the church and school as well as lots of fun things like: footballs; games; inflatable bananas, tyres and Killer Whales to name just a few. What a spectacle we might become getting through Security and Customs! Trying hard not to think about these things we set off for Manchester airport, kindly driven by Colin, and then for Africa beyond.
This would be time, each morning, for the team to focus on God individually and collectively, to pray, to remember why we were in Eldoret, to praise and to give thanks. We were fortunate enough to be able to spend this thought provoking time in the peaceful hotel gardens. Quite a contrast to the general hustle and bustle of Eldoret life. Re-focused, united with God and with each other we set off with faith into our day.
Sunday Worship at King’s Highway Church
Our trip was carefully timed such that we were able to attend King’s Highway church on two consecutive Sundays. Each of us had the opportunity to be involved in children and/ or youth work as well as time to enjoy a KHC service. Mark Dyer courageously spoke at the English speaking service on both our first and second Sundays while Helen led the children in their related worship and activities and Clive led the church youth. Reverend Henry took the second service, also in English but translated into Swahili in real time and Bishop Francis entranced us with his sermon (also translated into Swahili) on our second Sunday. Time together in worship with our Eldoret family was a wonderful experience, overflowing with The Holy Spirit.
KHC Family Fun Afternoon
The Spirit of Africa - Women’s Dance-off during the Family Fun Afternoon - KHC
Following church it was time for our ‘Family Fun’ Afternoon. Our well-travelled whales and other inflatables were pumped up and sent into action. Children got the hang of things with the Muzungus demonstrating rules and giving tips on best techniques for speed. Parents got swept up by the competitive spirit and by the time the hotly anticipated Dance competition arrived there were entries of every age, male and female.
Time at the School
On Monday morning ‘The Kumi’ (our team name – ‘The ten of us’) visited King’s Highway School together. After a rapturous welcome by the whole school we spent time getting to know the children and re-uniting with the teaching staff and Head Teacher Cleophas, already well known to St James’ School Head Teacher Fiona Pattison. We were also shown around the school grounds and field as well as ‘grain storage’ outbuildings where last year’s maize harvest, grown on the school field, is stored before it is used for school meals.
During our trips out to KH School (approx. 5 miles west of KHC) it was apparent just how dry the land and roads were. Several years ago the school dug a very deep well to provide a lasting water supply. With the recent extended dry weather in Kenya most shallow wells in the area have dried up but the school’s deeper well continues to provide fresh water. So the school well has become a life line the community at large.
We thank God for supplying the school and the community in this rural area with clean drinking water. Please pray that rain arrives soon to replenish the area and is plentiful so crops can be grown successfully.
As well as storytelling (for the younger ones), teaching and generally spending time with the school pupils our teaching contingent of 4 spent time sharing resources with KHS, giving explanation in their use to the Kenyan teachers. The children will be able to benefit from learning in some really practical, ‘hands-on’ ways which will help in their development and overall understanding. The teaching team worked hard to organise these ‘open ended’ maths resources so that children will get maximum exposure to them.
This year the school has started a new class, Grade 8, which concentrates on those pupils who have not yet passed their final exams. This means they will have an extended opportunity to obtain their qualifications and then go onto further education rather than leaving empty handed. Money raised by the St James’ School Danceathon was used to buy text books for the Grade 8 teachers. Now these pupils can be taught in accordance with the national syllabus.
We had plans for painting part of the school building itself but, as often happens in life, more urgent work presented itself and the team (in particular Andrew and Clive) took to the new work like ducks to water!
The Fencing that many of you contributed towards was a great success. It will prevent livestock from wandering over the school’s arable land. The maize grown here is used to feed the school children who are now receiving two meals during each week day. Head Teacher Cleophas explained that the market price of maize can vary considerably depending on supply and demand, largely determined by the time in the year and weather conditions. By growing and stocking their own harvested crop KH School can reduce their need to buy maize and if they do need to buy extra supplies, by having their own supply, they can choose to buy when market prices are low. With all of this in mind it is easy to see how important it is to have robust fencing in place.
KH School had organised a group of young men for this project and we went to work alongside them. It was no mean feat with each post requiring its own two foot deep hole, posts to be wood treated, cement mixed and posts put into the ground and then 6 or 7 rows of heavy duty, well tensioned barbed wire. Clive, Andrew and Mark put some hard work in for us all but we have to say the vast majority of this work was carried out very efficiently by the KH School team, which gave our boys time to concentrate on other urgent maintenance issues. The Kenyan fencing team spent much of the week working tirelessly from early morning into the evening and by the time we wrapped up our jobs they had finished too.
Baptisms at Kings Highway Church - October 2019
King's Highway Church continues to grow! Last Sunday they celebrated as 9 adults were baptised in a small lake near to the church.
Please pray for those baptised that they will continue to grow in faith and become strong disciples of Jesus Christ.
Seed Opportunities Fund
During our time in Eldoret we visited a number of the Small Businesses that have been set up as a result of the Opportunities Fund: a welding business putting together gates and doors, clothes shops, dressmakers, fruit & veg stalls, hairdressers, food & drink vendors, grocery store, charcoal sales to mention just a few.
Small Group Twinning
During our time in Eldoret we were invited into KHC community homes to partake in Small Group meetings. The format for the Small Groups is the 4-W’s: Welcome, Worship (what was your top song of the week), Word (which one verse has ministered to you through the week) and Work (each person to mention 1 prayer need and to pray together).
As well as having natural rhythm it would seem that all Kenyans can sing beautifully so some of us may have been a bit nervous about our own abilities. Once over that worry the essence is very similar to our House Groups, it’s all about going deeper with God, growing in fellowship and offering support for each other. This has been so popular with KHC that as numbers of attendees have grown some groups have had to ‘birth’ into two smaller ones. Additionally, in areas far from church members of the local community, unable to travel to KHC, have been encouraged to join a group so they can still be part of the wider church community and can worship, learn about the Gospel, pray and be prayed for and have Christian fellowship.