Sunday, February 3, 2008

Kenya 2

The conflict in Kenya still rages on. Almost 900 people have been killed and even though the government is currently negotiating a peace deal, the people on the ground have said that won't change anything. To many of them this is long overdue. When I read the stories and see the hate in the eyes of the people in the pictures it almost makes me want to give up. I feel like rebellion is literally popping up everywhere in Africa right now. Sudan still has not found peace, Chad has rebels storming the royal palace as we speak, and in South Africa police are raiding churches have given refuge to people fleeing from Zimbabwe.

As I was thinking about all of this I ran across a letter that a YFC missionary in Nairobi published on YFC International's website. When I read it I remembered that we will never be able to make sense of the things that are happening around us, but we can stand for things that are real in the middle of all of it. The purpose of the church in the world is to bring unity and healing; to tell people that the only real way to erase hate is to accept God's forgiveness so completely that it allows you to extend that forgiveness to other people.

January 2008 ~ Nairobi, Kenya

"As I write, rain has just started. It is hot in Kenya - our summer. Not only is the weather hot, but so are emotions. The rain feels good – it seems to cool things down.

As the events of the last few weeks unfolded, one thing became clear – this is NOT just about elections, it goes much deeper. This is a struggle for justice, for people from different tribes to dialog and forgive one another for injustices going back several generations. It is a spiritual battle, not physical. If we could see into the spirit realm, we would see what Peretti wrote so eloquently about a few years ago.

The greatest tragedy is that the Church has been divided. One pastor preaches in favour of one candidate, another in favour of someone else. A Kikuyu Christian prays this one will win, a Luo prays for another, and a Masaai prays for yet another to win. Which prayer will God answer? Today the Lord spoke in our church...and in many churches in Kenya. Unity...God is not confused...there is a divine plan, and our prayers needs to be, 'Your will be done, not mine.'

We (the Church) are a chosen people… a royal priesthood. What do priests do? They mediate between the people and a Holy God. They offer sacrifices and prayers for the people, pleading YOUR will be done, Lord. Bring us the leader of Your choosing, because You know the heart of the candidates. Bring a man/woman after Your own heart, Lord, no matter the tribe.

We must also serve God, not any other person or idol, as did Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They said "God is able to save us, BUT EVEN IF HE DOES NOT, we will not serve other gods!" (Daniel 3:17-18)

When we pray, "Your will be done,", when we serve God alone, there is unity in the Church. We don't ask, is God for ODM or PNU, or Democrat or Republican? When God brings leaders to rule over His people, then we can build a united nation. Otherwise we have chaos! Join us in praying Your will be done, Lord!"

The reason that I am here is to spread the life-changing message of God to as many people as I can so that people can find hope and peace and make sense out of their lives. That doesn't only happen in West Africa. God wants you to be doing exactly the same thing in exactly the place where He has put you too. This is not a quick process; it happens one person at a time. But, if we do not start reaching those people things like this will continue. People need to have something to live for and if we don't tell them what they were made to live for who will?