All Posts By

Geoff Holder

APF Charity Golf Competition


Thank you for your interest in the APF Charity Golf Competition.

Due to the geographical spread of our golf playing supporters this year we’re doing a charity golf event with a difference.

Instead of having one day and one venue, you can play any course, any day of your choice, during July and August.

Here’s how it works:

  • Team up with your friends and dedicate the round to APF.
  • Donate £5 entry per player, plus the value of your stableford points score…
  • For example, if you play to your handicap and score 36 points, you’ll donate (£5 plus £36) = £41. Easy!

There will be prizes for best individual and fourball scores, with winners being announced in early September.

The added advantage is that you could choose to play more than once!

We hope the flexibility of date and venue will enable you to take part, have fun, drive straight, sink putts, score points – and raise funds for APF training and humanitarian projects in Africa.

And, for the early birds you can enter today by donating your £5 entry per player here or drop me an email to confirm your participation and pay in full once you’ve played.

Once you have played just send in a copy of your card and make your donation. If you are happy to take a team photo for APF to possibly share in our social media and other publications that too, would be great!

News from Uganda

By Uganda

The latest news from APF partners in Uganda including Pastors’ Discipleship Network, Bishop Lee Rayfield Leadership College and Bibles in Bushenyi.

Growing partnership with PDN

The Pastors Discipleship Network (PDN) in Uganda received an APF grant to help them host a youth leaders training conference later this year. This exciting development coincides with PDN’s construction of a new university campus, Cornerstone University, in partnership with American funders. Cornerstone University will offer a comprehensive curriculum ranging from certificate programs to master’s degrees, with a unique focus on integrating Digital Theology into all courses. Dave is actively supporting the PDN/Cornerstone team by contributing to curriculum development and will participate in some teaching.

Bishop Lee Rayfeild Leadership College

Reverend Charles Okidi leads Bishop Lee Rayfield Leadership College (BLRLC), a Church of Uganda institution in rural northern Uganda. Despite the college’s basic infrastructure, Charles has a visionary plan to use technology to enhanced training of clergy and lay leaders. Recognising this potential, APF recently awarded BLRLC a digital tools grant to kickstart the design and development of a college website.

Bibles to Bushenyi

Pastor Rukundo Abel, who leads the YWAM training center in Jinja, spearheads the “End Bible Poverty Now” initiative. Recognising the need for access to scripture, APF approved a grant in January to distribute 100 local language Bibles to churches in Bushenyi district.

Connecting with Somalia

During Dave’s visit to Uganda in December, he met with Philip Onen and Lt Paul Koyoa in Kampala. Philip runs the Community First Project which reaches some of the 40,000 Somalis living in the city with the gospel, vocational and IT training courses. Paul is an officer in the Ugandan army medical corp. as well as being an army chaplain and Regional Director for the International Evangelical Association of Chaplains. Together with APF and others within Somalia, we are working together to reach Somalis for Christ. One important aspect of this ministry comes through Christian leadership training for Ugandan civilian and military personnel serving in UNSOM (the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Somalia).

Tree planting in Bulogo

Walubo Jude Tadeo is a force of nature in Bulogo. Since 2018, he has been tirelessly planting trees for a greener future, exceeding a remarkable 50,000 trees planted. From eucalyptus and mahogany to mango and avocado, he’s diversifying the landscape for a flourishing ecosystem. Jude’s dedication extends beyond environmental efforts. He’s also planning pastor training conferences, providing management and support to the Bulogo Women’s Cooperative, and launching vocational training courses – all thanks to an APF annual African Training Partner grant.

Bible commentaries

APF supporters have donated both new and used Bible commentaries to APF. These have been sent to Uganda using our preferred shipping agent, Salabed. Our good friend Peter Mugabi will sift though the books, making use of some for personal study and donate others to rural bible schools and the networks of pastors he serves through Cephas Leadership Foundation.

Around Africa

By Malawi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia

News from Malawi, South Sudan, Rwanda, Zambia and Tanzania.


Central Bible School in Malawi was spotlighted here. The college’s library facilities are in need of improvement so a digital tools and training grant has been approved. This grant will equip each of the eight faculty members with a suitable smartphone, allowing them to install and utilise eVitabu as a valuable addition to the college’s physical library. To help the effective use of the platform, Dave or Geoff will be conducting online training for the faculty later this year.


Pastor Lawson Limau is spearheading the development of an introductory course in theology and pastoral care, drawing from resources adapted from the eVitabu library. Recognising the potential impact of this initiative, APF has awarded Lawson an Africa Training Partner annual grant. This grant will enable him to deliver the pilot course to rural pastors throughout eastern Zambia during 2024.


