Dave Penner, President, The Josiah Foundation
After traveling over 19,000 miles and spending over 2 weeks in Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi, I was ready to rest and contemplate on what was the most amazing mission of my life so far!
I had never before observed such a powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit as I did at each location where I ministered. And I knew why – lots and lots of prayers had been going up for months in regards to this trip.
The primary focus of the mission was to assist in the training and development of Godly leaders who will be instrumental in bringing transformation to the church and all of society there in Africa.
A brief recap:
I gave Sunday morning messages at the Kingdom Light Ministries Church (slums of KwaNjenga) and at one of the Victory Churches of Rwanda in Kigali, Rwanda. I presented the Biblically based “Principles of Effective Leadership” at four different 2-day conferences in three different countries (see photos below) to 400+ pastors, church leaders/members, teachers and high school students. Many requested prayer for healing and many made decisions for a clean heart as they chose to remove the bitterness that had been residing there and to forgive those who have hurt them.
Pastors Jeremiah Kibisu and Harrison Mmaitsi, both from Nairobi, accompanied me on the trips into Rwanda and Burundi. These two men were instrumental in obtaining the invitations to come to both countries. They provided wonderful companionship during our travels and were a great help in various ways, not the least of which was language translation.
Everywhere I went, the host Bishop or Pastor expressed a desire to work closely with The Josiah Foundation and to continue spreading these leadership principles. Bishop Bernard, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo was also in attendance at the Rwanda conference. Bishop Bernard oversees nearly 40 churches there, and he also requested that we work together with him and bring the teaching to the Congo as well.
Testimonies are already coming in regarding the immediate impact the conference teaching has had, and how some leaders plan to regularly gather to further study the materials provided in the conference booklets. Local leaders have already expressed their desire to translate the Conference booklets into French (spoken in Rwanda, Congo and Burundi) and Kirundi (Burundi). We have already provided the booklets in both English and Swahili.
Before I left for Africa, my wife received two clear words from the Lord in regards to the conference teaching. The words were “infectious wildfire”. The church in Rwanda has a theme for the year – “Send The Fire”!! I believe that is exactly what the Lord is doing! Praise His Name!!
Please enjoy the following photos and brief descriptions.
Kingdom Light Ministries, Slums of Kwanjenga, Nairobi, Kenya
My dear friends, Pastor Jeremiah Kibisu and wife Carol and their two daughters, Jasmine and Joy by the church.
On Sunday morning, I brought a message of encouragement from Psalm 73. Sometimes we may be tempted to envy the wicked who seem to be prospering, but let’s see the big picture: their end is destruction. Surely God is good to the pure in heart. Some of the children in attendance also.
Two-Day Conference – Principles of Effective Leadership
I didn’t get an exact count but I believe there were nearly 100 who attended the 2-day Principles of Effective Leadership Conference. It was wonderful to see the level of interest in those attending. Attendees really enjoyed the small Discussion Groups.
The Josiah Community Medical Center – Slums of KwaNjengan, August 6, 2018
Be careful where you step, but come with me now to a place where thousands of people have received care for both body and soul – The Josiah Community Medical Centre! This medical clinic is staffed by trained medical professionals and is licensed by the Kenyan government. The clinic staff have been serving the poor of the KwaNjenga slums since the medical centre opened it’s doors in December, 2012. Many who could not afford to pay for services at a government hospital have come here. Pastor Jeremiah offers prayer, counsel and love to all who come. A number of his church members first came to Christ through the ministry of this clinic.
Clinic Director, Pastor Jeremiah and wife Carol in front of the Josiah Community Medical Centre. Carol is nearing completion of her first level of nurse training. She has really impressed the doctors at the hospital where she has done her training.
Jamii Outreach Ministries – Kibera Slum – August 6, 2018
Each year, it’s my privilege to hang out with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. You’ve already met Jeremiah and Carol (Kingdom Light Ministries). In a minute you will meet Benard Alusi and his wife Bentina (Ark School). But now let me introduce you to a wonderful husband and wife couple – Edward and Jayne, the founders and directors of the Jamii Outreach Ministries. They operate this little school packed full with over 100 children. Not only do the children receive an education here, they learn about Jesus. And they receive a hot nutritious lunch each school day! Edward and Jayne have a dream of expanding their school to accommodate up to 200 children.
