All Posts By

Geoff Holder

Parenting in the Digital Age

By Farming, Malawi, Training

New APF trustee Kingston Ogango will be leading ‘Parenting in the Digital Age’, an innovative and important workshop at Canterbury Baptist Church on Saturday 4th November. It is aimed at parents, carers, aunts, uncles, grandparents – in fact anyone with a concern for children, especially with regard to their exposure to the internet.

Parenting in the Digital Age
Hosted by APF and facilitated by Kingston Ogango, Africa Regional Director, Alpha International and recently appointed APF trustee.
This half day conference addresses issues around family dynamics, parenting tactics and how to remain relevant to digital natives.
Saturday 4th November, 9.30 to 14.00 at Canterbury Baptist Church, CT1 1UT
For more information or to book your place, contact:
WhatsApp +256 707 908298

Topics covered include ‘What Must Parents do to Remain Relevant?’ and ‘Parenting Digital Natives’.

If the workshop is of interest but you are in another part of the country, please also make contact to book Kingston when he is next in the UK.

For Prayer…

By Prayer

Please pray with us for our partners in Africa.

“Lerato Lesoetsa from Lesotho has recently moved to Chad to serve with African Inland Mission. She asks readers to thank God for the financial support that meant she could afford the air tickets and purchase some furniture and a solar panel for her new home. She asks us to pray for her long-term visa application.”

Lerato LesoetsaAIM, Chad

“Revd Charles Munyamahoro is a Free Methodist minister based in Kigali, Rwanda. He also teaches theology at the Free Methodist University in the south west of the country. Charles gives thanks for recent rains in Rwanda and asks that we pray for his students, especially those who are sick at this time.”

Chareles MunyamahoroFree Methodists, Rwanda

“Irene Kaziba is founder and director of Faith Babies Home, an outreach of Iganga Baptist Church in Uganda. She asks for prayer for the provision of food and medical supplies for the 42 children and staff under her care.”

Irene KazibaFaith Babies Home, Uganda

“Esomu Francis, Principal of Atirir Bible School in Teso Region of Uganda gives thanks for funds received from APF for student bursaries but asks that we pray for rains to come as there has been a prolonged dry spell which has impacted yields meaning that food will be scarce in 2024.”

Francis EsomuAtirir Bible School, Uganda

“Winnie Chemutai is a teacher with Transformation Compassion Network in west Kenya. She has a severe health condition which requires regular medical care, the cost of which is a great challenge. Please pray for Winnie’s personal provision and the means to fund her health and home.”

Winnie ChemutaiTCN, Kenya

“Revd Chris Khatela is Senior Pastor of Ngong Restoration Assembly in Kenya and an Associate Lecturer visiting seminaries in East Africa. Chris seeks prayer for provision for the reconstruction of the church sanctuary and travel costs to meet the demand for pastor training.”

Revd Chris KhatelaNgong Restoration Assembly, Kenya

“Sarah Sewagye, a pastor of Living Hope Church in Uganda is concerned for her mother’s help. Her mother requires surgery overseas but the cost is prohibitive and despite having sold land to help fund her treatment her condition has deteriorated.”

Sarah SewagyeLiving Hope Church, Uganda

“Edward Amwayi is Archbishop of the Worldwide Anglican Church (Kenya). He requests prayer to enable the recruitment, training and resourcing of evangelists.”

Edward AmwayiWorldwide Anglican Church, Kenya

“Rev Joel Agel Awio from NUICA in Lira, northern Uganda says that his region used to receive a very reliable rainfall especially in the second wet season (July to November) but there has been no rain since May. He asks for prayer as hunger has already hit and is expected to worsen towards the end of the year.”

Rev Joel Agel AwioNUICA, Uganda

October 2023 newsletter

By Impetus

October 2023 Impetus.

Welcome to the final edition of Impetus for 2023.

Doesn’t time fly! In fact, this is the twentieth edition of Impetus since ‘APF News and Prayer’ was rebranded back in 2019.

I hope you find the news in the ‘Around Africa’ and ‘In the UK’ pages encouraging. I also hope you find the articles a helpful focus for prayer, alongside the specific prayer needs shared by some of our friends and partners in Africa.

As always, thank you for reading and for your continued support.

