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

January 2024 newsletter

By Impetus

January 2024 Impetus.

Welcome to the first Impetus of 2024.

In November and December, I spent nearly five weeks in Africa engaging with partners, teaching at conferences, monitoring projects and making new connections.

Among the highlights were a few days spent with Walubo Jude in Kamuli district in Uganda. There were two eVitabu workshops in churches, hospitality included six meals in one day, and around 500 trees planted at two different schools.

I planted the mahogany tree in this picture at Bulogo Primary School on one of my first trips to Africa as APF CEO. Its growth is remarkable! Somehow it symbolises the reach and influence of APF, especially through eVitabu and our dedicated African Training Partners in the intervening years.

Let us commit to pray for one another – and all we work alongside in Africa – that throughout 2024 each one might be “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:3).

Revd Dave Stedman

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

July 2023 newsletter

By Impetus

July 2023 Impetus.

Welcome to the latest edition of Impetus.

Let me take this opportunity to thank all our fantastic supporters who updated their giving by standing order to our new Virgin Money charity account from our old CAF Bank account.

We are especially grateful to those of you who increased your donations. We are enormously grateful for all your support which really does make a huge difference and enables effective ministry though our brilliant partners in Africa.

When we were first contacted by CAF Bank back in early February and were told that due to the increasing volume and size of APF’s transfers to Africa they could no longer monitor our account and would close it, we were very concerned that this might mean a significant loss of income and damage our work including eVitabu.

Due to your efforts managing the administrative headache of completing new standing order forms, contacting your bank, or navigating around your internet banking app, our concerns were unfounded. Thank you so much for doing this.

We are also aware that some of you set up a new standing order without stopping your old standing order, understandably expecting CAF Bank to return the original one to you as APF’s account closed. In fact, CAF Bank only closed our account in mid-June, weeks later than we were told. This means that several donors may have made duplicate donations. For this we apologise and welcome your contact if you have been affected by CAF Bank’s delay.

Finally, in case of any doubt, our new bank details are:

Account name: African Pastors Fellowship
Sort Code: 82-11-07
Account Number: 30479282

Our old CAF Bank account (40-52-40 / 00016972) is now closed.

Again with all our thanks,

Revd Dave Stedman

April 2023 newsletter

By Impetus

April 2023 Impetus.

Welcome to the latest edition of Impetus.

We have to let you know some important banking changes…

The increasing frequency and size of international transfers we’re making to support dedicated pastors serving in remote and marginalised parts of Africa is great news to us and those we work with. However, supporting church leaders in insecure parts of Africa appears to have posed a challenge for our bank.

About a month ago, we were contacted by CAF Bank who told us that they did not have the capacity to monitor our account effectively any longer and in May 2023 our account would be closed. From then on, any donations to our CAF Bank account (sort code 40-52-40 / account number ****6972) would be rejected and returned to the donor.

If you donate to APF by standing order or internet banking (faster payments) through our CAF Bank account, direct from your own bank, please kindly change your donation to our new Virgin Money Charity Choice account detailed below:

Account name: African Pastors Fellowship
Account number: 30479282
Sort code: 82-11-07

Please note, this change only affects direct donations into that account and doesn’t include other gifts you may make through our website, eVitabu sponsorship, Stewardship, Charities Trust or CAF Donate which will continue as normal.

If you use internet banking, use these details to set up a new donation and cancel any old donations to our CAF Bank account through your bank’s website or app.

If you prefer to use a standing order mandate, please contact your bank to cancel your old standing order mandate and use the form enclosed with this edition of Impetus to set up a new standing order. Simply post this form back to us in the reply-paid envelope provided and we’ll contact your bank on your behalf to restart your giving.

We are obviously very concerned about losing donors in this process and the knock-on effect this will undoubtedly have in Africa. We are always hugely grateful to each and every donor and trust that this banking change will not mean a loss of financial support. Instead, we pray that all affected donors will be able to easily update their giving and even consider a small increase if that is at all possible. Please do contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Revd Dave Stedman

January 2023 newsletter

By Impetus

January 2023 Impetus.

Welcome to the latest edition of Impetus.

We are hugely grateful for your continued interest and concern for APF.

Thank you especially to those who responded to our recent cost-of-living appeal. We have not yet turned the corner but remain faith-filled as we embark on a new year with ambitious plans to scale up eVitabu and support a growing network of African partners in their teaching and pastoral ministries.

As part of our commitment to our friends and supporters, we are offering an exciting new opportunity for you to engage directly with APF’s UK personnel and, from time to time, African partners through something we are calling Impetus Live!

Impetus Live! will be an hour long interactive gathering taking place by Zoom in the month following each new publication of the Impetus newsletter.

The online meeting will include verbal and visual updates, a brief inspirational message, as well as opportunities for interaction and prayer.

The first Impetus Live! will take place on Tuesday 17th January at 7pm.

The Zoom joining details are as follows:

Zoom Meeting ID: 87101408353
Passcode: 200863

Please contact me if you need any assistance in joining the call – or for any reason at all.

Thank you again and a Happy New Year from all of us at APF and from our partners in Africa.

Revd Dave Stedman

Download our October 2022 newsletter

By Impetus

October 2022 Impetus.

Welcome to the latest edition of Impetus.

You’ll notice that it’s a little slimmer than normal. Reducing the number of pages in our newsletter is just one of several small steps we are taking to try to minimise costs to the charity.

Despite there being fewer pages in this edition, I think you’ll agree, there is no less activity being reported and exciting opportunities coming up.

With costs increasing, we’re working hard not only to maintain our work in Africa but to grow it. Please pray for our staff team and trustees as we make important decisions about doing just that.