Due to the ongoing demand for their teaching ministry, Heavenlight and Kesiah Luoga (pictured above with Victor Imanaturikumwe) have been awarded an African Partner Training grant for 2024. This grant will help them to conduct training workshops throughout the year, both locally and regionally. Recognising Heavenlight’s desire to expand his reach, APF has also approved funding for video recording equipment so Heavenlight can record training videos for social media and eVitabu. This includes a high-quality camera phone, basic lighting equipment, and a tripod.


The Let There Be Light solar project continues to shine brightly in Kigeme Diocese, Rwanda. By providing reliable light to clergy families and parishes, the project offers numerous benefits: brighter living spaces, opportunities for studying after dark, enhanced security, and even income generation opportunities. We recently sent additional funding to ensure the project’s sustainability by replacing batteries for some of the beneficiaries.

Our prayers continue for Rev. Victor Imanaturikumwe, the Legal Representative of Église Évangélique de la Bonne Volonté au Rwanda and a passionate advocate for eVitabu. Victor has a plan for competency-based training that complies with Rwandan government regulations for faith-based leaders. He is seeking funding to deliver this training programme and he is also assisting APF in finding a venue for a conference in September.

We also pray for Victor’s predecessor, Pastor Japhet Matugoma, who faces an urgent need to relocate his family home due to recent flooding and landslides (pictured above).

South Sudan

In recent weeks, APF approved a grant for the Saints Revival Committee in Aweil district to procure and distribute 600 local language Bibles. Also, Alex Sokiri of New Nation Church in Juba writes seeking support for the church school (pictured above). Founded for orphaned and underprivileged children living near the church, the school currently serves children in three classrooms. However, the classroom block front façade remains incomplete. With rainy season approaching, Alex is urgently seeking assistance to complete the front part of the school building to ensure the safety and well-being of the students.

Untrained pastors find hope through Africans Teaching Africans

By Training, Uganda

In Uganda, Ssemanda Joshua Robert, a pastor with a heart for the poorest, has dedicated himself to equipping untrained pastors from across the country. Despite his own impressive qualifications, including 15 years of ministry and a master’s degree in theology, Joshua prioritises empowering those with limited access to theological training.

“I have trained pastors throughout Uganda,” Joshua explains, “and I’ve witnessed God using our team to open the eyes of countless church leaders.” This dedication became tangible in 2014 when Joshua assumed the National Coordinator role for Africans Teaching Africans (ATA).

ATA addresses a critical need in Africa, where Joshua says only 15% of pastors have any formal theological training. Their solution is a simple curriculum designed especially for pastors in rural villages and urban slums. The programme’s impact is evident in the stories of young pastors like Nsubuga John and Jude Ssekyanzi.

John, a pastor from an informal settlement outside Kampala, shares, “Before ATA’s training, I didn’t know how to interpret the Bible. I blindly followed everything the preacher said.” Thanks to ATA, John says he can now “read and study the Bible carefully.”

Jude, unable to afford Bible college fees, found hope with ATA. “The program opened my eyes to God’s Word and ministry,” he says. “It also made me aware of the dangers of false teachings used for personal gain.”

Joshua emphasises the consequences of inadequate ministerial training and oversight. He shares the story of Vincent, a young man misled by a church that taught that God does not forgive and that Christians must avenge everyone that hurts them so they feel the same pain they have caused. Through Joshua’s guidance, Vincent now seeks proper theological education.

“We need to save such young men,” pleads Joshua, highlighting the urgency of equipping future leaders.

A key barrier to effective training is the lack of affordable Bibles in local languages. Many pastors arrive at ATA sessions empty-handed. “We’ve been helping leaders own a Bible, but the need remains immense,” Joshua explains.

“In Uganda, a Bible in your own language is a powerful gift. We greatly appreciate the support we’ve received from APF donors to buy Bibles for rural pastors in remote Ibanda District, and we keep praying for your continued support.”

How African is African Pastors Fellowship?

By Training, UK

APF has worked hard in recent years to amplify African voices. Through eVitabu and by empowering “African Training Partners” to lead and develop resources within their own communities, the charity is deeply commitment to representing the African church. But is there more to do? Dave reflects on opportunities to further contextualise our work and plans for an increasingly African-led future for the charity.

Since joining APF, I’ve encountered raised eyebrows, especially when introducing myself as CEO. “But you’re not African!” is a common response.

This sparked an important question: How African is African Pastors Fellowship? How far is our mission and strategy contextualised and reflecting the priorities and perspectives of African pastors?

