Calvary Church sits in the small city of Valparaiso, Indiana and Nairobi Chapel is located in Nairobi, Kenya in Africa. These two entities may be miles and miles apart, but they share one, large goal: to have a church planted in every country on the continent of Africa.
In February, they took one step closer to that goal.
About five years ago, the Global Outreach team of Calvary Church partnered with Nairobi Chapel. Senior pastor of Calvary, Lionel Young met Oscar Muriu, the pastor of Nairobi Chapel, a mega-church that was built in the 1950’s in Kenya. Muriu had the vision to plant a church in every African country, and desired the partnership of an American church to fulfill that vision. Young, who has always been passionate about mission trips and global outreach, befriended Muriu and has offered Calvary Church’s help in contributing to his goal.
Since then, churches have been planted throughout the continent. Nairobi Chapel already had planted about 300 churches in Kenya and the first one planted with the support of Calvary was in Monrovia, Liberia about five years ago. The two teams planted a successful church in Kigali, Rwanda three years ago and are in discussion for the location of the next one.
The most recent trip in February was to Kampala, Uganda and several members from Calvary attended the planting and dedication of the new church, which was named Trinity Chapel. Stacy Young, the director of Global Outreach, two Calvary pastors, several members, and Sevenglory, a Christian rock band, traveled for the launch celebration.
On Friday night, Sevenglory performed a concert at the University of Kampala to kick-start the celebrating, Young said. Then, two days later on Sunday the worship part of the service held in the new Uganda Church was again performed by Sevenglory, while the audience of Africans and Calvary Church members listened and sang along. The Calvary team enjoyed being involved in the special launch service, Young said, which was led by the new Ugandan pastor.
“It was the kick-off celebration for the new church,” Young said. “We have found music transcends culture, and this is a great way to minister to our friends in other cultures.”
When the idea is made and the plans are drawn, it takes about a year to plant the new church, Young said. During this time, and for about two years following, Calvary Church and Nairobi offer any support, financially and spiritually needed via long-distance communication. The end goal of course, is for each church to be self-sufficient and growing larger each year.
Nairobi Chapel prefers to set up churches in larger cities and near universities to draw more and younger people to their doors, Young explained. A lot of research and effort goes into the planning and planting of each new space, and it takes time for people to get accustomed to the new center.
For example, the Rwanda church is one that has been growing slowly, since the country is still recovering from the genocide which occurred there years ago, Young said.
These plantings are just one example of a mission trip Calvary Church’s Global Outreach team engages in. Members of Calvary travel to Africa on a mission trip every year, Young said, in addition to traveling to other places of the US and the world.
After the planting of the Uganda church, the members of that mission trip stopped at the church in Rwanda, where they ministered at a service.
“The Calvary team was able to meet with the worship leaders from all over Kigali (Rwanda), as well as provide music in many different venues around the city,” Young said. “This was great encouragement to our friends there.”
The mission trip ended with a stop in Nairobi, where Sevenglory performed a concert at Nairobi Chapel. Then, the members of the two churches, all of whom have become great friends over the years, ministered together.
It is wonderful to see these churches flourishing, Young said, but when the mission trip members are overseas, it is still work. They are building and strengthening the relationships between the churches, which of course is a pleasure, but is still part of the long-term goals for the mission team.
“The Global Outreach team of Calvary has a two-fold mission: Planting churches and rescuing orphans,” Young said. “Everything we do is going to be for those two causes.”
Calvary looks and finds organizations to support. They find an organization, then will put all their efforts into helping in any way they can. That could mean visiting places on a mission trip, or providing supplies and financial donations. Two causes they support are Kids Alive and Every Child Ministries, which aide in supporting orphans from all over the world. There is a children’s home in Mitaboni, Kenya where Young and other mission volunteers visit often. To see all of Calvary’s Global Partners, click here.
Mission trips usually include about 25 members and last about two weeks. Young schedules about five mission trips a year and this year, groups will go to Haiti, Guatemala, and India. Students of Calvary’s Student Ministry team will head to New Orleans for a special trip as well.
Calvary Church is known for its worship team, its leading pastors, and its packed, three services a day worship sessions. Every Sunday, hundreds of Northwest Indiana members attend a service, coming together like a large family reunion every weekend. What the Global Outreach team does when they travel the world looking for people to help and people to join with, is to expand that family.
To learn more about Calvary Church and their Global Outreach team go to their website: www.calvaryweb.net.