Dated photo from last year’s visit. Jami Outreach founders/directors Edward (in blue cap) and wife Jayne (far right) along with Ark School founders Benard and wife Bentina (far left), Jeremiah next to me, and Jeff Hubbard (blue shirt). Although school was closed for break, a number of children came to entertain us with song (and a nice lunch).
Each child receives a nutritious lunch each day. Please consider helping to feed these precious children. You could be visiting here in 2019!!
ARK School – Slums of Kariobangi, Two-Day Conference – Principles of Effective Leadership, August 9 – 10, 2018
The Ark School – providing a wonderful harbor in the midst of very turbulent seas. Over 100 high school students, many Ark School alumni, attended the 2-day conference on Principles of Effective Leadership. Two of my favorite people on the planet – Ark School founders Benard and his wife Bentina.
The girl at right (top middle) was just one of many students who made decisions to put name(s) on “God’s Hook”, symbolizing their decision to release the person who had wronged them to God and to forgive. Two high school boys drew some amazing illustrations (top right) to assist with the teaching; they did all this within about an hour. Over 80 slips of paper were placed on God’s hook. A clean and healthy heart is absolutely essential for anyone seeking to be an effective leader.
Kigali, Rwanda – Sunday Morning Message – Victory Churches of Rwanda – August 12, 2018
L to R: Pastor Harrison, yours truly, Bishop Joseph, Pastor Jeremiah. Sunday morning saw a full house ready for worship! I could have listened to the beautiful, energetic and colorful worship music for hours!
August 13 – 14, 2018
Lot’s of great discussion took place during break out sessions. Through the Holy Spirit’s anointing, hard working translators, and the use of good old fashioned flip charts & white board, the conference teaching was eagerly received. Following a time of prayer for healing for those with wounded hearts, many responded to the invitation to forgive those who had hurt them. Just as in Kenya, many chose to move their offenders from hooks within heir own heart onto God’s Hook. Certificates were provided to each attendee at the end of the conference. Here I’m pictured with Pastor Bernard from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Pastor Bernard has extended an invitation to me to come and minister in the Congo where he oversees nearly 40 churches.
Bujumbura, Burundi – Two Day Conference
Principles of Effective Leadership, August 16 – 18, 2018
At top left: Pastor Jean Paul and a number of his church members gave us a warm welcome at the airport in Bujumbura. Middle top: Church building was nestled into a bustling market area. Top right: Upon our arrival the morning of the first day of the conference, we were greeted with a sight I’d never before seen in Africa. The church was nearly packed and ready to start even before we got there! We were not functioning on typical African time, where folks may continue to arrive for a good two hours after the official start time. I loved my time with these precious believers who were so eager to learn all that God had for them! You may not be able to see it, but I’m holding a 6-inch portion of the rope that is painted red. The red part represents our short life (vapor) on earth before we enter eternity (represented by the 200 ft long white portion). A number of people have commented on how this simple illustration has reaslly helped them to live with the perspective of eternity in view. Harrison did much of the translation during the conference. Jeremiah helped reel out the rope. Once again, attendees really enjoyed the group discussions!
Attendees always seem to enjoy actor’s performance of a drama of the king and the servant who had been forgiven a huge debt that he could never repay, but who couldn’t even forgive his fellow servant a small debt (Matt. 18). It was a privilege to pray for each one who had lined up for prayer. Precious people! Lesson learned – glasses don’t do a whole lot of good when perched on top of the head!
On the second day of the conference, Radio Colombe, FM came out to interview me about the leadership conference.
Attendees were so excited to receive their certificates!! I pray that many of these leaders will continue on with the study of the Biblically based leadership principles, and then pass them on to reliable men and women who will then be qualified to teach still others!
SAYING GOODBYE FOR NOW AND WONDERING WHAT GOD HAS IN STORE FOR NEXT YEAR August 19, 2018
As we stood in line waiting for the Bujumbura airport to open (turns out it doesn’t open until 7:30 AM), here came Jerome!! Jerome had attended our leadership conference and now we find out works at the Bujumbura airport!! With a warm smile, he took our luggage and walked us through every step from ticketing and on through customs. And then with a promise that he kept, he came back to take our photos as Jeremiah and I boarded the plane for our return to Nairobi. Will we be back next year to help take the teaching to interior Burundi? I hope so!! We’ve been invited!