In addition to reaching out to those who haven’t heard of Christ, Christian Reformed World Missions staff in Uganda will be working side by side with believers who are hungry to learn more about the Reformed faith.
This new initiative, which is set to start later this year, will be CRWM’s first substantial mission effort in East Africa. Rev. Mwaya Wa Kitavi, a native of Kenya, will head it.
A CRC pastor of a multicultural congregation in Grand Rapids, Kitavi says he is excited about the chance to begin the new ministry. Most of those with whom he will initially work, he says, will be members of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAG), a 300,000-member denomination that has churches throughout Uganda.
“The PAG is a church that has grown quickly and exhausted many of its resources. They have asked us to help take them to the next level,” says Kitavi. “The church is there, but it needs to be developed and helped to mature.”
The early focus of this effort will be on theological education. “I will be teaching them how to approach ministry in a more systematic way” as well as to appreciate the Reformed belief that “all of the world belongs to God,” says Kitavi.
Although CRWM has had little presence in Uganda, the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) has five staff members there. They work in partnerships with various groups to provide adult literacy, community health care, business development programs, and to bring Ugandans together for theological training.
Ron Geerlings, CRWM director for West Africa, traveled to East Africa in 2006 to see how CRWM might partner there for discipleship and evangelistic purposes.
Geerlings says that providing theological education is probably only the start of the work CRWM will do in Uganda and in surrounding countries. “Once we start work there, we will find our way to what makes the best sense for us to do in that region.”