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Pastor Joseph Ngugi, who leads a church just outside of Nairobi, Kenya, has always believed that God called him to “shepherd the flock.” But he didn’t realize how that call extended to his wider community until he began Timothy Leadership Training (TLT).

Ngugi joined a TLT group last September. Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) missionaries Mwaya and Munyvia Wa Kitavi facilitated the training on pastoral care, the first of seven training manuals.  Ngugi and other participants studied biblical principles for pastoral care, and then created action plans for putting them into practice. The group has gathered every few months since then to share ministry results and study the next training manual.

Pastor Joseph Ngugi, third from left, meets with church members.

“After the TLT training, I learned how to visit with Jesus, showing compassion to the needy, suffering, and the sick in our community,” Ngugi said. He trained 10 members of his church to visit people in the community, whether or not they are part of the church. The more people experience that care, the more they want to know about the God behind it.

Eunice, part of that community, became so sick it seemed she would not have long to live. She had never been to church, but when church members stopped to visit, she welcomed them. They shared the gospel with her and prayed for her. Eunice decided that day to follow Jesus. She recovered from her illness and has faithfully attended church since then.

“As a result of Eunice’s transformation, many people have come to the realization that the church cares,” says Pastor Ngugi.

The church’s love for people has also spurred a deeper love for creation. Several church members have started collecting garbage. Others have cleaned up clogged sewage systems.

“Timothy Leadership Training’s impact is being felt in all the countries we work in eastern and southern Africa,” says Mwaya Wa Kitavi, CRWM’s regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa. “We hear comments like, ‘This is the program we have been waiting for, and it has come at the right time.’”

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