A 25-strong group from St Paul’s Parish in Lisburn is heading to Kajaido Diocese in Kenya, Africa, in September 2009.
The visit is being organised through CMS Ireland as a mission experience, and the team will be advised and trained by Niall Manogue.
This exciting project grew out of a vision for a more hands on experience of mission by the rector of St Paul’s, the Rev Jim Carson. He had asked his Associate in Ministry, Stephen McWhirter to explore the issue.
During last March and April, Stephen organised a number of initial meetings with Ronnie Briggs, now Planning and Development Co-ordinator in the Diocese of Kajiado, and other men in the parish. The scheme that was finalised is to provide motorbikes for key clergy and medical workers in Kajaido Diocese.
A motorbike will extend the range for work by up to 50 miles at a time into the furtherest parts of the diocese. In consultation with Ronnie Briggs, the parish raised £3,000 through a church collection and donations in June for the first motorbike which was dedicated at a special service in Kajaido on November 16 by Bishop Taama of Kajiado.
This is the first of another five motorbikes the parish is aiming to provide by September 2009 to coincide with the parish visit. Thanks to the Girls Brigade, a generous gift by a parishioner and the support of Wallace Grammar School, funding is in hand for three of the motorbikes and it is hoped others may yet wish to be associated with the project.
The St Paul’s team to Kajaido has four main aims: to provide the motor-bikes for use by the diocese; to help build a school for Masai girls; to learn from and have fellowship with the people there ; to extend links in a tangible way in the future
The rector sent greetings to the people in Kajaido which were read at the service on November 16.
“We rejoice that we have been enabled through CMSI to enter into partnership with the people of Kajiado Diocese and members of our Church hope to visit you in September 2009,” Mr Carson said.
“St Paul writing in Ephesians 6:18 says ‘And pray in the spirit in all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.’ Please pray for us, as we continue to pray for you and so be united together in our common Christian faith.”
Stephen is a keen ‘biker’ and a number of the folk hope to ride the motorbikes in Kenya. Some are at present in training at ‘bike’ school to enable them to do so.