St. Macartin's Cathedral
Enniskillen, Northern Ireland
A Visit to Kenya
Last updated 18th January 2012
The Dean's visit to Kenya
CMS Ireland has been involved with Kajiado Diocese in Kenya for approximately 30 years. During that time strong partnership links between churches in Ireland and the diocese have been developed and continue to grow. Our Cathedral has supported the work of CMSI for many years and in December Dean Hall travelled with a CMSI delegation to Kajiado. They came face to face with the main challenges of the Church as it engages in mission in that area related to poverty, illiteracy, famine and disease. As local Christians look to share the love of Christ they often find themselves responding to the needs of people in a holistic way. In addition to key areas of evangelism CMS Ireland’s partners in Kajiado are also involved in housing projects, education, water catchment programmes, youth work and farm management amongst other things. These are practical demonstrations of God’s love for His people and tangible expressions of a church’s engagement with its community. Kajiado Diocese is going through quite a hard time caused by drought and famine, and the Dean, along with the rest of the team, got involved in a food distribution. They also visited slum areas in Nairobi and attended the farewell service for the retiring Bishop, the Rt Rev Jeremiah Taama and gave thanks for the many years of dedicated service to the people of Kajiado and for his input into shaping the vision of CMS Ireland.
In the bottom section of this page we reproduce an article published in one of County Fermanagh's local newspapers, "The Impartial Reporter" which featured this important visit.
Here are some photographs selected from several hundred which currently appear elsewhere on the Internet.
Mrs Margaret McCammon (wife of Rev. John) and Dr Elaine Elborn at food distribution
En route to Torosei for food distribution
A government chief overseeing food distribution
The Kajiado Team
The Maasai tribe in Torosei awaiting the arrival of food
The Bishop of Connor, the Right Rev. Alan Abernethy (the seedy-looking fellow on the left!) and the Dean (looking like a Mafioso!) preparing for food distribution
The Dean distributing food
Unloading from the old Royal Mail
van used to transport food
Images from Kayole slum, Nairobi
Visiting slum residents
Time for a snack (Dean Hall second from left)
The Dean flexes his fine muscles at a bore well sponsored by Limavady Grammar School
Bishop Abernethy blesses a water tank in the slum area
Dean Hall in All Saints' Anglican Cathedral, Nairobi
Rev. Jennifer McWhirter, Dean Hall, Dr Elaine Elborn and Mark McCullough
The Bishop of Connor, Rev. Canon John and Mrs Margaret McCammon
At a service in Kajiado Cathedral for the retirement of the Bishop
Dean Hall after a five-hour service - a little washed-out looking, perhaps?
New Anglican Centre Headquarters for Kajiado Diocese
The Dean with the new Bishop of Kajiado
The Oloosuyion Secondary School opened 2nd July 2011 , planned by Limavady Grammar School
After an overnight flight - the Dean enjoys "a heart attack on a plate" at 6am in Zurich. Looks as if health-conscious Rev. Canon John McCammon gave it a miss!
With the kind permission of Mr Denzil McDaniel, the editor of "The Impartial Reporter", we here reproduce the article written by Ms Lily Dane and published in the newspaper on 5th January 2012:
The Dean of Clogher Diocese, the Very Rev. Kenneth Hall has recently returned from a trip to Kajiado Diocese, which holds links with the Church of Ireland. The members of the group, which included the Bishop of Connor, Rt. Rev. Alan Abernethy, visited the Anglican Church of Kenya, Kajiado Diocese.
Travelling with the Church Missionary Society Ireland (CSMI), the party was made up of clergy and lay people from all over Ireland; Dean Hall, the rector of St. Macartin’s Cathedral, was the only representative from Clogher Diocese.
Speaking this week, Dean Hall mentioned that there were several focuses to the trip including a day spent on famine relief efforts in an area called Torosei, which is close to the Tanzanian border.
They were visiting an area that was devastated by the effect of a lack of rain. The short rains of October and November were very short and the long rains of March, April and May did not come, mentioned Dean Hall, who explained that they really missed out on one rainy season which has caused the devastation. (There are no natural rivers and only seasonal rivers when the rains come).
"Crops failed and they lost livestock," continued Dean Hall, who pointed out that the Masaai tribe in particular suffered the most due to the situation.
“We actually went there in an old Royal Mail van full of foodstuff - maize, cooking oil and salt. We brought enough food to feed 200 families of eight for about six weeks,” said Dean Hall, who spoke of the very dignified handover.
“The Maasai tribe were so thankful for us arriving. They are so thankful to God for the little they actually have,” said Dean Hall. who added that Government chiefs were there for the distribution of the food.
The group also spent time in the slums around Nairobi which Dean Hall felt was an unbelievable situation. “Arriving at the slums we felt like Royalty and people were there to welcome us,” mentioned the Dean, who pointed out that they were there to meet with people, to pray with them and to walk by their side.
In the slum area, the Bishop had also been asked to bless spouting for a roof, a downpipe and a tank used for harvesting rain - regarded as 'a vital source of life for the family.'
For the Dean of Clogher, it was actually a case of him bringing greetings to them from what must surely be one of the wettest dioceses in the Anglican Communion to the driest one. “What we found about the people that while they have very little, their hope in God is their strength for the future,” said the Dean, who felt their fellowship is their strength and they feel God blesses them every day.
“The Kayole slum is very appreciative of the gifts they receive from the Church in Ireland and whatever they have they are so thankful for.”
The Anglican Cathedral in Nairobi supports project in this area, in particular in health and education, explained Dean Hall.
He also noted out that in the Masaai tribe, education is not as important for girls and the Mothers’ Union in Kajiado District is very proactive to help promote health, education and social standards.
Dean Hall said that they try to educate families not to sell their children into early marriage and give girls a chance to realise their full potential.
The church in conjunction with Limavady Grammar School has been very active in opening a new boarding school for girls in Kajiado Diocese.
The MU oversees funds and according to Dean Hall it is very important that local churches here to support MU overseas funds.
The party was in Kajiado for nine days and according to the Dean it was quite daunting to be in a situation where you realise “we have everything” and services such as water, education and health are taken for granted.
“It’s real blessing to have water so freely available,” believes the Dean, who has been giving local talks since his recent visit.
Kajiado Diocese is the same size as Northern Ireland. There is a population of about 500,000 people and about 75% are of the Maasai Tribe. Kayole-Soweto community has an estimated population of over 798,000 people, the majority of whom live below the poverty level and are earning less than a dollar a day.
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