Sitting in my home office in Kent, scrolling through photos of past African visits and praying over a map of the continent, I have questioned the long-term viability and ethics of a UK-based charity claiming to serve the modern African church. While we have real depth of relationship, trust and fellowship with our African partners, is there room for APF’s ministry to be further contextualised and African-led?

Hearing African Voices:

For several years now, APF has aimed to amplify African voices. We create opportunities for African church leaders to share their resources and news through the eVitabu app and Impetus newsletter. We also invite African pastors to visit the UK, attend international conferences, and participate in cross-cultural exchanges like Walter Rutto’s current teaching experience in Papua New Guinea. These initiatives exemplify the enriching exchange of knowledge and experience that defines African Pastors Fellowship.

Providing Contextualised Resources:

Our commitment to resourcing the African Church extends beyond simply making literature available in local languages. We strive for enculturation, encouraging resources prepared and delivered by those deeply embedded in the African cultural experience.

I vividly recall the profound learning experiences at the feet of Ugandan and Kenyan pastors, receiving unique interpretations of biblical stories. This is why we seek more African contributors to eVitabu and are exploring the creation of an African app development team to enhance the platform, even discussing potential partnerships with African mobile network providers to generate sustainable funding at no cost to users.

Releasing African Training Partners:

A key strategic priority is empowering “African Training Partners” (ATPs): individuals or organisations called to serve their peers, deliver training, and pioneer community projects that embody the coming of God’s kingdom on earth. These partners are diverse, ranging from denominations and colleges to individuals uniquely positioned to reach marginalised communities.

Previously, APF’s activity in Africa depended heavily on the presence of the Director. Today, thanks to our ATPs, there’s ongoing activity throughout the year. We’re also transitioning from making multiple small grants to annual grants, enabling our ATPs to plan training programmes with confidence. A major conference in Africa is planned for September to further explore this vision and formalise the partnerships with our ATPs.

Towards a More Representative Board:

While our board has always provided excellent governance and support, it has lacked diversity. We are actively seeking African trustees, both from within Africa and the UK African diaspora. We welcome recent additions like Kingston and Rose and hope this shift towards a more truly African APF continues.

Ultimately, my aspiration is to appoint an African Director for African Pastors Fellowship. Now, that’s a thought!

Sharing the gospel in the highlands of Papua New Guinea

By Kenya, Training

APF partner Walter Rutto from Kenya is in Papua New Guinea to support ministry training. As an African Christian leader, he brings an invaluable level of cultural insight into this deeply animistic and traditional culture. Here’s his latest update.

Dear friends,

I’m writing to you from the heart of Papua New Guinea, having travelled inland to a remote village nestled in the foothills of Western Highlands Province. Today, I had the privilege of sharing the message of God’s kingdom with a community deeply rooted in traditional farming culture.

My sermon, based on the parable of the sower in Luke 8:1-15, resonated deeply with the villagers. They readily connected with the story, easily recognising the four types of hearts described when receiving the gospel ‘seed’. Our discussions delved into the challenges they face and where cultural practices sometimes conflict with the gospel. Amongst deep poverty, there are heartbreaking stories of how local women have been burned alive after being accused of witchcraft.

These practices, like “stones and thorns” in the parable, can choke the growth of faith. We explored the insidious nature of these practices, symbolised by the birds snatching away the seed, representing the influence of the enemy.

During my journey, I was struck by something strange: the village graveyards were notably grander and better constructed than the houses. I asked about this and discovered this was to appease spirits of the dead and prevent them from tormenting the living. This stark contrast between the physical and spiritual realms highlighted the ongoing struggle between animistic beliefs and the message of Christ.

Δ ‘Port Moresby to Mount Hagen’ by Rita Willaert
Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The day ended with a joyful celebration as many stepped forward to accept Christ into their hearts. These warm and welcoming people even expressed a desire for me to stay and continue sharing the gospel.

On my return journey to the city of Mount Hagen, my kind host, Benji, surprised me with a freshly roasted sweet potato. It was delicious.

I now continue working with Christian Union Bible College in Mount Hagen. The college is currently running its training program with students from various churches and while the program is progressing well, many learners struggle with key biblical concepts.

These challenges include ingrained beliefs in polygamy, male superiority, and the influence of evil spirits in daily life. This week, we’ll be exploring the concept of marriage through the scriptures.

Please pray for accurate interpretation while I am here. Please also pray for better translation of resources. The current English-language course material used by the college poses a barrier for many students. Training resources really need to be translated into Tok Pisin, the widely spoken local language.

