Equipping Church Leaders • East Africa                   |||             "DEEP FOUNDATIONS • HEALTHY CHURCHES • TRANSFORMED LIVES"

Deepening the foundations of biblical knowledge for East African church leaders

Burundi Kenya Rwanda South Sudan Tanzania Uganda
Burundi Kenya Rwanda S Sudan Tanzania   

to create healthy churches and transformed lives.

To learn more about each of the countries of East Africa and ECLEA's work in those countries, please click on the flags of the countries above.

ECLEA News & Blog

Accounts of ECLEA's training conferences are set forth below, often with photos. Accounts of all-African conferences and TOTs are contained in the pages of the individual East African countries (click on the flags above to go to the pages of the countries). Older news accounts are located in the News Archive. News items are added regularly, so please stop back often.

Additionally, ECLEA's director, Jonathan Menn, maintains a blog related to ECLEA that includes entries pertaining to his book, Biblical Eschatology, sermons he has preached, the activities of ECLEA-trained East African pastor-teachers, and other matters.

Visit Jonathan's blog here.

ECLEA Director Jonathan Menn with Maasai Leader Boniface Kugotha

ECLEA Director Jonathan Menn with Maasai leader Boniface Kugotha at a Biblical Stewardship TOT in Nairobi.

Jonathan Menn, ECLEA Director
Jonathan Menn

August 2023: KENYA-part 1:

Things have been busy. After preaching 3 sermons in North Carolina at a revival at Meroney Methodist Church on Aug 7-9, Nancy and I drove 12+ hours to Chicago, where I left for Kenya on Aug 11. I was asked to preach at Bishop Barnabas's church on Aug 13. After doing so, we drove to Meru, where I was met by my host, Bishop Abednego and his wife, Jennifer.

Abednego and his wife

The 13 participants and I discussed the book of Habakkuk for 2 days. It is a wonderfully contemporary and relevant book. We saw how it directly relates to the church and to us as individuals.

Meru group

Abednego and I then traveled to the town of Isiolo, where I had never been before. Isiolo is about 170 miles north of Nairobi and is the geographical center of Kenya. We did the book of James with 15 participants. 

We all saw how James deals with the most important issues of faith and life, including: trials and tests of our faith; what true religion in God's eyes is; the sin of showing partiality; what true saving faith looks like; controlling our tongue; how to gain God's wisdom; the sin of autonomy; the significance of money; and developing close, personal relationships. Wow!

Isiolo students with their books

I am now back in Karatina where tomorrow 36 students will receive their diplomas from Nairobi Pentecostal Bible College (they took ECLEA's courses as part of their college curriculum).

I will be in western Kenya next week and then, by God's grace, will leave for home on Sunday, Aug 27.

KENYA-part 2:

I returned from just over two weeks in Kenya Monday afternoon. The trip was productive. Here is my report from the second half of the trip:

To follow-up on the Karatina graduation, the 36 students at the Nairobi Pentecostal Bible College, Karatina Center, completed their 2-year diploma program (utilizing ECLEA course books) without losing even one student along the way! Further, the community supports this project. The local M.P. donated 700,000 Ksh (approximately $5000) to help sponsor the tuition expenses of the students so that all could complete the program. This is very heartening and indicates the real value of our ECLEA material.

                 Bsp Barnabas and Dr. Kimani preparing for the graduation         Graduation program                                     Post-graduation merriment

During my second week in Kenya, I did the book of Ruth in the city of Migori, The Church: Its Nature, Mission, and Purpose in Kisumu, and Ruth, again, in Eldoret. Julius Olale was my host in Migori (located near the border with Tanzania), George Okuta in Kisumu ("the city of fish," located by the shore of Lake Victoria), and Samuel Ochieng in Eldoret (northeast of Lake Victoria). Samuel said that he had never preached from Ruth before. The book is very applicable to us today. It shows us how God works through apparently "natural" causes and seeming "coincidences." He is involved in our tragedies and the "little" things of our lives. They are all part of his overall plan and indicate that our lives are not insignificant or meaningless; indeed, even the little things may have long-term or even everlasting significance. The book also highlights the importance of taking care of the poor and needy and is a very pointed lesson to us that tribalism and other similar forms of discrimination are absolutely contrary to the gospel.

