Over the next several weeks, we will share prayer updates from leaders in Anglophone Africa. Geographically, culturally, and religiously diverse, the 22 African countries that list English as an official language span the continent, from Kenya and Tanzania in the east to Sierra Leone and Liberia in the west to South Africa and Botswana in the south. In some countries, such as Kenya and Zambia, Christianity is the dominant religion; in others, like Sierra Leone and Sudan, the majority are Muslims. To learn more about Anglophone Africa, visit our Prayer Community page. This week, please join us in prayer for Dr. Naomi James in Kenya.
Home to 49 million people (83% Christian and 11% Muslim), Kenya has one of the world’s youngest populations, with 73% of Kenyans under the age of 30. Mental illness remains a taboo topic in the country and popular myths concerning its causes prevail. Social stigma, ignorance, and desperation sometimes drive families, especially in rural areas, to lock away or abandon suffering loved ones. Kenyan families need greater mental health education and support in order to raise up future generations of psychologically healthy and empowered citizens.
Naomi earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Daystar University in 2016 and currently serves as a clinical psychologist with Oasis Africa, a highly impactful psychological training organization founded by Gladys and Gershon Mwiti, who are also members of the ScholarLeaders Fellowship. Naomi’s research focused on factors that compromise women’s ability to cope with traumatic experiences, which may include war, community violence, sexual assault, and domestic abuse. In her experience, the mental health of women is critical not only for their own wellbeing, but also for that of their families.
Naomi’s passion is to bolster awareness of mental health issues in Kenya, and to support strong families in which children can grow up safely and joyfully. Naomi and her husband James have two children: Neema and Imani.
Naomi shares the following message:
It is always a pleasure to hear from ScholarLeaders. I am glad that the team is praying for me and for my country. I deeply appreciate your care and pray that the Lord will continue to bless all the ScholarLeaders as we labor in His vineyard.
I continue to work with Oasis Africa, serving individuals, families, organizations, and communities. The Lord has been using me to offer support to hurting people, and I have witnessed God’s hand in healing and restoring His people.
In addition, I continue to serve at my local church in the choir ministry, especially by composing music, and on the intercessory team. This year, we held our annual crusade in our local town for five days and more than 150 people gave their lives to Christ.
The Lord has also been using me to serve students at my former university Daystar as a lecturer and supervisor. My goal is to impact the lives of students, preparing them to become healers and caregivers in the world.
For me, please pray that:
- The Lord would strengthen me to continue serving Him faithfully;
- I could be used by the Lord in the way He pleases;
- I would gain wisdom to serve God’s people diligently; and
- I would consistently maintain the discipline of studying the word of God.
For my family, please pray that:
- We would grow deeper in the knowledge of the word of God;
- Our children Neema and Imani would keep God’s word in their hearts; and
- James (my husband) would continue to serve God faithfully on the deacon board of our church.
For our country, please pray for:
- The restoration of broken families;
- Leaders to have the welfare of the people in their hearts; and
- Religious leaders to stand for the truth of the Gospel of Christ.
May the Lord shine his face on every ScholarLeader, and manifest His power through your work.
Yours in Christ,