Thank you for your continued prayers as I take this journey, sharing the light of the gospel and witnessing the transformative power of faith in communities in Papua New Guinea.

In Christ,


April 2024 newsletter

By Impetus

April 2024 Impetus.

Welcome to Impetus.

We hope you will be encouraged by the stories of faith and ministry from around Africa contained in this edition.

As APF CEO, I’m part of numerous WhatsApp groups of African pastors. These exist for inspiration, discussion, support and prayer. My phone is almost constantly on silent lest the never-ending stream of messages would be too distracting. There are days when the need seems so great and the world such a messy place, that it would be easy to grow weary of trying to do good.

Whether it is a call to pray against drug addiction in Mombasa, or to intercede for grace to triumph over greed in the sordid allegations of impropriety among pastors in Kampala, or heartfelt appeals for so many worthy but under-resourced causes in Juba, or Dodoma, or Bujumbura… The digital thread of prayer requests goes on and on.

So, I’m grateful for the season of Easter approaching and a sense that, here in Kent at least, there is a hint of Spring and hope for the future. May the words of Isaiah 43:19 be sustaining as we seek to enable effective ministry in Africa: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Thank you for reading, and praying for APF and our partners in Africa.

Revd Dave Stedman

Revd Dave Stedman

Africa Trip Update

By Kenya, Uganda

In November and early December, Dave Stedman met with key APF partners in Uganda and Kenya. Here’s a few of his photos and highlights of his trip.

In Kampala I met with regional overseers of the Uganda Assemblies of God churches for an eVitabu induction and a Digital Theology Taster workshop.

Lunch meeting with Ben Mutegeki, Managing Director of Pastors’ Discipleship Network and Cornerstone University. There are exciting plans for Digital Theology to be part of the curriculum at PDN and they discussed growing the partnership with APF.

I met with Pastor Joshua Ssemanda, Uganda national coordinator for Africans Training Africans (ATA). Joshua travels the length and breadth of Uganda, visiting some of the remotest regions to mentor, encourage and train rural pastors.

Musa, caretaker at Bulogo Primary School, who helped the children plant 250 trees during my visit. I love the juxtaposition of tradition hoe with the smartphone in his shirt pocket. I find this symbolic of continuity and change across the continent of Africa.

Moyo conference with 35 South Sudanese pastors . We are moving from a Digital Theology taster session to an eVitabu induction workshop.

I planted this mahogany tree at Bulogo in 2015 on one of my first visits to Uganda for APF. Its growth is somehow symbolic of the increasing influence of APF in the continent through eVitabu and our partners.

Lunch with old friends Walubo Jude, Makos Pearson, and Kiiza Geoffrey. Dave shared that he has known some of these men since they were boys and they are now fathers. Great time discussing politics, rugby and parenthood!.

A brief but joyful and productive meeting with Rukundo Abel, national overseer for YWAM in Uganda. He has an infectious passion for sharing Bible teaching and ending Bible poverty. Abel installed eVitabu on his phone and is encouraging YWAM staff to download it.

I had a productive morning with Revd Bernard Obuya Obuya, president of the Baptist Convention of Kenya, and members of his team. There is likely to be an opportunity in 2024 to do an eVitabu workshop with regional overseers and other key Baptist leaders, as well as a request for study Bibles for Baptist pastors and local language Bibles for church congregations in rural Kenya.

For Prayer…

By Prayer

Please pray with us for our partners in Africa.

“Grace Kaziba, the house manager at Faith Babies Home in Uganda, is due to undergo surgery this month. She asks us to pray for funds to cover medical bills, the doctors who will perform the operation and for her complete healing. The 45 children in her care and support staff need Grace to be fit and healthy.”

Grace KazibaFaith Babies Home, Uganda

“Japhet Matugoma is the retired legal representative of Église Évangélique de la Bonne Volonté au Rwanda. His home was severely damaged by landslides earlier this year and the government has advised the local population to relocate as there remains a risk of further landslips in the rainy season. Japhet has lived in this place for around fifty years, it is the family home and there are limited resources to help with a relocation and construction of a new house. Please pray for him as the need is urgent.”

Japhet MatugomaÉglise Évangélique de la Bonne Volonté au Rwanda

“Daniel Odour Gwara is one of APF’s most active training partners. Operating in western Kenya, he reaches eight large groups of leaders and has been training them using eVitabu. During 2023, Daniel’s training has covered topics including prayer, agriculture and vocational skills. Daniel doesn’t have a smartphone so he relies on the goodwill of neighbours and fellow eVitabu users to search and download resources on eVitabu, for email and other online activity. Please pray for the provision of a phone or tablet for Daniel, and others like him, so they can access essential tools of ministry in the digital age.”

