Letter from the church council
ACC lost a dear friend and ACC Council Elder with the death of Christopher Kenyi on 21st May. An obituary and tributes give evidence of his God-filled life. We continue to hold Margaret, her children and all of Christopher’s family in prayer during these difficult times.
We are saddened to announce the death of Dr. Christopher Kenyi in Arusha, Tanzania on 21 May 2020.
Christopher is survived by his wife Margaret Kenyi and children, Ruth, Moses, Christine and Sarah.
Christopher was born on 25 April 1950 in Kajo Keji, South Sudan. He graduated from the University of Southampton in 1987 with a PhD in Adult Education & Rural Development, from the University of Manchester in 1979 with a M.Ed. in Adult Education & Community Development, and from Makerere University in 1977 with a BA (Honours) in Social Work & Social Administration.
Christopher was a loving husband to Margaret who he married in August 1981 in Uganda. Over the next few years the couple welcomed four children into their lives. His children remember him as a loving, kind father who always made them laugh. He was a pillar of strength to his family and a constant source of wisdom, encouragement, and advice.
Christopher had a dynamic professional career and worked at three universities, two tertiary training institutions, the World Bank and six international NGOs. He was fiercely passionate about development work and dedicated his career to empowering individuals, including through his work and consultancies with NGOs and community based organizations in 11 African countries.
A respected senior member of the South Sudanese Kuku community, he was considered an elder, cherished mentor and advisor to many. He was a loyal Manchester United fan and generous friend, who was always willing to listen and lend a helping hand. As an active and dedicated member of the Arusha Community Church, he served on the church council.
Arrangements are being made for the funeral that will take place in Kajo Keji, South Sudan.
The Kenyi family would like to thank their friends and family around the world for their continued prayers and support.
ACC PRAYER CHAIN
If you have a prayer request and would like members of our community to support you in prayer, contact the four key persons – if possible by SMS- and they will inform the others from the prayer chain:
Erwin Kinsey 0754 480 184
Margaret Kenyi 0754 090 078
Stella Karumuna 0754 266 559
Susan Simonson 0754 281 337
1 John 5:14
“This is the confidence we have in approaching GOD: that if we ask anything according to his will he will hear us”.
Tributes to Christopher Kenyi
Pictured: ACC Church Council, with Christopher seated in front, taken in March 2020 at the council retreat.
Of course I say, “I would be honored to write a tribute for my dear friend, Christopher Kenyi.” And then, as I sit at my computer, only tears come and no words. The pain of separation is still too “in your face” raw and the unfairness of this great friend, this great husband, this great father, this great person being snatched away from us all too suddenly, leaves us all reeling.
Others will share more details of his many roles and accomplishments. Yet, some stand out for me. A boy from a village in what is now South Sudan rises through education and determination to a PhD in Education to serve as consultant with World Vision, the World Bank, USAID, and various governments working in Africa. Many of us who met him at church would never know the levels of service he performed were we not with him in Bible studies over the years. His humility was nearly as great as his broad, seemingly never-ending smile!
A man of such determination that he and Margaret waited some incredibly amount of time, like 10 years, to finally convince her parents, that this marriage outside the traditional norms was going to take place. A patriot, he returned to his village in the newly formed state of South Sudan to contribute and to make a difference in rebuilding this new nation. Only the reality of not one, but two, close encounters with death pulled him away from this dream.
Christopher was a person of profound faith. In Bible studies over the years, he taught me much about how living our faith is not abstract and philosophical but all about being faithful in following Jesus. This he did through his life, his career, and most importantly in his family. I’m not sure if I have ever met a father more proud of his children or a husband more grateful for the wife whom God had brought to him.
I chuckle now as I remember Christopher at worship at ACC. He always was elegantly (I started to say dressed, but Christopher was actually elegantly gowned!) gowned in some striking African fabric that made him, to all appearances, to be the prince or king that I’m sure was his actual heritage and inheritance.
Over the years, our hugs of greetings after worship have become more of stomach bumps, but with no reduction in our closeness or affection.
Christopher, I miss you beyond belief and I, and we will all stand with your family in the days and years ahead. I hope you’re are doing your traditional Sudanese dancing before the Lord even as I write these words of love for you.
Your brother and friend,
~ Mark Jacobson
Tribute from Christine Ebong
Pictured: Margaret and Christopher Kenyi at the wedding of their daughter Christine last year.
We are very sad to learn of the sudden passing of Dr. Christopher Kenyi. As a couple we were handed a little note with his name and number on our wedding day by our Chaplain, Rev. Canon Johnson Ebong when we asked for a reference in Tanzania. We would be starting life as a young couple in a foreign land and we needed a home church once we’d arrive in Arusha. This was on August 16, 2008. By incidents that God arranged we got confirmation when we came to attend the Evening of Sacred Music at Arusha Community Church a few weeks later and Margaret Kenyi was leading the Psalm of praise. That was how we came to meet this wonderful family.