Revd Dave Stedman

eVitabu on smartphone

Meeting Jesus in all the Scriptures through eVitabu

By eVitabu

Rev Dr Paul Blackham is an Anglican vicar, formerly of St Crispin’s in Islington and All Souls’ Langham Place. He is an author of ‘Book by Book’ study guides published by Biblical Frameworks which are included in APF’s library app, eVitabu. Paul writes, explaining why he feels the partnership with APF through eVitabu is so significant.

The Bible is the most important book in the world. It takes us through the whole history of the universe from beginning to end, but it also speaks clearly about our lives: Why are we here? How should we live? And most important of all, God’s written word points us to His Living Word.

At Biblical Frameworks we aim to give as many people as possible an opportunity to meet Jesus in all the Scriptures. That’s why we developed the Book by Book series of Bible study resources. We are thrilled to be able to share the Book by Book study guides with pastors and churches via the eVitabu platform. What a joy to know that these resources are now reaching so many and helping pastors and churches to get more out of Bible study.

Book by Book is designed for use by individuals, small groups or even whole church congregations. The idea is that we take a whole book of the Bible and unpack the key themes and main messages. We address the author’s purpose, context, and most importantly what the LORD is wanting to say to us through His word.

The study guides, which are all available via the eVitabu app, are set out in six or ten sections with a clear commentary and questions for discussion. A complementary series of videos is available free on YouTube at the Biblical Frameworks’ channel which you can find at www.youtube.com/@biblicalframeworks. There is a 15 minute video available for each section of the corresponding study guide.

eVitabu on smartphone

Book by Book makes studying whole books of the Bible accessible to reveal Jesus throughout and enrich our understanding of Who He is. Many pastors find the material really helpful in preparing for preaching and teaching as well using the studies directly with groups of people in their care.

We at Biblical Frameworks feel privileged to share in the work of the African Pastors’ Fellowship by supporting the unique mobile app eVitabu. Our prayer is that many people across Africa will meet Jesus in all the Scriptures through the app and especially through the Book by Book resources available on eVitabu.

Helping Farmers in Malawi through Environmental Crises

By Farming, Malawi, Training

Rev Lloyd Chizenga leads New Life Christian Church and has been an APF partner for nearly 40 years. With funding from Operation Agri and support from APF, he teaches conservation agriculture with a gospel message in villages across southern Malawi. Here’s Lloyd’s latest update.

I am Pastor Lloyd Chizenga, General Director of New Life Christian Church, a network of about two hundred churches across southern and central Malawi. We also have some congregations in Mozambique. With my small team from Blantyre, we continue to use New Life’s strong reputation in rural communities to provide training on conservation agriculture to village groups.

The last few years have been very tough in Malawi. Erratic weather conditions driven by climate change are becoming a problem all over the world, but especially here in Malawi we are seeing huge impacts. In 2022, Tropical Storm Ana destroyed many crops, left thousands homeless and damaged infrastructure. Then early this year, Cyclone Freddy hit. This affected the Shire Valley area very badly as flooding and landslides washed away many homes. Six months’ worth of rain fall fell in just six days, ripping up roads and drowning farms. The government estimated that over one thousand people lost their lives in southern Malawi during the storm.

When you look at the annual statistics, you might see normal amounts of rain for the year and think everything is fine, but this is not the case at all. The rain used to be predictable and reliable. Now we are finding that we get all of it in torrential storms and then nothing in longer and hotter dry periods. We blame climate change for these shifts which have contributed to a serious decline in food availability.

This year’s maize harvest saw a fifty percent decline in some areas and a corresponding price spike. Prices in Nsanje, in the far south of the country, for example, shot up 400 percent during March. This might sound profitable for a farmer looking to sell surplus crops, but most smallholders cannot do this. They rely on high interest loans to buy food for their families until they harvest, but without crops to sell and with debts to pay, life becomes very precarious.

Changing weather patterns are just one of the reasons we continue to work so hard on our conservation agriculture training programme. Soil degradation is another challenge. Where fields are not protected with a good mulch cover, heavier rainfall and longer, hotter dry periods mean that soils are being washed or blown away. The Shire River basin is a hotspot for this problem. While soil erosion is a challenge for an individual farmer, it is causing knock on problems across the entire country. Nearly all our power is generated from hydroelectric power stations on the Shire River and Lake Malawi but the sediment running off the fields is reducing their capacity and means power cuts.

