My Tribute to A Compatriot and Fellow General of the Gospel, Bishop (Dr) Stephen Kabachia
by Reuben Ezemadu, MANI Continental Coordinator
My path first crossed that of Dr. Stephen Kabachia in the eighties as both of us as emerging leaders from the continent began to find ourselves at the global evangelical forums where African voices then seemed to be very silent or low. As the Lord granted us the opportunity to initiate and lead indigenous ministries that were not necessarily extensions or appendages of Western Missions/Ministries as was popular those times, we began to find common grounds from which to champion the renaissance of indigenous efforts in advancing the cause of the Kingdom that have been gaining ground in our continent our the years.
We belonged to and served in several evangelical, Pentecostal and missionary movements at the various levels, namely, the John Knox Fellowship which eventually became DAWN Ministries, AD 2000 & Beyond Movement, Global Kingdom Partnership Network, African Round Table, Pan African Leadership Team for Lausanne Cape Town 2010, and of course the Movement for African National Initiatives (MANI). As has been articulated in other tributes and MANI related documents, Dr. Kabachia was the one who made the now popular "NEVER AGAIN…" statement at Global Consultation on World Evangelization (GCOWE) 1997 in Pretoria, South Africa which set off the impetus for initiating the Kenya Finish The Task (KFTT) that modeled the process of the evolution a national initiative in reaching the unreached peoples of a nation. It was Dr. Stephen Kabachia too, who at the African Millennium Consultation of March 2001 in Jerusalem, that read and moved the "Jerusalem Declaration" through which MANI came into existence.
Having trained and ministered in the West for a good period of time, Dr. Kabachia never lost his bearing and connection with his African root as had been the case with many. Rather such an opportunity of having links and roots both in the West and in Africa made him to become the best model of Biblical qualities and characteristics of a networker, peacemaker, reconciler and bridge-builder I have ever met and worked with in my Christian life.
In his role as the Regional Coordinator for MANI in the East African Region, he facilitated the hosting of the Post-AMC consultation (tagged MANI 2006 Consultation) in March 2006 in Nairobi as well as the first MANI Diaspora Consultation in 2008 also in Nairobi. He has been MANI's representative in our fraternal collaboration with our Latin American colleagues. He has also been a Co-Chairman of the MANI Continental African Denominational Leaders Network (representing the Pentecostal arm of the African Church) that is facilitating the Africa Heads of Churches Forum that is now slated for February 2015. A true servant of the Lord and good shepherd of God's flock under his bishopric, he has served in a number of bridging efforts across denominational and Christian parochial divides within Kenya, across the continent and further around the world.
We will miss his infectious disposition towards love, peace, faith and goodwill postures among the brethren. We will miss his power to rally people around worthy causes and inspire vision for reaching the highest goals. But we are confident that as a gallant soldier and a General in God's army, he has completed his earthly assignment and has been promoted to a higher call to duty in the presence of our Supreme Commander of the Hosts of Heaven, the King of Kings, Lord of lords, in whose presence we all shall one day also appear and the company of the Triumphant Church to which we all shall one day join!
Adieu, our Beloved Colleague and Fellow Soldier of the Cross! Enjoy your well-deserved rest in the bosom of our Lord till we arrive to join you!
MANI Continental Coordinator,
On and on behalf of the MANI Leadership Team