Amani Celebrates One Year
By Clarence Rempel
It was with expressions of thankfulness, amazement, and joy that Amani Community Church celebrated its one year anniversary on December 6, 2020. Over one hundred members and guests crowded into the chapel at Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church in southeast Wichita for joyful worship led by Pastor Masemo Wakibogo, the Paradizo Choir and the Strong Music Band. Clarence Rempel, Regional Ministry Coach for this church plant, brought the message which was translated into Swahili and then Kinyarwanda, two prominent African languages. There were guests from other African churches in Wichita including two pastors and a pastor’s wife. The celebration concluded with a grand fellowship meal. The Paradizo Choir posted two more songs in December on YouTube.
South Central Mennonite Conference, some of its churches and individuals pledged $36,000 for years one of this church plant with plans to equal that for year two and three. An Elder Support Team was assembled with representation from Amani and the supporting congregations – Hesston Mennonite Church, Spring Valley Mennonite Church, and Whitestone Mennonite Church. Light of Life Mennonite Church also made a commitment for three years of support. Journey Mennonite Church paid for 55 Swahili language Bibles that were imported from Tanzania. Pleasant View Mennonite Church contributed a fifteen passenger van that picks up people for choir rehearsals, Bible studies, and Sunday worship. Individuals also contributed for choir uniforms, tables, a computer, and family relief needs.
The congregation is feeling the squeeze of their present rental facility in both space and time availability. Currently, there are no rooms available for children’s or youth ministry. There are no kitchen facilities. Pastor Masemo dreams of seven day church, but currently they only have access Thursday through Saturday after 4 PM and Sunday. The Ministry Team of Amani is praying for suitable facilities and have committed to giving $500 per month to a Building Fund with a dream of having their own building some day soon. They are planning for a church for generations to come. Designated contributions for the Amani Church Plant Support or the Amani Building Fund can be made through South Central Mennonite Conference, Box 564, Hesston, KS 67062.
Pray for the health and safety of church member families. Many work in places of higher COVID exposure risks. There have been two vehicle accidents and an apartment fire in the past month. Students who are new to the English language have had a hard time with online schooling. There are many challenges in adapting to a new culture and country. Government sponsored support services for new immigrants stop after six months, but many needs continue. Pastor Masemo gives much time and energy to helping persons and families navigate the nitty gritty of surviving in a new world.Posted on January 21, 2021 in News