Many of us were taken by surprise by the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on our nations and world. Like a tornado or typhoon, it has wrought swift destruction and damage to all in its pathway. But despite the strict limitations now in play in many parts of the world that are still causing suffering and death, we thank God that He is not limited by Pandemics or shut-downs. God is still at work around the world, and we in NAMS, in part with His church and people, are working actively despite the challenges of our times.
Our our NAMS Base in Nairobi, Kenya is an example. Just prior to the presidential directive to have school closed and our cities placed into lock down, a NAMS’ team led by Rev. Isaac Lasky (from Bangkok Thailand) and Pastor Pankaj (from Kathmandu, Nepal) was in town (2-8 March 2020) to do orientation with three new NAMS Global Apprentices. Had the training dates been planned a week later, it would not have been able to happen, and we saw God’s hand in the immaculate timing.
The plan after the training was to have the trained apprentices join me in regular practical ministry’s activities including preaching, training and pastoral visitations; with each remaining committed to making disciples in their sphere of work and home. The lockdown in Kenya brought a halt to our plans.
However, NAMS Sub-Saharan leader Timothy Mazimpaka in Kenya further reports what happened: “One day, while waiting upon the LORD to know what should be done, I got a message from a sister in the Lord that I knew from the USA with an encouraging quote from A.W.Tozer. She had gotten it from one of Tozer’s books, ‘The Pursuit of God’ that she had stated re-reading. As we spoke, I raised an idea to organize a way to read the book with her online and to have our Global Apprentices join in. She readily agreed. Since then, we have been reading together the book once a week and it has been a great blessing. We read, do assignments around topics raise and then come back to share. Our prayer is to get those we are reaching to also use the book as a resource.”
At the same time, Timothy and the Global Apprentices have begun using another virtual discipleship platform, by DAI (Development Associates International) – a 9 weeks’ course on “Servant Leadership.“ They have been meeting virtually and online with 12 emerging leaders from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Canada.
So, even as they aim to start the GAP program in Kenya proper with support from Isaac, GAP Global Co-ordinator, once the situation improves and they can physically be together, in the meantime they have been able to keep learning and growing through these times with various activities on-line. We thank God for the opportunity through the COVID-19 lockdown to continue to train emerging leaders in Sub-Sahara Africa. God’s glory continues to unfolding in ways we least expect. Glory to God in the highest!