Recent re-evaluation of the 21-year relationship by representatives of both the Newton-Nairobi Partnership Team (PCUSA) and the Nairobi Partnership Board (PCEA) has reinforced our mutually strong desire to continue our mission work into the future, if it be the will of God. Despite the challenges along the way, the parties are as committed as ever to the original shared vision. The benefits gained, by individuals and congregations, through shared Christian fellowship, increased cross-cultural awareness, and experiencing the joy of making a difference in lives, are the invaluable rewards felt by all who have been touched and lifted up by the Holy Spirit at work through the Partnership. While our future partnership may move forward in a significantly different format from what has been, those engaged in it remain passionately committed to it.
19“I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (NRSV)Isaiah43:19a
Benefits beyond monetary
Two decades of cooperative engagement supporting material benefit and hope for communities and individuals in need have offered Newton Presbyterians insight into the value of bonding for improvement and for appreciation of one another’s personal gifts. Deep impressions have been created through cultural experiences and personal engagement among participants. Partnership projects’ benefits have enabled Newton participants to understand the nature of the hardship of African life as well as the hope nurtured by their involvement.
Cross-Atlantic introductions to Christian people with unfamiliar names and ways of living have reinforced each partner’s members’ ability to experience the common bond of our faith and the mutual conviction of God’s servants engaging as His messengers working together for good.
Our past experiences have allowed us to understand the degree to which sharing exceeds monetary consideration, providing richness in faith, fellowship and the future. We perceive that our future will focus on the creation of experiences that enable participants to give of and gain for themselves through service and Christian fellowship.
Cross-Cultural Visits and Congregational Interaction Variety in Mission Experiences
Future travel will endeavor strongly to build upon those benefits while engaging in “hands-on” mission activity in each other’s homeland, confirming our common confession of the same Lord while carrying out his ministry within our respective cultures.
To that end, beginning in 2018 we envision such opportunities as:
- Individual and group correspondence
- Congregation-to-congregation visits
- Shared worship through audio and video
- Exchange of delegations
- Development of audio-visual resources
- Special project support
- U.S. medical personnel volunteering for special week-long “clinics” at KHC
- Language training
- Men’s ministry
- Work camps for youth (14-21 years)
- Advocacy on related issues
- Women exchange
- Youth exchanges
- Shared Bible study
- Special days of prayer
- Establish a relationship with missionaries