Archbishop Obare, Charlie Rhodes, Rev. John Halahke

Today, Archbishop Obare and Rev. John Halahke, General Secretary, representative the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya (ELCK) at the LCMS International Center. Archbishop Obare and Rev. Halahke paid a visit to the United States in connection with the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI) and to meet with representatives from the LCMS regarding various projects supported by the LCMS in Kenya. Since the turn of the 21st century, the LCMS has partnered with the ELCK on projects such as Cows for Kenya, 1001 Orphans, Project 24, and the Kenya Hymnal Project (See the August 2011, Lutheran Witness). These projects have been well received and supported by LCMS members as they provided care for the body and soul of people in Kenya.

In order to assure accountability and donor integrity regarding LCMS supported projects in Kenya, Archbishop Obare requested in January 2011 for a financial expert from the LCMS to travel to Kenya to review the financial records and the projects supported by the LCMS. This past month a team lead by Mr. Charlie Rhodes, Executive Director of Accounting for the LCMS, visited Nairobi and other sites in Kenya to review financial and project accountability. In addition to LCMS projects, Charlie Rhodes also reviewed the past two or three years of the ELCK’s audited financial records. This afternoon, Charlie Rhodes, Archbishop Obare, Rev. John Halahke, and Dr. Albert Collver met with President Harrison to discuss the findings of the LCMS team. Charlie Rhodes was pleased to report that for the audit period, all LCMS funds sent to the ELCK were accounted for and that they were used for the projects in Kenya as intended by LCMS donors. Charlie Rhodes reported, “We have concluded all funds have been utilized for their intended purposes and no one in ELCK or DCM personally benefited.” Charlie also reported that he was pleased both with the co-operation and hospitality shown to him by the members of the ELCK during his visit. President Harrison indicated both to Charlie Rhodes and to Archbishop Obare that he was pleased with the results reported. Charlie Rhodes is preparing a report of his findings for the Board for International Mission, which will provide them with an example of how project accountability is maintained.

Archbishop Obare, President Harrison, Rev. John Halahke

After Mr. Charlie Rhodes concluded his report, Rev. John Halahke, who graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary this past spring presented President Harrison with a gift in honor of the doctorate he received from Concordia Theological Seminary.

After the presentation of gifts, President Harrison took the group for  lunch at the Elephant Bar in honor of Kenya.

Rev. John Halahke and an Elephant

Instead of finding simba (a lion), Rev. John Halahke found an elephant in America. After conversation over lunch, the group from Kenya returned to their hotel for rest in preparation of their journey to South Dakota for a LMI event to be held this weekend.