Please join us in prayer this week for Nelson Kiamu from Liberia.
Located on the West African coast, the Republic of Liberia is home to approximately 4.7 million people from over 16 ethnic groups. Liberia was established in the early 19th century as a settlement of the American Colonization Society, which supported “repatriation” of free and formerly enslaved African Americans and African Caribbeans under the notion that black people would fare better in Africa than in a deeply racist US society that afforded them few rights. Today, the descendants of these settlers, known as Americo-Liberians or Congo people, make up approximately 5% of Liberia’s population. Liberia became Africa’s first modern republic when it declared independence in 1847. Liberia has one of the highest population growth rates worldwide and 43% of Liberians are under the age of 15.
Nelson is pursuing a PhD in Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. Nelson’s research focuses on harnessing media technology, including social media, for youth evangelism and discipleship in Liberia. Prior to his studies, Nelson taught at ABC (African Bible Colleges) University, where he will return to teach missiology upon graduation. A pastor of the United Liberia Inland Church, Nelson also leads Liberia Renewal Ministries. Watch Nelson preach on faith and technology at Fuller’s Missiology Lectures Chapel here.
Nelson shares the following message:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
Thank you for supporting my studies at Fuller Seminary and for your willingness to spend time praying for my wife Esther and me. Esther and I are both from Liberia. Liberia is one of the oldest modern republics in Africa, and has gone through a series of coups and civil conflicts. The most recent conflict was the 14-year civil crisis that began in 1989 and ended in 2003. This crisis left Liberia’s infrastructure destroyed and its economy disintegrated. The moral, religious, and social fabric of the nation deteriorated significantly. In 2015, Liberia was hit by the Ebola virus. This led to the loss of many lives and the closing of schools.
Currently, the statistics on the number of Christians in Liberia vary, but the national census of 2008 indicates that about 85% of Liberians are Christians and 12.2% are Muslims. These numbers may look very impressive, but the level of discipleship is very low, and lifestyles and activities within the country often do not reflect mature Christian life.
Before coming to Fuller I served as a Pastor with the United Liberia Inland Church and as a Lecturer at ABC University. Currently, no more than three schools offer a Masters in Theology in Liberia and no school offers a PhD. In addition, no school offers a graduate degree in Missions/Intercultural Studies. ABC University is hoping to start a graduate program very soon. Other groups, like the Evangelical Seminary of West Africa, are also in the process of establishing graduate programs in Liberia.
After my graduation, I will be returning to Liberia to teach at ABC University and to pastor a church, while leading evangelism and outreach activities to countries in the Mano River Union and North Africa. My goal is to help the church critically engage its missional mandate.
Please remember to pray for us in the following areas:
1) What is very crucial about Liberia is the number of young people in the nation. Liberia has a very youthful population, and Esther and I have had the opportunity of discipling and preaching the gospel to youths. Please pray that the young people in Liberia will come to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and have a transformative relationship with God.
2) Please pray that God would sustain peace in Liberia. In the past year the economy has been doing so badly and this is threatening the fragile peace of the nation.
For the Kiamus:
1) Pray for Esther that God would give her grace as we both continue on this journey. Pray that God would help her to find things to do while I study.
2) Pray that God would give me wisdom to do well in my studies and to remain faithful to the work that God has called me to do.
3) This year I am working on a publication for youth discipleship in Liberia. Please pray that I can get this project done in a timely manner.
Thank you very much for the prayers.
Remaining in God’s Service,
Nelson and Esther Kiamu