JIM'S WORK IN KENYA WITH YTC and STC
STC (Siaya Theological Centre)
- Geographically -
Jim works around Maseno and especially Yala in Western Kenya. Yala is in Nyanza Province, Siaya District, whereas Maseno is a big centre for the Coptic Orthodox church where Jim has his office.
Jim's work in the Yala area is with a variety of churches including many indigenous churches.
- Culturally / Historically -
The Luiya are a Bantu tribe of 3 million people, whereas the Luo are a Nilotic tribe, of a similar size. Although through being neighbours for a long time many of their traditions have overlapped, they are very different in origin. The Luo came from Sudan and the Luiya originally from the Congo (so historians tell us). Their languages are totally different.
- My history -
I have lived with the Luo people, but just two miles or so from the border with Luyia land, since coming to Kenya. I have learned the Luo language in addition to Kiswahili. YTC which started when I came is in Luo land, where STC is located. The language that we use at my home is Luo.
Between 1997 and 2011 I taught at Kima International School of Theology, which is in Luiya land - but I have not learned the Luiya language.
- Yala Theological Centre -
YTC works on the basis that local people are capable of doing things for themselves, and that it is best to teach in local languages. At YTC we work closely with a number of independent African Initiated Churches. Because YTC is not run from outside but by local people, they do not have a lot of facilities. We have about 40 books that we keep in our chairman's home. The library is our only asset. Excepting myself, none of the teachers are actually 'qualified', however all are currently studying for a diploma in Bible/Theology while also working as teachers. We teach people within a radius of 15 miles by meeting with them in their homes and churches traveling by bicycle and on foot.