I have now returned to Nairobi with Michael Kimindu after a very eventful and deeply blessed 4 days in Kisimu, but we are on the move again to Mombasa for meetings with the bishop, with the local LGBTI group and with a group of Moslems.
Further developments already underway as a result of our visit to Kisumu. Mary, the priest responsible for training in the diocese of Maseno South phoned to report that a group of 10 people had been selected from those who attended the workshop on Friday. Those who responded most positively met again yesterday to plan the next stage of the diocesan strategy. This included identifying appropriate people to participate in the forum which retired Archbishop David Gitari has agreed to host at his Philadelphia retreat centre.
At the same time yesterday, Dan and Fred and other Anglicans we met on Saturday and Sunday were also making progress and have identified 5 other Anglicans including one transgender person who are also willing to participate in the forum with Davd Gitari.
The model of Changing Attitude has inspired both those members of the Diocese of Maseno South and those LGBTI people in the sexual health and resource groups in Kisumu. The foundations among both groups have been well-laid already.
Bishop Francis of Kisumu South attended GAFCON rather than Lambeth 2008. The people of the diocese challenged him when he didn’t go to Lambeth, wanting to know why he was boycotting the Anglican family gathering. Later he said we all make mistakes at some times and said he had reviewed his position. The diocese is now ready to participate in the kind of listening process which LGBTI Anglicans have been waiting for since Lambeth 1998.
The Anglicans in Maseno South are ready for a real process of engagement and listening to begin. A Quaker we have been meeting said he is now ready to engage with the Quakers in Kenya, showing them the Anglican model and hoping to persuade them to take LGBTI people seriously and begin a listening process of their own. Others, members of the SDA church, feel empowered by our work in Kisumu to engage with the Seventh Day Adventists.
I prophesy that this new work of engagement between faith groups and the LGBTI communities is going to expand and spread to other denominations, other faith communities, and other African countries and Anglican Provinces.
The seeds we have been planting in Kenya are falling on very fertile ground and I believe Spirit of God is moving through the hearts and minds of many people here, opening them in love to recognise that they have been turning their backs on, discriminating against and falsely accusing a group of people who are also Children of God.