Rev. Mwaya WaKitavi and his wife, Munyiva, have returned to their homeland to work as missionaries in Christian Reformed World Missions' newest mission field, East and Southern Africa.
On Monday, after living in the United States for almost 25 years, the WaKitavi's moved back to East Africa.
In his capacity, Mwaya WaKitavi will oversee the work of Christian Reformed missionaries, associates, partners and volunteers in these regions. His overall responsibility will be leadership and capacity development, theological education development and Christian education development among partners of in the regions, say CRWM officials.
For several years, the WaKitavis were intimately involved in helping to develop the African Community Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was pastor of the church.
Working from United States and through taking several trips, the WaKitavi's have already started developing ministry in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and South Africa. As the work expands, they will begin work in Tanzania as well. They are not strangers to that part of the world. Besides having lived in Africa, Mwaya WaKitavi visited there for several years as director of the Bible League International.
An East African revival of the early 1970s resulted in the rapid growth of the church. Africa is now the "heartland of Christianity," but in many cases remains at the center of political conflict, disease, and poverty.
While it is growing, Christianity lacks depth due to a scarcity of well-trained leaders, poor teaching and preaching, and lack of scriptures. This church needs to be encouraged, strengthened, and nurtured to mature, says Rev. Mwaya WaKitavi.
They have accepted this call, responsibility and challenge, he says, in order to help transform lives and communities through a holistic biblical world and life view. They say they will do this as they work to empower others, enabling them to find their own fulfillment in using their gifts to serve the Lord.
Where possible, they will strengthen the CRC ministries and other mission agencies in the region including the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee and Back to God Ministries International.
Although CRWM has had little presence in Uganda, the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) has five staff members there. They work in partnerships with various groups to provide adult literacy, community health care, business development programs, and to bring Ugandans together for theological training
BTGMI broadcasts radio programs, besides doing other ministry, in that part of the world.
In order to be successful in the new ministry, the WaKitavi's say they would like to have – and are seeking — a vehicle for their work with CRWM. They are hoping to purchase a used vehicle in good condition for around $30,000.
They say they need something solid and dependable that will allow them to get from place to place, in the city and along rough roads in East and Southern Africa. They can't purchase the vehicle until all the funds come in for it. See CRWM'S Ways to Give page if you are able to help.
In Africa, the WaKitavi’s will follow the vision of CRWM and work in various areas, some of which are likely to be:
- Educational Development: Close to 80 percent of church leaders in Sub-Saharan Africa have little or no theological training. In partnership with the Timothy Leadership Training Institute, leaders are equipped with basic pastoral, teaching and sermon preparation skills.
- Theological Development: In partnership with theological institutions, CRWM assists in curriculum development, library development, visiting lecturers and scholarships.
- Promote Christian Education: Forty-five percent of Africa’s population is 18 years old and under. CRWM partners with existing Christian schools in building a quality program. They will also encourage the local churches to establish Christian Day schools. Through the Christian educators’ program, missionaries such as the WaKitavi’s hope to quip teachers and administrators with skills that enable them to teach and lead through the eyes of faith.
- Church Planting: They support the local initiatives in planting churches among unreached people groups.
- Development of Regional Networking Centers: In partnership with local churches and Christian agencies, CRWM supports the development of Centers of Transformation (CT). This involves the networking and sharing of resources with all of the agencies in the region so that they can mutually grow in biblical vision for the Kingdom.
- Department of Community Transformation: Where possible, CRWM supports partner theological institutions in developing Departments of Community Transformation (DCT), where courses in community development are taught. Community development skills help them in their pastorate.