I’m on my way to Heathrow Airport to catch the Virgin Atlantic flight to Jomo Kenyatta Airport, Nairobi. I’m going to be in Kenya for nearly three weeks with Revd Michael Kimindu, Anglican priest and Changing Attitude’s Kenyan contact. Michael’s ministry to LGB&T Kenyans is fulfilled through Other Sheep East Africa, a worshipping community that pastors gay people in Nairobi.
Michael has been working hard preparing an itinerary for the visit. We will be travelling this weekend to meet the retired Archbishop David Gitari and meetings with three diocesan bishops have been arranged, including in one diocese a seminar with all the diocesan clergy. This is the first time Changing Attitude in Kenya, and possibly any organisation in any part of Africa apart from South Africa, has achieved meetings at this level.
I will also be preaching in Nairobi, meeting a group of supportive Anglican clergy, a group of gay pastors, and visiting two of the universities as well as spending a day at the offices of GALCK, Gays and Lesbians of Kenya, meeting and working with staff members and leaders.
We will travel together to Mombasa on the coast for a series of meetings including with the bishop in the cathedral and to Kisumu where the seminar with the bishop and clergy will take place in the cathedral. I’m being cautious about revealing too much before I arrive because there are clearly people at risk from any undue publicity and I want to consult with Michael first.
Several lesbian and gay Kenyans have already expressed an interest in meeting me and I hope we are going to engage in conversations in which I learn from them about their experience as LGB&T Christians in Kenya and together we can explore the gospel in the context of our shared humanity and sexuality.
I’m hoping to blog regularly during my 20 days in Kenya. It is a huge privilege to be going and a great opportunity to meet in a safe context with bishops and church leaders, pastors, priests and lay people. I hope and pray that we will all meet in a spirit of trust, openness and love, and I have no doubt that the God of truth will lead all of us into deeper truth.
Please pray for the people of Kenya, for Michael Kimindu and Other Sheep East Africa, for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Kenyans, for their faith and courage, and for me as together we share the intimate, infinite love of God for all creation.