May 2012: Mathia Church, our Faithshare Partners, is sending two people to visit us this June. They are keen to meet as many church and community people as possible, exchange ideas and learn about each other. We look forward to welcoming back John Njeru Karuoya who visited us in 2009 and who spoke to the church on Christmas Eve by the live link.
He is the senior elder and main contact person with us. He is a small time farmer growing tea and vegetables as well as serving his church and being involved in youth activities. He is currently a member of Kiangai Secondary School Board of Governors. His wife Esther leads the Guild, is also an elder and they have two sons and one grandchild.
The lady visitor is Bernice Wanjiku Kabath, a retired teacher now operating a hardware business in the nearby town of Karatina. She is married to Francis and they have three children, now all graduated from university.
The WCT is currently planning an interesting programme which will give you all an opportunity to meet our Kenyan friends, so please watch the church notices and do come to some events as well as meeting them at church.
Mathia: Rev Erastus Mbaka, parish minister of Mathia Church, sends greetings and reports that the congregation is increasing in number, especially the youth. He is happy that John has been elected as chairman of the Church, as John is “committed in all fields concerning the Church activities” and asks us to continue praying for him as he is the co-ordinator of the partnership as well as Church chairman. Prayers are also requested for the country as a whole as it has been hit by serious disasters. They too are praying for “Rev Gordon” and send us all the text from James 5:7-20.
Their students, Alex, Geoffrey, Josephine and two others are now awaiting their graduations and he thanks us for the support we have given them.
He finishes with “May God bless you mightily as you continue to make any other arrangements for this partnership.” A D
World Church Team – Disaster in Kenya
As you will probably know from the media, Kenya is facing a national disaster with a strong drought. People and animals are dying along with thousands of refugees pouring in from Somalia. Our friends in Mathia and Bondo are both reporting hard times.
John from Mathia tells of basic commodities costing double the normal prices. Their tea bushes which are the main earners are dying from lack of water which they cannot afford to buy!
Sadly, John’s father has died. Thanks for condolences sent on behalf of our church. Grandad Keroya was host to Wilson on his visit and a former soldier in the Kenya Rifles during the 2nd World War.
Four of our university students whom we have helped for the past two years are due to graduate soon and another five are continuing. The new term begins in September with further funding for them of £1,000 to be sent. Mathia Church send grateful thanks, appreciation and many blessings for this support.
Julie Smith and Sharon Fyall’s Charity Run in aid of our two Kenyan projects raised a wonderful total of £850.00. Congratulations and grateful thanks to both ladies.
A D, WCT Convener
In the summer of 2008, three members of Mathia congregation of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA), Reverend Benjamin, and two elders, John and James, visited Maxwelltown West congregation. So began our inter-church friendship.
In summer 2009 a reciprocal visit to Mathia was made by Reverend Gordon, Wilson Ogilvie, Rosemary and Ian Slack, and Heather and David Johnson, to continue this friendship which we hope will develop into a formal twinning between the two congregations.
Our visit to Kenya was an unforgettable experience and gave us the opportunity to make many new friends and share some aspects of the way of life in rural Kenya.
We were involved in exuberant worship, including a baptismal service, communion and a wedding. Also we visited three schools, a technical college, the PCEA University, a PCEA hospital and many of the thriving and growing churches in Kiangai Parish of which Mathia is a part. We experienced the noise of the local tea factory, but also the warmth of the hospitality of the factory workers, many of whom are Mathia Church members.