Call it Christmas in July. The launch of Crossroad Bible Institute’s discipleship courses in Shimo La Tewa Prison in Mombasa, Kenya, has been much anticipated. And last Thursday it finally happened, much to the delight of ministry staff, prison officials and the men imprisoned in the facility.
Though CBI Kenya has been using the Swahili translation of Crossroad’s discipleship program in other prisons since 2014, Shimo La Tewa Prison is the ministry’s first facility in the Eastern Province, hundreds of miles from CBI Kenya’s Nairobi headquarters.
The Mombasa launch of Crossroad’s discipleship program was attended by the commissioner of prisons as well as several government officials and church bishops. The launch, which had been eagerly awaited for the last few years, attracted significant attention from church and government representatives alike.
“We are always thrilled when government officials recognize the value of our discipleship program,” said Jacob Busscher, Crossroad’s international coordinator. “Lasting change is a heart issue. The Crossroad program, with its combination of biblical truths and personal mentorship, is uniquely equipped to minister to the heart with truth and love.”
The launch of the program in Mombasa is just the first step in an even broader expansion planned by CBI Kenya director Jefferson Gathu. He hopes to take the program into other prisons throughout Kenya’s eight provinces as well.
Without the Swahili translation of Crossroad’s discipleship lessons, such an expansion wouldn’t be possible. Swahili is the lingua franca of the African Great Lakes region, which includes countries in Central and East Africa. Since the Swahili translation was completed last year, CBI Kenya has been able to spread the program further and faster than ever before. The new translation also opens up the possibility of future satellite campuses in other countries in the region.
Wherever CBI Kenya goes, the gift of God’s Word is shared with men and women in prison. As CBI Kenya’s website says, “We want inmates to know that they are capable, appreciated and doing a good job by studying the Word of God. We encourage them to know they are special and they are brothers and sisters in Christ.” And that is a great gift indeed!