We are happy to be opening a new center in Kisumu. This would be our sixth center in the region of Kisumu, but 15 total in the country. This time I want to do it right by creating a sense of ownership among the church members and the leadership. To do this I have been able to do a lot of things differently.
First I had to let the church look for me but not the opposite. By doing this, I have the opportunity to ask them hard questions like: “What will you contribute towards this partnership in terms of material support?“
Secondly, I don’t hurry the hiring process. I have realized through experience and by reading Mark Miller’s book: The Secret , that if you want to get the best employee it is better to spend more time during the interview. With that you get to know the candidates better and what they really stand for. This is exactly what I am doing with Manyatta African Inland Church(AIC). These two candidates are worth knowing into details because they are the face of the church. They are also the ones who would be able to turn the lives of these desperate/suffering people we are dealing with. I want a man or a women who when they open their mouth, it will be all encouragement to other people. We are looking for people of integrity. All this may not take one day.
Thirdly, I love to sensitize and to entice the church about the good things CFA does. I love to use the church pulpit to openly share the gospel about caring for people living with HIV and AIDS. It is very important for a subject like this to be shared openly on the pulpit because of the stigmatization comes from this same people. Last Sunday when I preached in AIC, I told them that Jesus still loves people living with HIV and AIDS even if they got it as a result of the bad choices they made. He will still die for sinner like them because He did the same to the tax collectors. I challenged them that they have no choice but to love these people.
Lastly, I use a lot of my time by selling the vision to the committee members and sometimes touring them around the already existing centers. With these, I pose a question to them after the visit: ” Is this what you want for your church?” If the answer is yes, I then ask them to tell me what they can do so that we can do this together. If the committee owns the vision, then they can easily influence the whole church to support the program.
I am doing all these, to help our people catch the vision and run away with it. At CFA we are trying to empower the local church to take up responsibility and support their own ministries. I am aware that this will face a lot of resistance but I am sure it is an a achievable objective no matter how long it will take us. We will keep on trying.
Thank God! Manyatta AIC headed the call and they have promised me to provide the clients with food enough for one month every year. We want more of these.
Kindly feel free to advice Duncan and I on other areas we can engage our local churches.