Barclay Viewforth Church has links with several missionary partners overseas. Meet Joel Githinji.
Joel and his wife Agnes were born and grew up in Kenya. Joel says “I was born in Eldoret and my wife Agnes in Nanyuki in Rift Valley province and have 2 children Grace and Francis. I remember when I was a young teenager my father used to encourage me to read the Bible and explain to the congregation and that developed my spiritual life”.
Having been brought up from a Village, he could see how people lived in hopelessness and in poverty, a thing that keep him remember how far God took him through an experience that reshaped his faith and attitude. “Luckily, my father and mum encouraged me to work hard in my education which I did well both in primary and secondary level. I joined Egerton University and graduated in 1992 in Sociology and later enrolled for a Master Degree in Nairobi University”.
He later joined World Vision as a program manager working in relief, development and HIV work for 11 years in Kenya, 2 Years with VSO Nepal as Organization Development Advisor and currently working for Church of Scotland as a Mission Partner based in United Mission to Nepal.
He is working as Integral Mission Advisor for HIV and his work entails developing capacity of partners to mainstream HIV and promote integral mission in Nepal. “That has been my interest to work with the marginalized and the poor, letting the word of God be known, encouraging good relationships and hope”.
Although HIV in Nepal is still a ‘concentrated epidemic’ people started to experience its impact and therefore its control and mitigation remain a priority. Youths, children and adults continue to be affected, any talk and accurate information on prevention, care and support would bring hope to those affected and infected.
Although Nepali language seems to mix up from other ethnic dialect, at least he can speak the basics.
While he was working with VSO, he lived in Nepal for a period of 2 years without his wife Agnes and his 2 children. He faced same challenge even while he was in Kenya. He thanks God for Church of Scotland for the support, as he couldn’t imagine that one day he would stay together with his family!
His children, Francis (10) and Grace (14) joined Kathmandu International Study Centre in Nepal until 2013. Agnes, Grace and Francis now live in Baltimore, USA. During free time they learn to play keyboard and violin. Joel’s prayer has been that they may grow fearing and doing the will of God.
Joel has visited Church of Scotland congregations in Fife, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Gordon, Melrose and Pebbles and was encouraged to see how churches support and give hope to the marginalized and the poor in developing countries. He is grateful to Church of Scotland World Mission Council to give him the opportunity to serve God and transfer his skills and knowledge to bring transformation to the lives of people affected and infected by HIV.
Joel’s latest news and prayer letter can be found below.