Julius and Sophie Olale and their daughters                      Julius speaking in Migori                                            Eldoret gropup

In Migori, I was heartened to hear Julius and another pastor talking about getting a group of church leaders together to talk about these things and form a strategy to reach out to their community in love, not judgmentalism, in order to demonstrate the love and compassion of Christ.

In Kisumu, we spent most of our time focusing on the four basic missions and purposes of the church: worship, discipleship, mission (particularly engagement of the church with its community), and demonstrating unity and wholeness. Our ECLEA book on The Church is very practically-oriented. I am hopeful that the church leaders will continue to meet and take steps to work together, so that Jesus' prayer for unity (John 17:21) will be realized.

Kisumu church venue                                                   Kisumu participants

I will now be home until mid-October, when I head to Uganda for my fifth and final trip to East Africa this year. Thank you for your prayer and (fully tax-deductible) financial support of ECLEA. Both are necessary, both are important, and I see the results in the new understanding gained by and engagement of the East African church leaders with whom I work.

May God watch over you. Best regards, Jonathan


Jonathan Menn, ECLEA Director
Jonathan Menn

June 2023--TANZANIA!
I have just finished my first week of classes here in Tanga, TZ. Tanga is near the coast in NE Tanzania and is our national coordinator's, Joram Ibrahim's, home.

We did 1 Peter and the book of Ruth for approximately 20 students. They are part of the ECLEA East Africa Theological Bible Institute, which the ECLEA-Tanzania leadership has established.

The courses went well. Each day began with the students summarizing what they had learned the day before. We had small group discussions, lots of good questions, and insightful large group conversations on such topics as why the church is so weak and what to do about that, how life on the new heaven and earth will differ from our lives now and how to prepare for it, and how to deal with people from different cultures who have significantly different customs and clothing styles from our own.

Teaching in Tanga

Each course ended with written exam questions. In their summaries of the classes, two students (one of whom is a bishop) said that our ECLEA materials go deeper than anything they have seen in the theological schools they have attended.

Tanga group

The last day, my friend, Pastor Lazaro, was able to attend. He has a tremendous outreach to Muslims, which resulted from his going through our course on Christianity and Islam a few years ago. He works with a particular tribal group that is virtually 100% Muslim. He has led over 30 such Muslims to Christ and has planted 5 churches. Some of the new Christians are facing ostracism and persecution, but the church is taking care of them. Please hold Lazaro up in prayer.

The second week was spent in the town of Maramba, about two hours from Tanga. We did the books of Jonah and Habakkuk, with approximately 24 sharp and engaged participants. But first a word about the venue.

After leaving the main highway, we spent about 1 1/2 hours on perhaps the worst road I have ever been on. It was not that it was a dirt road, but it had potholes and ruts from side-to-side. Much of the time we were driving at jogging speed.

Bewtweeen Tanga and Maramba

Maramba itself is not a small village but is a good-sized town. Nevertheless, there was nothing inviting about it: no evident town center; no paved streets; the dirt roads were rough and rutted; no sidewalks; few plants, grass, or trees to relieve the tedium of the dirt; the running water did not work in our rooms at the guest house where we stayed. The exceptions to this were the church where we met: it was clean, was shaded with trees, and nicely landscaped--an oasis in a desert-of-drab; and the people were beautiful, interested, and conscientious.


We began with summaries from the participants of what they had learned in previous classes. One mentioned that he had never heard of stewardship of the environment before, but now he is very conscious of it. Several mentioned our course on Christianity & Islam and said that they no longer view Muslims as enemies, but as friends. One said that he has established relationships with 5 Muslim families, and two said that they had each led 3 Muslims to faith in Christ!

