Over 70 disciples from the East Africa countries of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania descended at the Sport man’s Arm hotel for a three day East Africa 2012 Conference on 30th August to 2nd September. Nanyuki is about 3 and half hours from Nairobi.
The conference themed, ‘ordinary people extraordinary lives,’ drawn from Acts 4:13 helped the disciples to understand how God use ordinary brothers and sisters in campus to do extraordinary things in our lives that will take the glory back to him.
History of the church
Jared Odwallo, a deacon of doctrine and teaching at the Nairobi Christian Church had a mouth watering class on the history of the International Churches of Christ. The class had disciples glued to their seats as they learnt how different events in history actually affected this religion that we profess. The disciples learned from the great things that happened at the time when the church had its beginnings and be able not to repeat the same mistakes.
The class was insightful. The deacon had dug up all the history he shared in this instance on his own, and not from the scriptures as not everything about the church history has been included in the scriptures. The disciples were amazed and convicted to make the Bible their passion.
The disciples later got an opportunity to watch a short video ‘Recalculating’, acted by disciples, and they learned to be mindful of the decisions they make as disciples at all times, and base them on the Bible.
A taste of World Discipleship Conference
On the second day, the lead evangelist for East Africa, John Kilaha, shared a video class titled ‘Being the Dreamers of a New Generation’. The video was one of the sermons preached to the Campus disciples at the concluded World Discipleship Summit in San Antonio.
The disciples learned through the Bible character of Nehemiah, that the disciples in campus have the opportunity to change the world through God’s word, and it can only be done if they do not lose the key mission of a disciple, ‘the Great Commission’.
Evangelist John Kilaha, stated that the classes at the conference equipped the campus disciples go to another level in their maturity. Our focus as the whole movement of International Churches Of Christ (ICOC) is to seek and save the lost bearing in mind that the campus are the future of the movement, they should rise to the occasion and make the impact in this generation.
The classes catered for both sisters and brothers and at some point they had to be separated. The brothers had classes titled ‘From Boys to Men’ and the sisters, ‘From Girls to Young Women’. The classes were on how to act as a man/woman, not through the definition of society, but rather through the Bible. They were not on puberty as they sounded. The brothers and sisters were guided on ways to behave as mature men and women of God respectively. The classes focused on their character and had nothing to do with the biological makeup. There were question and answer sessions that allowed the brothers and sisters to explore the issues brought to the fore.
The disciples had fun swimming, playing football, having great fellowships as well as participating in team building sessions. The interactions amongst the different disciples from all over the region, brought to the fore the unique ‘international’ fellowship. In the end it became painful to depart. The conference was spiced up by great food and the accommodation.
The baptism of Jackie Mbugua, from the Nairobi Church was the highlight of the Conference. Jackie was reached out to by David Njoroge from the Vision/Orbit Sector on campus and got baptized on Friday 31st August when the conference was at its peak.
According to Raymond Musonye, the Nairobi Campus Ministry leader, the campus disciples had great lessons of totally depending on God. He added, “The journey was not easy. The disciples had to raise huge sums of money to attend the conference, and God really showed his mighty hand because more than seventy disciples were able to attend the event. The theme was ‘Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives’, and just by looking at the venue on arrival, the event promised to be truly extraordinary and it lived to its billing.”
The campus leaders from the East Africa region did a tremendous job, making the disciples have faith that they will make it to the conference. The huge turnout did not disappoint. People were inspired to give the best and make it happen. God mightiness was demonstrated as the disciples were able to move places despite being ordinary people.
Lessons learned from the conference
The Disciples were able to share concerning the conference, the goals they set and also the far God has brought them. Many could not hide their happiness for having made it to the conference.
It was evident that people were convicted, and all that is left is to put into practice the lessons they had.
Frances Achieng from the Kampala Church of Christ learned that it was to a person to grow into the maturity that the bible calls us to. She stated, “If not me, who will it be? If not now, when? If not here, where? Courage is not the absence of fear; it is what you do in the presence of fear.” She concluded, “I came out of the conference a different person.”
Oliver Maitima from the Nairobi church learned how to be a real man. “Real chance starts with me, (which is not always easy) and it is what will draw the lines between a boy and a man.”He also learned from the theme scripture that he can be an ordinary person but can do really immense stuff. “God can use me in a great way so I should never look down on myself.” He cited King who was an ordinary young man but God used him in a very powerful way.
The 2012 East Africa Conference is the fourth one and the third one to be held in Kenya following the 2008 conference in (YMCA) and the 2010 conference at the Kenya National Theatre. Uganda hosted the third conference in Kalangala – 2011. There were two visitors, Morris Ngugi and Jackie Mbugua who came out of the conference a disciple of Christ.
When you are faithfully, God will give you the best. The success of the campus conference demonstrated that God was at work.
By Allan Owino – Campus Ministry