Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing

Remembering Sirima

“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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Comments:

Rose Birenge - April 18, 2012
As I sat listening to the tributes to Sirima during his funeral service, I realized that here is a man who exemplified the saying ''A life well lived is better than a life long lived''. It is amazing the impact he had in his short 46 years of life. One of the most touching for me was his parenting his children in Christ such that the son who is only 11 years, acts as a ''pastor'' to his fellow students. Fare thee well, Sirima.
Owen Salter - March 29, 2011
This news is a shock and so sad. But we hold on to the faith the God is always in control. May He raise up others who can run further with Sirima''s vision, building on the foundation he laid.
Sirima was classmate at Daystar and he impacted all our lives. My husband David and I remember him with gratitude and thank God for a life well lived. Maggie (incidently, my classmate too in high school), we pray for you and your children. The Lord is always faithful no matter the circumstances. He is Jehovah Jireh, the Provider. May Psalm 121 bring encouragement to you.
Rose Birenge - March 25, 2011
As I sat listening to the tributes to Sirima during his funeral service, I realized that here is a man who exemplified the saying ''A life well lived is better than a life long lived''. It is amazing the impact he had in his short 46 years of life. One of the most touching for me was his parenting his children in Christ such that the son who is only 11 years, acts as a ''pastor'' to his fellow students. Fare thee well Sirima.
Marlene Legaspi-Munar - March 23, 2011
I was surprised and sad to hear about Sirima''s car accident. I remember him as jolly and yes, very encouraging, when I first met him in Manila for Littworld 2004. The second and last time I saw him was in 2009 when he welcomed me and other participants at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport for Littworld. I didn''t see him though for the rest of the conference. I thank God for people like Sirima and hope to see him one day.

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