Keibarak considers his appointment to be an exciting extension of the peacemaking ministry he has been leading in Kenya for over a decade. “I was given the responsibility to make the world a better place and also to prepare souls for the kingdom of heaven,” says Keibarak. “The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to mankind. (Psalm 115:16 NIV).”
“Boaz has deep wisdom, courage and a true heart for peace,” comments Karen Smith, IM area director for Africa. “This giftedness is especially noteworthy in someone not yet 30 years old. We at IM are blessed to have Boaz serving in partnership with us.”
Keibarak is very familiar with IM and the Peace and Justice ministry of IM Global Consultants, the Rev. Dr. Dan and the Rev. Sharon Buttry. Dan said on his website, “I first met Boaz when he was mediating between the violently conflicted Pokot and Turkana communities. He visited villages on each side to talk to the elders about exploring the ways of peace. In September 2013, Boaz participated in the 10-day Training of Conflict Transformation Trainers (TCTT) that Sharon and I conducted in Kenya.”
Even as a young adult, it was plain to see that Keibarak was a gifted peacemaker. Buttry explained, “I can remember a time when my peacemaking efforts were unsuccessful. To my surprise, 23-year-old Boaz stepped up to confront the tribal elder who had rebuffed me with respect, gentleness and a clear challenge to resolve the violent clashes between two warring groups through peaceful negotiation. I was impressed; Boaz was training me as much as I was training him.”
Buttry is clearly on a mission to develop young, talented and committed Christians to spread his ministry of peacemaking to the ends of the earth. “When it comes to social transformation, even the greatest among us cannot live to see the fulfillment of our dreams. When I had cancer in 2009, God showed me that my time is limited, so I needed to shift what I was doing. I needed to both train others and bring them along wherever possible.”
Buttry’s realization led to the development of the 10-day TCTT training and the launch of the Global Peacemakers Mentoring Project. It is designed to enable some of those he has trained to accompany him on peacemaking trips and to provide funding for those he has mentored to engage in additional training, especially cross-cultural or international.
This forward-thinking approach to sustaining their ministry is welcomed by IM as the Buttrys approach retirement. “We at IM are grateful to Dan and Sharon for extending and continuing their ministries by identifying and training young proteges,” says Smith.
IM’s Director of Mission Mobilization, the Rev. Dr. Rodney Ragwan, commented, “Africa is not only blessed with natural resources, but also the human resources in people like Boaz. Boaz, (like fellow African, the late Nelson Mandela) has dedicated his life to working for peace and justice. As a peacemaker, Boaz is engaged in one of IM’s focused impact areas, Peace and Justice, and we are excited to welcome him as an International Associate Global Servant.”
As an associate, Keibarak is not directly employed by IM, but is working in close partnership with IM. Contributions from supporters in the U.S. and Puerto Rico may be received by IM and are then forwarded to his employing organization to underwrite support and ministry-related expenses.
Boaz Keibarak is married to Sophia Chepengat and the couple has two daughters, Hiemiah and Anastacia. Their home church is Rock Baptist Church, Kapenguria, Kenya. He will use English and Kiswahili languages in ministry.
More information about Boaz Keibarak is available on his profile page on the IM website.
International Ministries, also known as the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, works cross-culturally to invite people to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to proclaim, through both word and deed, God’s reign of justice, peace and abundant life for all creation.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.