The Student: Multiplication of Kenyan Leaders through Scholarships
Shadrack Keitany serves as an ordained elder with the Africa Inland Church in Kenya. He recounts how an Overseas Council scholarship supported his education and paved the way to equip hundreds of leaders, churches, and ministries.
I met the Lord at an early age but only started full-time pastoral service about 15 years ago. My area of ministry covers a town in Kenya, which was recently isolated due to bad roads, crime, and intense poverty. Though Christians have been a part of this area since 1933, there is not much visible fruit in the community due to a lack of trained church leaders. In response, my denomination asked me to start a Bible School.
Without additional training in school administration and theology, I realized that the task of starting a Bible School would be very difficult. On one hand, I saw the positive impact that a Bible School could have on churches and the community. On the other hand, I saw my lack of training as a giant obstacle blocking me from starting the school.
Fortunately, I discovered a seminary in Nairobi that extended one of their master’s programs to a nearby town. I trusted the Lord and enrolled in the program, even though I did not know how I would pay the tuition. God heard my prayers and I was granted an Overseas Council scholarship!
After completing my studies, I went on to start the Bible School, which is called the Africa Inland Church – Kapsowar School of Theology. My training improved the quality of my leadership and teaching, which helped me to train up leaders from local churches to help me manage the school.
I had faced a seemingly insurmountable financial obstacle to participating in seminary studies. A scholarship from Overseas Council made a way for me to overcome the obstacle. Because of one OC scholarship, we have now trained 165 pastors in our region through the Bible School! Most of the graduates are now serving as full-time pastors in the region. Others have become missionaries and church planters back in their remote home villages. Still others are serving as high school chaplains, making an impact on the next generation. Rural churches that once lacked trained leaders now have pastors who know the Bible and how to lead and form their churches.
The Lord is calling me to train church leaders in innovative ways that are affordable, non-disruptive, and high-quality. I am grateful to my friends and partners of Overseas Council who have given me the opportunity to realize this dream. Without your assistance, I would not have received the training that has now enabled me to train others who are clearly making significant contributions to the church in Kenya.
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