As an addendum to my above comments about the town, two people said that it is very difficult for village pastors to take the 3 months off to go to theological school; they were very grateful that ECLEA has come to where they are so they can learn the truth in depth and still do their day-to-day jobs. On the last day of the Jonah class, one pastor said, "ECLEA coming to Tanzania is one thing; ECLEA coming to Tanga I can understand; but ECLEA coming to Maramba, which is small and poor and out-of-the-way, can only be because of the cross." (Very humbling to me.)

Both classes went well, with lots of good questions and small group discussions. Some people had thought that Jonah and (especially) Habakkuk had little to say, because they were from the "minor" prophets. However, they soon saw that both books deal with important, indeed fundamental, issues. Among other things, Jonah deals with the nature and character of God, our relationship with the world and things, our relationship with people who are "different" from us, and our relationship with God himself. Habakkuk raises the issue of the so-called "problem of evil," especially geopolitical evil.

Michael (translattor), Lazaro, Joram

Thus, the participants were left with much to consider. On the last day, their small groups all discussed how they can practically apply the lessons they learned. In short, this may prove to be a very important time in the life of the church which, I hope, will lead to the revitalization of the church and the community. Please pray for them.

Maramba group


Jonathan Menn, ECLEA Director
Jonathan Menn

Report on trip to Burundi, March 2023:

I am here in beautiful Burundi once again. Upon arrival, we drove 3 hours to Rutana where we will be staying these two weeks. The Anglican bishop of Rutana had asked me to preach in the cathedral on John 5:1-18 (concerning Jesus' healing a sick, lame man). The sermon and its application seemed to go well, and someone asked my translator to translate the written sermon for them. (I will plan on posting the sermon on the "sermons" page of the ECLEA website after I return home in early April.) I will be preaching again in another parish tomorrow.

Rutana Cathedral

From Monday-Friday, from 8:00AM-5:00PM, we worked through Biblical Eschatology with approximately 35 participants. Most of what I taught was completely new to them or contrary to what many of them previously had heard. However, I observed that many were taking copious notes, and the questions the people asked were right on point, which indicates that they were "getting" what I was teaching.

We discussed how to interpret symbolic literature, the overall biblical eschatological structure (the "two ages," this age and the age to come), the significance of the second coming of Christ, the intricacies of the crucial passage of Rev 20:1-10 (which reveals and summarizes all of the foregoing), the Olivet Discourse (Jesus' longest discourse concerning eschatology), antichrist, and the church in Revelation.

A busy week! Perhaps the most important aspect of Revelation is its moral/ethical/theological focus: i.e., it continually confronts us with the fundamental questions: Who is your real Lord? What is most important to you? Are you truly a citizen of heaven or merely an "earth dweller"? I hope and pray that this will prompt further study (many students got the books) and that these church leaders will teach their people these vital things.

Rutana group

My companions and translators, Francois and Patrice, have done an excellent job, and I am glad to be with them. 

Francois and Diocesan Secretary's son                The Bishop and his wife

I made it back home late Sunday night. (I spent almost as much time waiting in the airports in Nairobi, London, and Chicago as I did in actual flight time!) This trip to Burundi was, I believe, quite productive. Here are some highlights from the second half of the trip:

I began the second week by preaching in one of the archdeaconries of the Anglican Rutana Diocese. Again, the bishop was present. The Lenten theme was on applying our faith. After the sermon, about 50 people came forward to receive Christ, confess sins, or receive prayer for empowerment for service. After the church service, I talked with the Bishop and others. I think that the Diocese is going to assess the condition of the communities that the Diocese encompasses and will then develop a strategy for engaging with the communities and helping to meet the people's needs. If this happens, the Rutana Diocese can be a light and a model for the rest of the Anglican Church in Burundi and, indeed, for the other churches and denominations of Burundi.

     Those who came forward                                     Ladies and their beautiful dresses

We then spent 4 1/2 days going through Biblical Eschatology in Muzye. We had approximately 50 participants. As was true in Rutana, what we presented was largely new and, in many respects, different from what most of the participants had previously heard. The group was very engaged. They asked many good questions. It was reported to me that someone asked a fellow participant to "please turn off your mobile phone, because we are here to learn." That's a good sign!

