Christian Leaders for Africa (CLA) is a not-for-profit organization of people who share a vision for Africans training Africans in Africa. Formed in November, 2002, CLA is a partner with Africa International University (AIU) in Nairobi, Kenya. AIU is a Christian university that was previously known as the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (NEGST). The university will have three major schools of study, NEGST, the Institute for the Study of African Realities (ISAR), and the School for Professional Studies (SPS).
The board and staff of CLA seek to develop US support for ongoing programs at NEGST, including student scholarships, faculty support, the new doctoral initiatives and various capital projects.
It seems that everyone writes a Christmas cheer letter with the hopes of getting in one last chance for fund raising before the tax year comes to a close. And here I am writing one as well. How do I make this sound different than the others? How do we appeal to you to put us on your list of year end donations? A big part of me says I don’t want to do that. I don’t want you to feel obligated. All of you have been such good stewards throughout the year and have kept CLA and our mission to NEGST-AIU in your prayers and have remembered us with your support.
Sally and I have just returned from being on campus for three weeks and we always find that Satan finds a way to attack our work and to bring some level of concern when we are preparing to leave as well as when we arrive. What always brings us back to the feeling that this ministry is so worthwhile is hearing the stories of how the students have come to NEGST and what they are doing now and plan to do in His Kingdom when they graduate.
During our visit, the Commission for University Education (CUE) was conducting the first 5 year audit of AIU. Yes, it has been five years since the charter was first awarded. I found it heartening that one of the major comments in their summary was the awareness they sensed from students, staff, faculty and administration about the Christian vision and mission of the school. They were aware of it, saw it and were taken back by the consistency throughout their visit.
NEGST-AIU is a fine Christian school with a heritage and an alumni base that is impressive throughout Nairobi and Africa. The commission commented on the number of graduates in key organizations in Nairobi and encouraged all with whom they came in contact to continue to pursue the school’s Christian vision and mission.
Yes, we continue to have needs for scholarship funds and other forms of support. Yes, we are asking you to prayerfully consider whether and where the Lord is leading you in your yearend giving. We do however, rely on the leading of the Spirit and the Lord’s provision. NEGST-AIU is HIS school. Money will always follow mission. Our mission is significant but so is the Lord’s provision.
I thought you would enjoy a story about one of your scholarship recipients. We are going to leave out the name because of the sensitive nature of the work in highly Muslim populated areas. This student along with a faculty sponsor and two others in the Missions department at NEGST go regularly to street evangelize in and around Nairobi and have recently returned from Ethiopia where they were on a retreat with Muslim women. They became friends, had convenient discussions and listened to the stories of these Ethiopian women. Over 20 women gave their lives to Christ during this retreat. Many will live in secret or will be ostracized from their families because of their conversion. Many will leave all material possessions to lead this new life. Yet they received the good news and became believers. They did so because the students you are supporting have called this their mission and their Kingdom work.
Many predict that during this next decade Africa will be the last continent to either become primarily Christian or Muslim. Most other major continents are already in one column or the other. You are supporting a significant group of young men and women who have committed their life’s work to evangelizing and working in Muslim communities. NEGST continues to produce the next generation of teachers, preachers, linguists and evangelists. Their stories keep me encouraged and your donations are providing the resources for these students to finish their degrees and to start on their Kingdom journeys.