This year sees the 25th anniversary of the Diocese of Kajiado. Maggie and I were privileged to be here at the beginning in 1993, and many years before that, as the diocese was in its infant stage. When we first arrived in Kajiado in 1980, the whole diocesan area was only one parish under the ministry of one ordained Pastor – Rev John Sakaya. There were about ten congregations at that time scattered across the diocese.
Now, in 2018, there are six Archdeaconries, 49 parishes (160 congregations), 93 ordained Clergy and about 200 Lay Readers. By any measure this is significant Church growth and we give thanks to God for bringing us this far. We have a real reason to celebrate and there are a number of events planned between now and the actual date of the celebration: Sunday 11th November.
The official launch of the Silver Jubilee was on Sunday 5th August in Emmanuel Cathedral in Kajiado. The place was packed to the doors and Bishop Gaddiel gave an address on being thankful to God for how much has happened in Kajiado since the beginning of the diocese. Looking back at the growth experienced over these years gives us cause for expressing our gratitude to God for His love, mercy and favour. We therefore have confidence for God’s blessing as we move into this next phase of ministry.
A commemorative torch was lit as part of this ceremony and will be taken on a road trip across all six Archdeaconries to eventually be back in Kajiado for the main service of celebration on 11th November. It is fuelled by paraffin and after a few minutes, the pastors at the front of the church disappeared behind a cloud of thick black smoke. Someone suggested that the torch should be taken outside to ‘begin its journey’ so that we could all breathe a bit easier! Windows widely opened, normal service was resumed.
CMSI has had a considerable input into the growth of Kajiado Diocese over all those years. Much of CMSI's understanding of what partnership can mean in practice has been developed through the relationship with the Anglican Church in Kajiado.
It's sometimes good to take a step back. With day-to-day busyness and routine, it is easy to stop seeing the big picture of what God is doing in our lives – and in His world. We can become complacent, our relationship with God can weaken and we continue to stumble on in our own strength. This is the message that the bishop wants all of us here in Kajiado to hear, so that as we step back to acknowledge His blessings, we can start to praise God and give thanks saying: ‘thus far he has brought us.’ (1 Samuel 7: 12).
So for all of us – here in Kajiado and through CMSI – let us stand firm and be ready for what the Lord has next in store for us...
‘..then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say; here I am.’