The students who started training in 2017 should have graduated in 2020 but the Covid19 Pandemic meant that classes had to be postponed during the lockdowns. This resulted in students not completing their courses until 2021. We are grateful to God that all students were finally able to graduate during 2021. Some graduations were cancelled at the last minute due to new lockdown restrictions and some had to be held with social distancing and no audience.
We welcome Jeremiah Lingri into the ART family as a full time ART Trainer. Jeremiah is based in Eastern Province in the Mount Kenya region. He joined ART towards the end of 2017 and has opened centre’s in Mikinduri and Mbeu. This is a new region for ART and we are delighted to now be able to offer training in this region.
We thank God that ART has been able to launch 13 new training centres since September 2017 year bringing the total number of centres where ART trains to 14. We were able to open a new centre in Kandiege in Nyanza a year ago before the other centres had finished their 3 year training due to generous support from a church in the USA.
We are especially thankful that God has enabled these new centres to open amidst considerable disruption during the election and post election period where there have been significant safety challenges for many of the pastors and trainers, particularly in Coast and Nyanza Provinces.
Jan and Jeremy Peckham, founders of ART were back in Kenya to participate in the graduation of pastors from eight centres in Nyanza, Western and Coast areas in Kenya. A total of 180 pastors graduated in five ceremonies over two weeks as four of the Nyanza cohorts were able to combine.
All of the centres had received teaching from eight volunteer trainers from the graduates of 2013. A local Chief who was a student in the Kaloleni cohort gave powerful testimony at the Kaloleni graduation (pictured) to God’s work in his life and that of his community. Many other testimonies were heard at each of the graduations of how God has transformed these pastors and their families as well as their congregations during their three years of training.
A number of pastors reported on how their churches have grown under better preaching and ministry. These pastors have also introduced youth and children’s programmes, previously absent from many rural churches.
We have just started a new training centre at Kandiege near Home Bay where a group of pastors has been waiting for training for over a year. The first of a new set of training centres, Kandiege opened in October after receiving sponsorship from New Life Centre Church in Spokane USA. Everyone is overjoyed at the generous support of this Church that has enabled this new centre to open. We anticipate opening several new centres next year as training in the current centres draws to a close and pastors complete their 3 year course.