About Third Church's Kenya Parnership
Third Church extended its outreach to
Africa in 2006. Our former pastor, Rod Frohman, reached out to
his friend Timothy Njoya, to help contact a Presbyterian congregation
that might be interested in a partnership with Third Church. In
early 2007, Rod Frohman and Robert Veitch traveled to Nairobi,
Kenya, where they met with members of the Kihumo Church, a 350-member
congregation located just 15 miles from downtown Nairobi. In September 2007, the Sessions of Third Church and the Kihumo Chuch signed a formal
Since then, two groups of Third Church members have traveled to Kihumo, in 2008 and 2011, and Third Church has hosted four Session members and the minister of the Kihumo parish. These visits have resulted in greater understanding of each other’s culture, environment and spiritual practices.
Many members of Third Church have met with and greeted the Kihumo travelers, as well as contributed to the various initiatives undertaken by Third Church to support their partners in Kihumo. The goat project continues to be a successful enterprise. In addition, Third Church has donated funds to the East Africa Presbyterian University, contributed to the building of the manse for the Kihumo congregation, and continues to support the construction and administration of the Kihumo Pre-School. This pre-school not only provides an early educational start for the children, but allows the women of the area to work outside the home.
Please consider how you might help this evolving partnership.
History of Third Church's Kenya Partnership
Because of the efforts of Rod Frohman, Robert Veitch, and Rod’s former Princeton classmate, Timothy Njoya, Third Church signed a partnership agreement with the Kihumo Presbyterian Church in 2006. At the time , Geoffrey Hiuhu was pastor at Kihumo.
In 2008 and 2011, members of Third Church traveled to Kihumo to explore the ways in which our partnership could evolve. While there, our members learned about their outreach projects, such as helping the squatters who had been dispossessed by the conflict after the 2008 presidential election. We witnessed the numerous and intensive ways in which they nurtured their members, some of which we have adopted. We experienced the Kihumo Church as the center of their community, providing for the needs of all. We saw some of their evangelism efforts, including the goat roast , put on by the men’s group in an effort to reach out to other men in the area. We were amazed at the maturity of their young people, as they conducted one of the Sunday services by themselves and spoke confidently about their own faith journeys. The respect and nurturing of the older members of the community was evident everywhere. We were continually moved by the “joyous spirit” of all the members- their faith appeared to inform all aspects of their lives.
During our partnership, Third Church has contributed funds for the goat project, for the library at the East African Presbyterian University, for the Kihumo manse, and now for the Kihumo pre-school. It is hoped that the partnership will lead to further opportunities to share our faith in Jesus Christ.
Rev. Moses Ndegwa, the dynamic Kihumo pastor who visited us in September 2011 along with several Kihumo elders,
resigned as pastor to run for national office in the Kenyan elections in March, 2013. Moses did not win, but the turmoil and strife that
marked the previous Kenyan national elections in March 2008 were not repeated. This is a blessing for Kenya, and hopefully an example for
other nations in Africa and elsewhere.
In exciting news, Moses successor is Rev. Jane Wambui Kariuki,
the first female pastor for Kihumo. We look forward to being in
partnership with her.
Supporting Third Church's Kenya Partnership
Capital projects in Kenya (the library
at the Presbyterian University of East Africa, the Kihumo parish
manse, the renovation of the education building, and the building
of a dining hall/meeting center) have been funded generously by
a portion of Third Church’s recent Capital Campaign.
Other support has come from donations
at the annual Alternative Christmas Market in December. For several
years, donations were for the purchase of goats, until that project
became self-sustaining through the return to the Kihumo Church
of some of the offspring of previously purchased goats. More recently,
donations have provided scholarships for students in the pre-school
program at the Kihumo Church. Our current focus is to raise money
for scholarships to expand the number of members of Third who can
share in the transformative experience of visiting our partners
Kenya Partnership - FAQ
How is this partnership valuable to
members of Third Church?
Members of Third have learned new ways
to care for our members, different ways of doing outreach and evangelism,
and have been inspired by the loving spirit of these people who
praise God and dedicate their lives to Jesus Christ every day.
Who could/should go to Kenya?
Everyone who is physically able, has
time and financial resources, and wants to know what “transformative
How are we helping the Kihumo Parish?
We have provided funds for goats, for
construction of the manse, and, currently, for the renovation and
running of the pre-school.
How can we further develop the partnership?
How indeed? Do you have ideas/ suggestions
( more youth involvement, more sharing of music) ?? We’d love to
hear your ideas
Kenya Partnership - Contact Information
If you are interested in learning more
about our partnership; want to know how to get involved; have something
to donate; or have a comment / suggestion. Please contact one of
the follwoing people:
Rev. Lynette Sparks: Associate Pastor at Third Presbyterian Church
(585)271-6513 ext 106
Or one of the Kenya Committee Members:
Judy Gordon, Ronna Grimes, Tom Klaseus, and Scott Statton-Smith