Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Riverside Church Maranatha hosts Other Sheep Kenya presentation with Rev. John Makokha of Kenya as speaker

by Rev. Stephen R. Parelli

Left to rights, standing: 
Rev. Steve Parelli, Jose Ortiz;
seated:  Rev. David Cockcroft, Rev. John
 Makokha, and Jorge Lockward

     Last evening, October 22, 2010, Rev. John Makokha, Coordinator for Other Sheep Kenya, spoke to a small, but very attentive and interested group of individuals at The Riverside Church, Manhattan, New York. The meeting was sponsored by Maranatha - Riversiders for LGBT concerns, and Other Sheep. Attendees included a professor from Union Theological Seminary; a Riversider who lived in East, Central and South Africa for more than twenty years; a second individual who also lived in Africa as a medical doctor; Jorge Lockward -the newest member to the board of Other Sheep; and Rev. David Cockcroft, one of the first New Yorkers to financially support Steve and Jose in their 2007 and 2008 endeavors in East Africa.

The small, but attentive attendees of the October 23, 2010
Maranatha-Other Sheep meeting with Rev. John
Makokha at The Riverside Church
     Karen Taylor, Maranatha Convener, briefly introduced Other Sheep and Rev. Stephen Parelli, Executive Director of Other Sheep. Parelli then spoke briefly about the beginnings of Other Sheep Kenya in East Africa in 2007 with Anglican priest Rev. Michael Kimindu. Parelli said Rev. John Makokha first learned about Other Sheep in December of 2007 through the Other Sheep Kenya website and contacted Parelli via email. Soon after, Makokha became part of Other Sheep Kenya working with Rev. Kimindu who, like John, lives in the vicinity of Nairobi, Kenya. In a short time, Rev. Kimindu became Coordinator for Other Sheep East Africa and Rev. Makokha became Coordinator for Other Sheep Kenya. Steve and Jose returned to Kenya in 2008 and worked personally with Rev. Makokha in conducting a seminar in Nairobi and Kisumu.

Rev. John Makokha: 
The Riverside Church
bell tower

     Rev. John Makokha gave a PowerPoint presentation, prepared by Parelli, in which he highlighted Other Sheep Kenya accomplishments in 2010. This included several seminars conducted throughout Kenya, a dialogue with a local evangelical college in Nairobi, and the establishment of Other Sheep Kenya facilities for offices and a "Safe House" which is a small room for lodging for guests for for LGBTI people in need. The seminars and facilities are funded through grants. The grants also provide for stipends for staffing the office. Other Sheep Kenya conducted seminars in Nakuru, Mombasa, and Kisumu for LGBTI groups, Christian leaders and clergypersons, and Muslim religious leaders. Reports on each seminar, along with a bio on Makokha, can be found on Rev. Makokha's home page of the Other Sheep East Africa website.

Riversider P. David Wilkin, right,
with Rev. John Makokha
     Other Sheep thanks Maranatha and The Riverside Church for hosting this meeting for Other Sheep Kenya.

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