Daniel Odour GwaraCentral Rift Baptist Association, Kenya

“Ruth Nalugya is founder of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Network Uganda (SHYNEA), a Ugandan NGO which provides advocacy, practical advice, access to clinical care and awareness raising projects to support children and families living with disability. Ruth is the mother of a child with spina bifida and understands the stigma that can still be associated with disability. Pray for her and give thanks for her strong faith which motivates her work.”

Ruth NalugyaisSpina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Network, Uganda

Equipped for Digital Ministry

By eVitabu, Training

In November 2023, APF launched an exciting partnership with Spurgeon’s College to offer APF partners and eVitabu users a unique opportunity to enrol for the Equipped for Digital Ministry course (EfDM). Dave Stedman explains what the course involves and why it is so important.

Ownership of a smartphone is now an essential prerequisite for candidates applying to study at many universities, seminaries and Bible schools in Africa. Digital devices are no longer ‘luxury’ items but essential tools for business, banking, entertainment, travel and study.

With mobile subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa set to reach 685 million by next year, the need for training in the use of digital tools for ministry and theological reflection about the relationship between human beings, technology and God are as urgent in Africa as in any other part of the world.

EfDM is a six-module online course. Students can work at their own pace, and the completed course leads to a college certificate. Learning and assessment requires students to engage at both an academic and vocational level with the following modules:

  • Ministry in a Digital Culture
  • Digital Church: Communications
  • Media Streams
  • Inclusion and Ethics
  • Digital Church in Practice
  • Digital Futures

Over the past two years, as a result of studying for a Masters in Digital Theology at Spurgeon’s College, I now find myself inhabiting a niche area of theological expertise in east Africa with many invitations to open up the subject of digital theology in both formal and non-formal training environments. I’ve delivered numerous Digital Theology Taster Seminars and developed an introduction workshop called The Smart Pastor.

Feedback from these workshops has shown an obvious hunger for more in depth teaching and capacity building in both practical and theoretical aspects of ministry in the digital age. As a result of exposure to The Smart Pastor, there is even a Christian university in Uganda which has committed to introduce digital theology as a core component of its ministry training and is asking for support in developing its curriculum and delivery.

Over the course of this year, through conversations with Spurgeon’s College Principal, Rev Prof Philip McCormack, the possibility of offering EfDM to African clergy began to take shape. Philip recently returned from a visit to Moyo in northern Uganda where he saw first-hand the appetite for learning and the need for capacity building of Baptist pastors from South Sudan.

Spurgeon’s College has generously reduced the price of EfDM for APF partners. Philip sees this as a great opportunity for the college to expand its influence as global

One of the early applicants, Revd Shadrack Koma, a regional overseer in the Africa Inland Church in Kenya, is ambitious and excited about the course and how it will enable his ministry. He writes, ‘[EfDM] will help me to reach out to millions of unreached people in the digital world. By leveraging technology, especially social media and other digital platforms. I look forward to upgrading my ministry digitally.’

Pastor Daniel Masiga from Uganda, who chairs the Christian Leaders Fellowship in Mogadishu, Somalia, is similarly enthusiastic. ‘For me being equipped for digital ministry is an opportunity to be better positioned and better equipped in the cause of advancing the gospel of Christ using technology’ he explains. ‘Technology has a way of magnifying human abilities and learning to use it efficiently is an opportunity I wouldn’t love to miss. Especially knowing that this education is coming from a college and a team of educators such as Spurgeon’s College. In a nutshell, I hope to achieve greater effectiveness and efficiency in digital communication so as to reach people and places I may never be able to physically reach.’

At the time of writing, just one week after applications opened, twenty-three APF partners have already enrolled (although only one has paid). Despite EfDM being offered at a significantly reduced cost to APF partners, £305 remains a lot of money for the average African pastor. For many it is out of reach.

We believe it is important that applicants take financial responsibility for their studies so a proportion of the cost will always be met by the student, but we also appeal to our supporters to consider sponsorship so we can fast-track some of those who enrol but will struggle to ‘mobilise the funds’. As one of my African friends told me just last week, ‘the flower is there, the bees wish to come, and when they do they will go and make honey’.

The EfDM Africa partnership is unique and undoubtedly strategic. Please pray for those that aspire to learn to be enabled to access the training: May they fulfil their personal potential and strengthen the church, practically and spiritually, in-person and online, wherever God has placed them.