It has been nearly 30 years since the Jeske’s first moved to East Africa (Kenya) to begin training pastors and leaders. Last November Phil returned to E. Africa to join Rafik in training a group of leaders in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. While there he was able to meet up again with James and Mary Kamau (pic. on pg 3), who they served with in Kenya in the early 1990s. Since 2000 the Kamaus have been in Tanzania establishing an ICM training center in Dar es Salaam.
Rafik has also lived for most of his life in Tanzania until he moved to Canada over ten years ago. He now works with the Salvation Army in downtown Vancouver as a crisis counselor and chaplain for those on the margins of society. He continues to be involved in various church positions and functions and is currently considering planting a new church.
Rafik grew up in Tanzania as a Muslim and through a series of remarkable events became a follower of Jesus (you can see his testimony on our YouTube channel “MCNet International”). He then went on to plant several multi-ethnic churches as well as being a catalyst to see a revival among the E. Indians in Dar es Salaam.
On this latest trip, he was able to revisit these ministries and encourage them. However, the main purpose of the trip was to renew his contacts with key leaders in the city and introduce them to Phil and the MCNet leadership training. Through these relationships, they were able to teach at a leadership conference. The focus was on mentoring and helping leaders develop the next generation of leadership.
One of the key leaders which they will continue to work with is Pastor Dondo. He was actually one of the leaders in Rafik’s church when he lived in Tanzania. His ministry now focuses on the generation of young African professionals. His unique ministry to young leaders is a great fit for our mentoring focus and we are looking forward to how we can together impact the region of Dar es Salaam in the years ahead. Rafik was also able to share with a city wide gathering of these young adults while they were there
Many have described the church in Africa as being one mile wide and an inch deep. In other words, there have been many converts, but often the church has not done an adequate job of discipling new believers and then mentoring and releasing leaders for the Body. Often this has compounded the problem we see around the world where the relationships in the Body of Christ are based on a hierarchical model rather than on the servant model that Jesus taught.
In Matt. 20:25-28 Jesus teaches that the rulers of the Gentiles lord power and position over each other. . . but he says with us, it should not be so! “You want to be great in the Kingdom?” he asks, then you must be a servant. The relationships in the Body of Christ are based upon function and service rather than position and power. Jesus was clearly saying that this was also to apply to the leadership in the Church.
We are excited to have Rafik as a Ministry Coach in our network, with a specific focus on E. Africa. As one of our Network Coaches he will coordinate with the local leaders who are using our materials and travel regularly to train these leaders by using our materials and teaching them how to reproduce this in their ministries.