These are just some of the reasons that the training programme we provide in villages is even more important now than when we started in 2016. This year, with further funding from Operation Agri and support from African Pastors Fellowship, we are working with a new cohort of villages in Nsanje, Chikwawa, Blantyre Rural, Ntcheu, Balaka, Mangochi and Machinga Districts.

The training we give has adapted with our experience and the changing pressures on farmers. We still focus on good soil management, such as creating planting stations rather than following the traditional practice of earthing-up which damages soil structure, and mulching. As the price of fertiliser has doubled, knowledge about making thermal compost is a lifeline.

Now, however, we also promote ‘climate smart’ agriculture by teaching about trees like the acacia tree Faidherbia albida which add fertility to the soil and protect crops. We include more about managing farm finances, helping farmers to think carefully about borrowing, saving and marketing surplus crops. We also think it is important to create opportunities for communities to come together and discuss the traumas they have faced over the last few years and begin to heal.
One of the most exciting aspects of the training is that we now include teaching about animal care. This is because farmers who follow the training make a profit which they invest. Livestock provide an excellent income stream as not only can the young be sold but they also produce manure for compost. One important aspect of our training is linking our faith and farming practices to our responsibility to care for creation. It is so important that Christian farmers know that caring for the land God has given them is central to their faith.

Over the past seven years, the Growing Greener project has seen so many changes in the lives of people and communities involved. As soil fertility and yields have grown, lives in the villages have changed.

We see food security, livestock purchased, school fees paid, and homes roofed with iron sheets. We are especially grateful for the additional support we received to help farmers in the Lower Shire Valley buy seed to replace the crops lost to flooding after Cyclone Freddy.

Thank you for all your support.


Raising Christian Leaders in Malawi

By Malawi, Training

Central Bible College of Malawi (CBCM) was founded in 2007 by Pastor Goodwill Logeya while he was studying for a Diploma in Biblical Theology. He was motivated to provide training to the thousands of rural pastors in Malawi who had not been able to access training as he had, due to training centres being so few and fees so unaffordable. Pastor Goodwill writes:

I experienced a difficult life in college. I was expelled from class, thrown out of dorms, chased out of the kitchen and denied access to an exam. All because I missed school fee deadlines. At one point, I found employment at the school as a computer administrator and my wage was credited to my school fee account. This, in addition to buying and selling various goods at school and typing projects for my fellow students, just about kept me going.

Once I was stranded in town after being chased out from Bible school owing school fees. I went to some leaders of a Pentecostal church to ask for help but they refused. Then I went to Capital City Baptist Church in Lilongwe and explained my ordeal. The pastor gave me a cheque of 10,000 kwacha (about £8). A concerned Muslim also gave me K10,000 which meant I could return to study.
Eventually, I completed the diploma and was able to study for a master’s degree in theology at the University of Malawi. During this time, I joined forces with leaders from Baptist, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, Adventist and other denominations to offer basic training in the Bible and in ministry to rural church leaders. We would hire a venue and invite the pastors to come and stay with us in cities like Blantyre. We used our own money to pay for the training.

Finding this approach cost too much, we decided to move from the city to rural areas, basing our work in Chikwawa and bringing the training to the people. Chikwawa is a rural district in southern Malawi and its accessible location meant it was easier for us to meet with Christian leaders from village churches in both Malawi and Mozambique.
This is how Central Bible College started, offering affordable training to rural church leaders from Malawi and Mozambique. Things were going really well with a growing number of pastors graduating. Then, in 2020 we were interrupted by Covid and Cyclone Anna. In 2022, Cyclone Gombe hit. Then, in February this year, Cyclone Freddy came. The storm swept through the whole building leaving us completely stranded. We agreed that we could no longer continue in Chikwawa because the area is so vulnerable to flooding. So recently we reestablished our training programme in Blantyre.

We have tailored the curriculum to the needs of the local church, responding to the trends in society and with a practical emphasis on mission. More precisely, the formational and ministerial training we provide combines with mission and evangelism outreach during weekends where students demonstrate and practice what they learn.
The curriculum is rich in content, enough to impact the head with knowledge, touch the heart with passion and give ministerial skills to the hands. Towards the end of their studies, each student presents a research topic which they put into action in their church after graduation.

As we continue to provide affordable training that really helps untrained rural pastors, we have learnt that there is huge spiritual hunger in Malawi. There are many unreached areas especially in remote village communities, but churches are clustered in towns. We must take a risk and equip leaders for ministry in rural areas.

