God Makes a Way: Swahili Language Church is Launched
Worship at Amani Community Church (pastor Wakibogo playing keyboard on the left)
One of the core values discerned during South Central Mennonite Conference’s (SCMC) time of visioning last year was to be alert and ready to respond to new kingdom initiatives in our region: networking Anabaptist church planting partnerships. We are thrilled to announce that in late January, Regional Conference Minister (RCM) Clarence Rempel discovered that Masemo Wakibogo, a recent graduate of Hesston College, had launched a new Swahili speaking church on December 1, 2019. The church is located in Wichita, KS where Masemo was working with orienting new immigrants.
Masemo and his wife, Salima Nyasinde and their four children came as refugees from the Congo via Kenya to Hesston, KS about three years ago. Members of Whitestone Mennonite Church and Hesston Mennonite Church provided significant support for this family of six, now seven, in their adjustments to a new culture. Masemo, working in his fifth language, completed Bible and Ministry studies at Hesston College in two years with the dream of becoming a pastor. He says, “The church encourages people to put their hope to Jesus Christ. Amani congregation is a peace-loving community joining other churches in the Mennonite family to continue Jesus’ mission to bring people into God’s kingdom. And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation’ (Mark 16:15). As one body of Jesus Christ let us join our hands together and spread the good news of our Lord Jesus to all nations.”
SCMC has been scrambling to get to know and resource this new church. After a gathering with Masemo, church participants, SCMC leaders, and friends on February 1, the SCMC Executive Committee acted to support this church plant by committing $10,000 in funds and appointing Rempel as the RCM coach for this church plant on February 17. On February 28 the Ministerial Commission interviewed and granted Masemo a license towards ordination. Since then RCM James Wenger has been contacting churches and individuals about collaborating with this church plant in prayer and financial support. We are at the moment creating an Elder Support Team that will function as the initial governing body for the new church, as counsel for Pastor Masemo, and as a connection to Partnership Churches. The church has been named Amani (Peace) Community Church.
SCMC has proven to be amazingly nimble in responding to a new kingdom opportunity and we request your prayers and invite you to partner with us in this work. If you, as an individual, family, small group, or congregation, are interested in learning more or becoming a part of the support for this congregation please contact Clarence Rempel at firstname.lastname@example.org.Posted on April 1, 2020 in News