Agencies including Tearfund, Christian Aid, CPAS, Westminster Theology Centre, Lausanne Movement, A Rocha, Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World and many others are supporting a new mobile phone app that has been developed and launched by African Pastors Fellowship (APF) – putting a mobile library of theological resources into the hands of rural pastors across East Africa for the first time. The ‘eVitabu’ app, which is installed on solar-powered Android devices will help support pastors’ ministries with large church networks across East Africa, potentially impacting the Christian journey of over half a million people.
The eVitabu app includes content provided by APF’s partner agencies, giving pastors access to studies on personal, spiritual and pastoral growth; audio Bibles in local languages; theology courses from internationally renowned centres; video lectures by top Christian leaders; community development toolkits; and guides on family healthcare, leadership, advocacy, peace-building, and sustainable agriculture. It also enables African pastors to upload and share their own theological insights with their peers.
It is estimated that over 3 million churches in the developing world are led by people with little or no qualifications for that responsibility. In Africa, it is estimated that as many as 90% of pastors have never received even a single day’s training. eVitabu, which means books in Swahili, is a pioneering tool designed specifically to support the African church.
Dave Stedman, CEO of APF commented: “eVitabu has the potential to enable thousands of rural church leaders to access great quality training material possibly for the very first time. We are grateful to our partners for their support in launching this initiative and helping us to provide quality content. Excitingly the app also provides a unique platform for the voice of the Africa church. African leaders can use eVitabu to upload and share their own material with other church leaders, so everyone benefits.”
APF launched the eVitabu app at a three-day training conference in Uganda where the durable Android Tablets were given to 57 pastors from eight East African countries including Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Malawi, South Sudan and DRC. These pastors can now browse and download the searchable library of content before going into remote parts of the continent to teach and support other pastors and congregations. New content can be accessed and downloaded almost anywhere using a mobile phone as a wifi hotspot.
One of the pastors who was provided with an eVitabu tablet is Heavenlight Luoga who oversees a network of 60 rural churches in North West Tanzania. Heavenlight explains how it will support his ministry: “I have found many good materials on eVitabu from different contributors. I have mobilised a core team of five teachers and we will meet each month to study together. My wife, Kesia, will also use eVitabu resources when training pastors’ wives in Burundi. eVitabu will improve our teaching and help us address issues in the church and community such as theological error, farming and entrepreneurship.”
The eVitabu app was developed by a small group of APF volunteers who donated hundreds of man-hours to deliver this resource to impact the African church.
Partners supporting the eVitabu project by providing content include: Andrew Kane Partnership Trust, Biblical Frameworks, BUILD Partners, Christian Aid, CPAS,
Eagles Wings Ministries, Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World, Next Leadership,
Paula Gooder, Reconxile, Renew Outreach, Regnum Books, Foundations for Farming, Lausanne Movement, Tearfund, Tierra Neuva, Westminster Theology Centre, A Rocha, and Climate Stewards.
For more information, or photographs of eVitabu please contact: Rachel Heald, PR consultant, 07985 424 084 / firstname.lastname@example.org
About African Pastors Fellowship
The vision of African Pastors Fellowship (APF) is to enable African Christian leaders, of all denominations, to minister effectively in thriving local churches that serve flourishing communities. APF works with church partners from across Eastern, Central and Southern Regions of Africa.
APF does this by coming alongside influential leaders to help them fulfil their visions for leadership development and pastoral formation. There are three strands to APF’s work:
- Pastoring of Pastors – building long-term partnerships with African church networks to help them reach their own leadership development objectives, supporting training workshops for rural pastors, helping church leaders access essential tools such as Bibles in local languages, bicycles and solar panels.
- Flourishing Communities – equipping African church leaders to serve their communities and tackle poverty, inequality and environmental challenges e.g. promoting sustainable development by addressing food insecurity and climate change impacts so that the whole community benefits.
- Hearing African Voices – everyone needs an opportunity for their voice to be heard. By listening to African friends sharing news of what God is doing in their churches and communities, we can all understand more and be encouraged. In an increasingly interconnected world, it is vitally important to know how the choices we make every day affect those living in other parts of the world.
For more information visit www.africanpastors.org/ Twitter: @AfricanPF