Then, we know that untrained Christian leaders are spreading errant messages. Sadly, Bible verses can be used to damage and hurt if they are not well understood.

We have also found that churches in Malawi struggle to work outside of their denominations. For example, it is hard to go to a Presbyterian church with an advert while you worship in a Baptist church. We work hard to break down these divisions.

There is a very big misconception among many people. When you give personal funds to support ministry, some assume that you are sponsored by Western donors. This misconception has led to many Christian leaders envying each other for no reason. Funding is desperately needed for ministry but without openness and transparency, relationships can be damaged.

From everyone at CBCM, thank you!

New APF Trustees

By Kenya, UK

We are delighted to welcome two new trustees to our board, Kingston Ogango and Peter Flew.

Kingston Ogango is Africa Regional Director at Alpha International and in-charge of ministry, serving as Alpha’s National Ministry Lead for Kenya. He is the former Head of Media at Christ Is The Answer Ministries in Nairobi, overseeing Hope FM and Hope TV for over six years. He has also served as a deacon among other church leadership roles. Recently he was one of 80 contributing writers from 27 countries to Light for the Writers Soul: 100 Devotions by Global Christian Writers published by Media Associates International.

Kingston holds a masters degree in Organisational Leadership from the International Leadership University in Nairobi in addition to other qualifications in leadership, sound engineering and production, digital media management and broadcasting from institutions in the US, the UK, Italy and South Africa.

Kingston graduated as a designer and practised for over 25 years, winning several awards both locally and internationally. Kingston has a particular interest in mentoring and developing young leaders. Following this passion, he founded The Summit Leadership Trust in 2009. He is married to Tabitha, his wife of 23 years, and has two sons, Andrew (22) and Jeremy (17).

Professor Peter Flew also joins the APF board of trustees. Peter is Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of the School of Education at the University of Roehampton in south-west London, one of England’s largest providers of Initial Teacher Education, training hundreds of teachers for schools across the country each year.

Prior to joining the university in 2013, Peter was a primary headteacher in Godalming, Surrey. He trained to teach in 2002 following a career in banking and finance IT. Peter has a varied portfolio of non-executive roles including as trustee of the Royal Academy of Dance, a director of Wastebuster CIC (a provider of recycling educational resources for schools) and sitting on the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education. Peter has worked in Uganda and India with STiR Education, a teacher development charity. He hopes to bring his expertise in education, safeguarding and IT to support the mission of APF.

eVitabu on smartphone

eVitabu Update

By Uncategorized

In recent weeks, we launched a large update to our African pastor resource hub and training library app, eVitabu. Our volunteer app developer, Jonathan Haddock, explains some of the biggest changes.

It feels like ages ago now, but back in March I spent a week with Geoff (APF Projects Coordinator) at his home in rural Herefordshire focusing on making some improvements to eVitabu. Thank you Geoff and the Holder family for their hospitality and making me feel welcome!

My priority for the week was to (finally!) finish building the registration process into the app. Previously it was necessary for our partners to fill in a form on a webpage before they could use eVitabu, which was “clunky” but was the quickest we could do prior to the 2018 launch. Unfortunately this step didn’t always work on African devices, which can be configured in some very unusual (to us) ways.

eVitabu on smartphone

Building in the registration process would make using eVitabu for the first time a much smoother process, and is something APF partners have been asking for for some time. Some readers of Impetus may recall I started building this back in 2020!

After much tweaking, and fixing a problem where sometimes the eVitabu user’s profile photo was rotated 90° during registration, work on this feature was complete. I needed to put it through some security testing prior to launch, but I’m pleased to say that integrated registration was available ahead of Dave’s trip to Rwanda and Uganda in May. Feedback was very positive.

I also took time to perform some maintenance on both the app and the website which we use to manage eVitabu. While not the most glamorous chore, this is an important part of the process to make sure eVitabu continues to work well.

My next task is to improve eVitabu’s reporting – hopefully that won’t take me almost three years!

For Prayer…

By Prayer

Please pray with us for our partners in Africa.

““Please pray for the introduction of eVitabu to 12 regional overseers and 12 digital natives [young leaders] in November and use of the app throughout our 450 churches in Uganda and 15 churches in eastern DRC.””