Together they have been very instrumental in mentorship, guidance, emotional support, and deep friendship. Dr. Christopher has been a voice of wisdom, a gentle re-director whenever we nearly went astray, an inspiration, and an encourager to us all. Our children, at whose birth they both played key roles, always referred to him as ‘Grandpa Atat’ and enjoyed his company immensely.
For me, 2008 was not my first introduction to Dr Christopher. I had met him in form 2 at my school in North Western Uganda where he came and preached at Chapel time. I approached him and he agreed to mentor me from then on, by post through which he answered all my questions and inquiries about my faith journey. He has been more than a mentor and a wise father. He has been an ever-smiling friend and my first client as I resumed legal practice in Uganda in 2019.
We shall miss him so much and truly condole with Mama Margaret and my sisters and brothers, Ruth, Moses, Christine, and Sarah. Indeed, may the Lord comfort and strengthen all his loved ones in this trying time. May God’s ever-present peace that exceeds our human understanding guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, Amen.
I have one assurance, and this I share with you all. Christopher Kenyi fought a good fight of faith and he finished his race faithfully. He is in the warm arms of our Father in heaven with no more pain and we shall see him again.
Christine P.P Ebong
For Abigail, Gabriel and Jimmy Ebong
A generous soul
Pictured: Sister Martha Mganga, Elizabeth Hudgin, Christopher Kenyi.
When the schools were closed overnight in March, Christopher Kenyi called me. He told me that 13 albino children were not able to return home; Sister Martha was housing them at her small home. He brought Sister Martha to ACC the following Sunday so that PBC could give her money for food. In those few days even more children had arrived. Christopher then took her to the market for rice , beans, oil, maize. Christopher’s generous soul and never-ending smile will always be with us.
Rest in Peace our true brother in Christ.
We shall miss you!
Offerings at ACC
Thank you to the many who continue to give your offerings to ACC; the offerings in May were very generous. Please know that these offerings are needed and appreciated.
Just a few days ago, we were again able to help our neighbor with funds to enhance the protection of both patients and staff. Asante sana. Offerings can be given through ACC MPESA number +255 755 992 394 in the name of Nasieku Mollel (ACC Administrator’s last name). OR deposited directly into our ACC EXIM account number: 0030023252
Working from home
When the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Arusha mid-March, my pragmatic boss Susan Simonson felt it was time to start thinking ahead. Other countries were already on lockdown mode and we didn’t want to wait to find out how that looked like. Schools were immediately closed and I looked forward to receiving my daughter, Stephanie.
No sooner had we figured out plan B working from home when ALMC requested to use the church building. Earlier that week our staff and I had gotten things done like fixing blown out bulbs and ensuring the grounds were well mowed. I remember sharing one of my principles – “don’t do tomorrow what you can do today.” Indeed this came in handy as we quickly had to hand over the building.
Working from home has been and is fun because you can actually choose to work at any time of the day or night, you can dress down and won’t feel bad about it. I don’t like combing my hair so if you showed up unannounced at my door you will ask where Vivi is; yet I am staring at you. Trips to the kitchen are endless because I have to get some water to drink and ensure my french-fries aren’t burning! They say if you eat too much potato you will end up looking as round as it is – I am beginning to tone down on them. My customer Stephanie is also enjoying all the delicacies I am able to surprise her with as I love to cook. When schools open she will be back to boarding school food so she is savoring every moment.
I am enjoying every moment also in a new neighborhood. I could say a lot more, but I now have to get back to work. Council meeting will be up soon and I need to get my finance reports ready, the PBC beneficiaries also need my attention as I have to quickly action their approved requests, and the staff salaries have to be prepared. Phone rings not off the hook but I know I have to answer, as the caller could be requesting a wedding request form or a PBC form; requesting to be added on the church’s WhatsApp group so they don’t miss the Order Service for next Sunday; or someone would like to send in their offering and they don’t have the new M-pesa #. I really have to go…s
God bless you all,
With Christ’s Love
Viv & Stephy
June 2020 At-home services
|June 7||June 14||June 21||June 28|
|Church Calendar||Trinity Sunday First Sunday after Pentecost||
Second Sunday after Pentecost
Third Sunday after Pentecost
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
|Service Type||Communion service||Morning Service||Communion Service||Family Service|
|Service Leader||John Kraft||Monica John||Michael Murray||Christy Miller|
|Preacher||Mark Rich||Lisa Borden||Mike Noel||Derrick Mathews|
Check out our Facebook page: “Arusha Community Church” for updates and news. You can Add your words of encouragement in the comment section. Tuko Pamoja!
“For I am the LORD your GOD who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you”. — Isaiah 41:13