Training Pastors to Impact Families in Kisumu, Kenya

In a testament to partnership and teamwork, the Arise for Children Network (ARC) who are part of the global VIVA Network, and Family Impact worked together to mobilise and train 26 church leaders from 16 churches in Kisumu, Kenya in the Foundations for Family (F4F) course. Written by Family Impact, F4F teaches the Five Family Values which set out God’s plan for families in all cultures. It also encourages churches to make the support of families within the church and the surrounding community a continuing part of church life. Family Impact has previously partnered with VIVA to teach this course in vulnerable communities in Harare, Zimbabwe (read more).

The ARC have identified many issues in the communities these churches serve in Kisumu that they believe can be addressed at family level…“Broken and dysfunctional families are at the root of many of the challenges to the welfare of children. For example, while there are structures in place to work with children and families following the incidence of abuse, there is a lack of work on prevention and strengthening families and equipping caregivers with skills to positively parent children. In local communities there is also a lack of counselling and support for the many families.” The ARC report concluded “There is need for Christian teaching and training in the whole area of family, marriage and parenting. Churches can make a constructive contribution in teaching and supporting families.”

Therefore, this training was very well received and motivated the churches represented to reach out to and support families in their community. The pastors committed to using the materials to preach a Five Family Values series in their church, to run small groups on the values and to appoint Family Champions in their churches. Importantly, pastors were also taught how to conduct surveys of their communities to assess issues faced by families and to record stories that illustrate the impact of the program on family life. This will help them better respond to the needs of the community. The group plans to meet again in February to assess the impact the teachings on families in their communities.

Some testimonies from those attending the course were:

“I had never understood God’s plan for my family before”

“I had no idea that the Bible spoke so openly and practically about sexuality and sex in marriage”

“I want to help my family to see Christ as the centre of everything”

“I now recognise the importance of family to God”

The challenges that our families face are poverty and have led to high levels of immorality, family break ups which lead to single parenthood, child labour, prostitution and orphans. This gives pastors and caregivers a hard work because they are the ones who handle this situations and hence a need for training and empowering them. This training has come at such a right time to help us handle the families the bible way.”

David in Kisumu

Kisumu trainees