How you can help

Firstly, if you use email, we would encourage you to receive Impetus in digital form rather than on paper. Please let us know using the enclosed form if you would like to do so in future.

Secondly, we always love to meet supporters and share what God is doing through his Church across Africa. Why not invite us to a Sunday service or midweek meeting at your church? We’re taking bookings for online and in-person engagements during 2023 now.

Perhaps you might be able to host a fundraising event for APF? Invite friends and neighbours to an advent coffee morning and we’ll help by sending you some resources to promote APF.

Or you can get in touch to order your Christmas cards or purchase some beautiful African notebooks from us.

Finally, we’d be very grateful if you might consider including a gift to APF in your will.

Most of all, we continue to value your interest and prayers.

Thank you!

Revd Dave Stedman

Download our July 2022 newsletter

By Impetus

July 2022 Impetus.

I have always prided myself on being able to recall names, faces and details of the people I meet. As a pastor, it’s a very useful skill. In many African contexts where local dialects and languages make pronunciation and recall more difficult however, this can be more challenging. But I think the same is true in reverse. Only this morning, I received an email from someone I recently met digitally addressed: ‘Dear Steve’!

Names are important.

This is especially true in Biblical thought: Adam means ‘man’, Eve means ‘life-giver’, Ruth means ‘friend’ and David (I have always liked this one) means ‘beloved’.

Above all, Jesus means ‘God who Saves’.

Ever since my early involvement in APF there have been conversations about the name ‘African Pastors Fellowship’. How does it communicate to a largely white British supporter base? Does it adequately describe organisational priorities around training and equipping Christian leaders? To what extent does it suggest a forward thinking and pioneering 21st century mission?

The most common response I get when I tell people I work for African Pastors Fellowship is, “but you’re not African!”. We need to be serious about the possibility our name could actually be a barrier to some opportunities.

The conversation is on-going and I would warmly welcome comments from supporters and friends of APF, both positive and negative concerning our name.

In the meantime, I hope you will be encouraged by this edition of Impetus which contains a significant section of prayer requests submitted by African friends and partners and has been prepared in response to your requests for more of a focus on prayer.

Every Blessing,
Dave (not Steve!)

Revd Dave Stedman

Download our April 2022 newsletter

By Impetus

April 2022 Impetus.

Thank you so much for reading our April 2022 newsletter.

Greetings from Kasese in the far south west of Uganda close to the border with DR Congo. Despite being overshadowed by the Rwenzori mountain range, Kasese is at a lower altitude than many other parts of Uganda and the March weather is seriously warm. As the evening breeze comes through my window and the fan in my room is spinning to keep me cool, I am reminded of ruach, the breath of God’s Spirit.

As you will read elsewhere in this edition one of the highlights of my visit to Uganda was the privilege of meeting Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba. I promised that the APF family would pray with him for his vision to see Uganda transformed through the conversion of:

Heads – improved access to education at all levels.
Hearts – compassion and social justice for the most vulnerable.
Hands – practical action and campaigning against corruption.
Homes – family life and an end to sexual violence against women.
Hospitals – improved access to clinical care.

Archbishop Stephen’s vision is brilliant in its simplicity but profound and far reaching. Together we discussed how eVitabu speaks to each of these aspirations through its various contributors and resources.

Please take a moment to pray for Archbishop Stephen and his team at Namirembe Cathedral in Kampala.

Pray also that APF, through the gift of eVitabu, might be part of seeing a nation changed. Pray for the life giving breath of God to blow in this land and among this people.

Revd Dave Stedman

Download our January 2022 newsletter

By Impetus

January 2022 Impetus.

Thank you so much for reading our January 2022 newsletter.

I attended a very long and hot graduation ceremony at Kapsabon Pastor Training College in Kenya in November. I was given a minute to introduce myself and APF which I think I stuck to (unlike everyone else!) My address to the gathering was undoubtedly the shortest, with “all protocols observed” to coin the phrase of the day. It was a privilege to see women and men receiving their awards and being sent out to serve but I was tired, dehydrated and more than ready to stretch my legs at the end of the five hour extravaganza.

My highlight of the occasion was a joke in the keynote address. It went something like this:

A man had a dog. He loved the dog very much. But sadly, the dog died. The man went to see the pastor and asked if he would provide a burial service for the dog. The pastor declined, explaining the church did not offer rites of passage for dogs. The man was disappointed but as he was leaving, turned to the pastor and said, “I can pay $5,000 for my dog to be buried.” To which the pastor replied, “My friend! My brother! Why did you not tell me at the start the dog was born-again?!”

Many become cynical about African friends and money matters. There’s a seemingly bottomless pit of need, different understandings about budgeting and ownership, a lack of financial transparency to name but some of the cross-cultural challenges.

But I also hear myself in their appeals. For APF, there remains the constant need to chase down every donation, the pressure to maintain enough regular income to pay our staff and keep up with demands, not to mention the preparation of dozens of funding proposals to ensure we have growing funds to support our partners in Africa.

As we begin 2022, APF is looking to diversify and strengthen our leadership team to take on some of these activities. This will release my time so I can give more energy to implementing strategy, reflect more deeply on digital theology and foster key relationships both in the UK and Africa.

I’m not yet taking payment for canine cremations or barking burials, but I do want to see APF able to support more graduations (although I will happily sit them out!) and be better placed to help equip dedicated but under-resourced leaders with training, eVitabu and many other life-changing projects and initiatives.

Thank you for your generosity and trust. Please pray with me to stay focussed and trust the Lord for his provision in this new year.

Thank you for your continued support

Revd Dave Stedman