Muzye group

All in all, I was very encouraged. Both Francois and Patrice, my ECLEA/REMA colleagues, said that various aspects of Biblical Eschatology really seemed to sink in as a result of these two teaching sessions. That is good news, since they will be teaching this course on their own.

Kids at Muzye

I am now scheduled to be home until early June, when I will be going to Tanzania. In addition to working on Ephesians, I have a number of translations to proof and some other projects. Thank you for your prayers and support--they are making a big difference. 


Jonathan Menn-ECLEA Direcor
Jonathan Menn

I have just returned from Rwanda. Here is the report of my first trip of 2023:

In Kayonza, I led a class on Expository Preaching to about 16 participants. We went over the theory behind good expository preaching. We then spent two days analyzing a passage (Matt 6:19-24) and talking about how we might introduce it, how to frame its big point, how to organize the sermon, and then suggestions regarding exposition and application. I preached a sermon on another passage to illustrate the principles we had discussed and was then critiqued by the class. (Fortunately, I survived reasonably in tact.)

Kanombe preaching class

Saturday was preaching day for the students. We divided into two groups: an English group and a Kinyarwanda group. Both group preached outside under the trees. In my group, although there was much room for improvement, the student preachers seemed to understand the basic concepts and made decent efforts for their first steps.

Margaret, one of my preachers

Please hold them up in prayer, as the church here needs sound biblical exposition and preaching. Also please hold a young businessman named Siddiq up in prayer. He was raised a Muslim. I met ham at my hotel and was able to speak with him at some length about Jesus and the gospel. He seemed interested, and I directed him to the ECLEA website. I pray that he will check this out further and the Holy Spirit will open his heart and mind to Christ and the gospel and he will receive Christ as his Lord.

Following our Expository Preaching class in Kanombe (Kigali area), we did 1 Timothy in both Kayonza and then Mayange (which is a village near Nyamata, where they are finishing a new, huge airport which will replace the Kigali airport). Here are some highlights:

Kayonza: On the Sunday before we began the conference, I preached at a church in Kayonza. At the conference, not one of the 22 participants had previously studied 1 Timothy or any other book of the Bible. The second day it rained heavily, so we started started at noon instead of 9:00AM. People in the West may not appreciate why rain makes such a difference. In the West, most people have cars, so they can stay dry while traveling. Not so in East Africa, where most people walk (often several kilometers) or perhaps ride a bicycle or motorbike. Hence, all would get soaked. Also, the rain turns the back roads into mud, making walking or Cdifficult if not treacherous.

    Children's choir in the church                                  Blind man who sang in the church

In any event, we got through the entire book. There was good discussion on polygamy versus the biblical ideal of monogamy. There is now a push to legalize polygamy in Rwanda, where 60% of the population is under 40 years of age and 57% are women. Legalizing polygamy would boost Islam and would also result in the exploitation and oppression of women as well as resulting in other social and economic problems. Please hold that situation up in your prayers.

Kayonza group

Mayange: Again we had about 22 participants, some of whom had been involved in previous concerted studies of various biblical books, although not 1 Timothy. Over 2/3 of the participants were women. We had good discussions, particularly regarding women's clothing and drinking alcohol. The third day we couldn't begin until noon because the last Saturday of each month is communal work day from 8:00-11:00AM. However, we finished the course, and I think finished well.

          Church in Mayange where we met                                           Mayange group                          

Protais Nshogoza (ECLEA-Rwanda's national coordinator) wasn't feeling well the last couple of days. I just heard from him that he was diagnosed with malaria; he is now taking the regimen of pills which, God willing, should cure him within about three days.

I am now scheduled to be at home until mid-March, when I am planning on leaving for Burundi. Thank you for your prayers and financial support--both are making a big difference!


News Archive  

Click here for ECLEA's News Archive


Support ECLEA

Donate now to help ECLEA thrive!

Please visit the Contact & Donations page to support our work with a secure online donation or to mail us a check.

Your tax deductible gift helps equip, train, and empower church leaders in East Africa to promote biblical values and transform lives through the power of the Gospel. Plus, giving online means your gift can be put to work even faster to reach church leaders with practical workshops and encouragement.