This article was originally shared December 2019.
I am writing to let you know I got home safely after my three-week trip in the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you did to make this trip not just the most memorable since I started visiting the diocese but also the most fruitful in terms of cementing old partnerships and friendships and making new friends.
I am grateful to Bishop Mark Lawrence and the leadership of the diocese for making it possible for me and other Anglican leaders from the Global South to attend the New Wineskins conference in Ridgecrest, North Carolina. The gathering at the Cathedral in Charleston (organized by Bob Lawrence) was, to say the least, a milestone in positioning the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina as a leader in Global missions within the ACNA. I am particularly grateful that alongside other prominent Anglican leaders we were accorded the privilege to talk about the work of God in our dioceses/provinces and invite members of the diocese to prayerfully consider partnering with us.
In one way or another, all of you played pivotal roles in ensuring that I had a blessed wonderful time in South Carolina. More than ever, I felt at home—away from home. From the hospitality of your homes and the rides from one place to another to ensure I kept my appointments to the Southern delicacies I enjoyed in your company, everything was unparalleled, and you did it out of loving service rather than out of compulsion. I truly felt loved and cared for.
I have utmost respect and love for my brothers in the clergy at St. Timothy’s, Cane Bay; St. Paul’s, Summerville; St. Matthew’s, Darlington; Christ Church, Mt. Pleasant; Prince George Winyah, Georgetown; and St. Helena’s, Beaufort—all who not only took time to have dinner or lunch, talk, pray, and listen to me share about my work but also gave me the honor of preaching during Sunday services or teaching Bible study. I am also grateful for your financial gifts which will go a long way in supporting my ministry in the Diocese of Maseno South. I can’t thank you enough.
I look forward to continued friendship and mission partnerships. I am happy to continue with follow-up conversations regarding tangible ways to continue building these relationships. Please keep us in your prayers, and whenever you are able, you are welcome to come alongside us to meet the needs of your brothers and sisters here in Kenya.
By The Rev. Fred Ochieng,Vicar, Emmanuel Church, Shaurimoyo Parish, The Anglican Diocese of Maseno South, Kisumu-Kenya
(Image by Joy Hunter)