Revd Kephous NdinywaNational Overseer, Assemblies of God Uganda

““Please pray for the 43 children we care for most of whom have suffered abandonment, abuse and trauma due to parental neglect, disability or witchcraft.””

Grace KazibaFaith Babies Home and Iganga Baptist Church, Uganda

““Give thanks that I have completed a PhD in Theology. Please pray for the cohort of 20 theology students I teach and mentor through WhatsApp and Zoom due to continuing church closures in Rwanda.””

Emmanuel GateraWord of Life Ministries, Rwanda

““I am running a women’s farming cooperative in the mountains north of Musanze involving around 35 women growing beans, carrots and other crops for sale. Please pray for the women involved and their families.”

Chantil ImanaturikumweÉglise Evangélique de la Bonne Volonté au Rwanda

“Please pray for Jude who is an invaluable friend and helper to APF in Uganda. Pray for his ministry as national director of Teachers Without Borders, leadership of community projects and for his political aspirations.”

Walubo JudeTeachers Without Borders, Uganda

“Jonan is a businessman, rugby coach, pastor and entrepreneur. He is launching VineApp to resource his church members with Christian media. Pray for Jonan as he launches the app and for the new partnership with APF. ”

Manzi JonanKampala, Uganda

“Give thanks for this wonderful group of women (listed below) who recently participated in the Africa Training Partners Digital Theology workshop in Kampala. Pray for them as they share their learning with the women, children and church networks they serve.”

Harriet Sokiri (South Sudan), Rose Mugabi and Allyce Jossy (Uganda), Kesiah Luoga (Tanzania) and Hellen Rutto (Kenya)

Helping Uganda’s pastors through a hidden crisis

By Training, Uganda

Peter Mugabi is a former General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Uganda. He knows far better than most the pressures dedicated pastors in Africa face as they try and balance huge ministry demands with simply making ends meet. Peter now runs Cephas Leadership Foundation, an organisation that supports grassroots Christian leaders with leadership coaching, spiritual direction and mentoring. He writes:

There is a gap in psycho-social help for pastors in Uganda who are serving in a very difficult social environment. Stress, depression and mental health challenges are becoming more common among pastors and young Christian leaders. God has called Cephas Leadership Foundation to answer this need by providing a wide range of services that support those who are called to lead the church in Uganda. These include leadership coaching, mentoring, workshops for married couples, skills and business development programmes, leadership hubs and schools ministry training.

Last year, we worked with 158 pastors equipping them in discipleship, biblical counselling and training in good governance across four districts. In addition, we helped 54 young leaders through training on ministry competencies and best practice. Young leader trainings were held in schools, camps, and conference sites located in Mukono, Jinja and Kampala districts.

We met with over a hundred couples, and provided mentoring and support. Church ministry takes a heavy burden on relationships so we work to help them rekindle relationships and balance the pressures of ministry and family life besides breaking down traditional gender stereotypes.

“I have found these prayer breakfasts helpful because of peer learning. In these discussions there is openness and I find many solutions to my issues as I hear from the trainers and from my peers.”
Naphtali Makosya

“As a young couple we struggled with communication. This communication problem was also present in our leadership in church. But after our counselling sessions with Cephas, we have mastered the art of listening well and not only is our marriage thriving but our leadership in general is better. We are grateful for Cephas.”
Jacob and Lillian Eyeru

“The Lord has inspired me and given me guidance in my career and ministry path through Cephas. May God bless this ministry and allow it to touch many more young people like me who are growing without parents.”
Bridget, Kampala (pictured above)

“Our students really needed to hear what you had to say about dysfunctional relationships in homes between parents and students, students and their step siblings.”
Teacher at Kyambogo College School

“I lacked knowledge on team formation. I didn’t know which parameters a good leader used in selecting, orienting, and preparing new team members. I had made many mistakes and entered conflict before… After training, I have been equipped in team member selection, I have applied this knowledge, and now I have a very solid team that is making a difference.”
Pastor Thomas Kigeyi

I’d like to thank African Pastors Fellowship and all of our faithful partners for your support that has enabled us to make a difference among pastors and emerging leaders in Uganda.

So many lives have been touched and many more have been impacted beyond the conference halls and office meetings. This all would not be possible without your generous support.

The battle for healthy leaders today continues and we must stay the course. Every pastor and emerging leader needs and deserves training, coaching and help. Thank you, again, for your generosity.