"This camp was epic!"

27 February 2017

Daniel Odhiambo works in Marsabit, Kenya, co-ordinating the youth work for an area the size of England. In his latest prayer letter he writes:

In December, we held our first ever youth conference – iMarika (the Kiswahili word for ‘Steadfast’). We had 254 young people attend from across the vast diocese. A group of girls from Leparua spent three days getting to the camp. Three boys from Kargi waited by the side of a road for two days for a vehicle to come by to give them a lift.

The camp was epic in every way and we had over 10 tribes represented. Our theme, “Steadfast 24/7”, was pushed through and the book of Daniel brilliantly exposed. The diocese gave us excellent support and the bishop spent two days with us. During the camp, many young people made commitments to the Lord Jesus. There have also been very good reports from churches on renewed zeal and passion in their youth groups after the camp. They can’t wait for the next one!

The camp was, however, very draining. Though I really did try to delegate, I still overworked myself, getting extremely fatigued towards the end. By the time it was all over, I was down for a week. This meant that I couldn’t travel the long distance home to be with family over the Christmas break.

In January I had the golden opportunity to attend the Living Word Uganda conference in Kampala, many thanks to Christ Church South Cambs who paid for me to go. I did a talk there and brought with me four young people. We were all deeply encouraged and the students I went with learnt so much and are quite keen on returning next year. One of them is now doing trial expositions using skills learnt at the conference and sending them for feedback, which is deeply encouraging. For me, Living Word Uganda always feels like a Cornhill refresher and I’m so grateful to be able to attend. A great way to start the year indeed!

This month I have begun to assist the provost at the cathedral. Since the diocese is understaffed, they are forced to ask a few people like me to take on multiple roles. I am just attached there at the moment and will only get involved inasmuch as it doesn’t interfere with my youth work. I am also down for ordination on 7 May at St Peters Cathedral in Marsabit. The big concern is that these things, though good, might interfere with the work going on in the youth department. However, ordination will open several important doors for ministry in an Anglican church setting and joining the cathedral staff will help me have substantial influence in the youth and children’s work there.

I regret that I haven’t been involved with as much outreach as I should, in a mission front like this, and so I am trying to intertwine my youth ministry with outreach. Our theme this year is, ‘growing deep, reaching out’ and we want to deliberately integrate every youth event with an outreach opportunity. These last two weeks we’ve done open air evangelisms with great impact, under God, in Karare and Laisamis and we will soon be going to Turbi, Badassa and Bubisa.

At this time, please join with me in thanking God for a successful youth camp in December and for Living Word Uganda’s ministry. Please pray for me as I join the cathedral staff and prepare for ordination, and pray that I will grow in my love for God’s word and faithfulness to it. Pray that I remain servant hearted in all my ministry. Pray too that a visit from Phil Parker, my minister from when I was at St. Andrews, Frimley Green, would be fruitful and deepen our partnership in the gospel.