During the early 1990’s Pastor Joe and his family spent 8 years in the United States while he studied at Covenant Seminary and St. Louis University in St Louis, Missouri.   While there, Pastor Joe was on the leadership team of New City Fellowship of St Louis, a new church committed to racial reconciliation between white and black Americans.  Pastor Joe wondered at the time why black and white Christians couldn’t just get along.  He thought it was just an American problem.

 

After completing his training at Covenant Seminary, Pastor Joe and his family returned to Nairobi in 1995.  It was at this time that he began teaching at Daystar University in the Religious Studies Department.  It didn’t take Pastor Joe long to realize all the problems between races that he saw in the United States were also present in Kenya.  He saw how deep the animosity and distrust was between people of different Kenyan tribes.  He also recognized the bitterness that existed between the Africans and South Asian Kenyans.

 

Pastor Joe attended a seminar in 1996 that was life changing. The seminar was organized by the Africa Asia Concern Kenya.  This was the first of its kind gathering with the primary purpose of creating awareness of the prejudices that Africans held towards Asians. The Indian who spoke at that time, Sunil Kapur, spoke deeply to Pastor Joe’s heart.  He recalls, “I was reminded of God’s love and compassion towards all people. I began to ask God, ‘What can I do as an individual?’”  It was this question that led to Pastor Joe’s passion to begin a ministry focused on reconciliation between Africans and Asians.

 

Through much prayer, God connected Pastor Joe with an Indian Christian couple, Mathew and Jessy Cherian.  Pastor Joe and Matthew began to pray for five Asian families to be part of the original reconciliation work. God’s answer to this prayer was the start of New City Fellowship of Nairobi.  In 1997 the first meeting was held in Pastor Joe and Elfi’s home.

 

This ministry has grown since then and moved from Pastor Joe and Elfi’s home to a rented school gym in Nairobi’s Lavington area.   We now have a congregation that includes native Kenyans, Asians, Europeans, Americans, Koreans, and Africans from many other nations.

 

Not only has the ministry grown, but also the vision has expanded.  We desire to see the gospel of God’s grace bring believers together across all racial, ethnic, cultural and economic barriers.  We also desire to see Gods’ heart of compassion expressed through us to the poor, fatherless, widows, displaced and oppressed.