Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing
“Come over here,” Sirima Githinji told me during coffee break at an MAI writer workshop in Kenya. “We’re going to form a Christian writers group.”
I was a little skeptical. Could such a group take shape in a 20-minute break? But that’s exactly what happened.
Under Sirima’s leadership, the Association of Christian Writers of Africa (ACWA) formed and flourished. The group often met at MAI International’s office for Eastern Africa, where Sirima served as communications manager.
Unassuming in manner and with a dry sense of humor, Sirima didn’t immediately strike you as a visionary and an activist. But he was both--as shown by his role in the start of ACWA. (I also recall his dream of starting an outreach publication for the hundreds of truck drivers on the Mombasa-to-Nairobi route—wanting to help them from falling victim to sexual temptation and HIV/AIDS.)
Sirima also distinguished himself as an encourager with a servant’s heart. He was the kind of leader the African church needs (or the church anywhere, for that matter).
So, it was one of God’s unexplained mysteries when He suddenly called Sirima to Himself. In the prime of his life and career, Sirima died March 14 in a car accident, leaving his wife, Maggie, and two children, ages 17 and 11.
Sirima’s continuing impact will be felt through publications he developed at MAP and elsewhere, and in the lives of people who knew and worked with him. Many friends of MAI will remember Sirima from the LittWorld conferences. In fact, he would have served on the host committee for LittWorld 2012 in Kenya.
Maggie said the Christian writers group has been a great support to her and the family during this difficult time. She has also found strength and encouragement in Isaiah 57:1-2, “…Those who walk uprightly enter into peace.”
“Come over here,” I can see Sirima saying with his trademark smile—not to form a writer’s group this time, but to join him one day in the presence of the Lord he served so well.
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