Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I am delighted to bring you Methodist greetings during this new connexional year. Praise to the Lord, and Bwana Yesu asifiwe! Hamu-jambo na Habari yenu wote.
I write to encourage you all during a momentous occasion when both Britain and Kenya who are members to the commonwealth nations have been waiting for the announcement of the next Prime Minister and President respectively during last month 5th of September 2022. This was quite an historical moment. Both countries again have been facing similar economic challenges of the cost of living exacerbated by both the covid19, war between Ukraine and Russia, severe climates, and the weather situation around the world. Walking with prophet Isaiah helps to interpret these events within Church and theological languages. It speaks about Kings, Princes, and leaders, Pastors who walk and lead God’s people to walk in righteousness.
Isaiah 32:1-8 ESV
1Some day there will be a king who rules with integrity, and national leaders who govern with justice. 2Each of them will be like a shelter from the wind and a place to hide from storms. They will be like streams flowing in a desert, like the shadow of a giant rock in a barren land. 3Their eyes and ears will be open to the needs of the people. 4They will not be impatient any longer, but they will act with understanding and will say what they mean. 5No one will think that a fool is honourable or say that a scoundrel is honest. 6A fool speaks foolishly and thinks up evil things to do. What he does and what he says are an insult to the LORD, and he never feeds the hungry or gives thirsty people anything to drink. 7A stupid person is evil and does evil things; he plots to ruin the poor with lies and to prevent them getting their rights. 8But an honourable person acts honestly and stands firm for what is right.
This chapter contains a prophecy of the Messiah; for, better understanding of the message, King Hezekiah, is seen as a type of Christ, with full accomplishment in him, and in his times. He is described as a righteous King and having princes ruling under him with Justice. A promise of great blessing of protection, and comfort is given to his subjects, when they follow his instructions. Currently the manifestation of hypocrites, covetousness and corruption of the Jews was leading to the destruction of their own country, due to their sins. How relevant is this prophecy to the United Kingdom and Kenya? How Covid19, corruption, climate and weather has been affecting social lives of the people?
God calls upon them to lament over the sins of their leaders and pray for return of God’s mercies and as rivers of water in a dry place, delightful, refreshing, and flowing from the boundless ocean of his divine love, promises of comfort even when they find themselves in a dry and barren land. God’s promise is to make them cheerful, fruitful, and revival of their spirits, and makes their travelling through this wilderness comfortable. So, people look to their leaders to provide them with hope and deal with issues that cause misery.
“Having travelled out of the UK for my summer vacation to Kenya, I have faced poverty in a different context with shocking revelations of those sleeping hungry and cannot afford Maize flour and a packet of Milk. There is a huge increase on the growing concern about fuel costs where people are having to make choices. Now the election being over, there is a great fear of what the future may bring, and a plea for them to find out how to creatively address the issues of poverty among many members of the community in the UK. And this can be done through joining other communities at stake and trying to respond to these challenges.
In the face of the cost-of-living crisis such communities are needed more than ever by our Christian communities. Revd Andrew Stead, Selby Street Mission (UK) says ‘’ People are drawn to this place because they want to serve the church at the margins. We have got to stay in these areas because God loves them.”
Towards the end of July, I and my family; Faith, Naitore, Mwendwa and baby Makena took a flight to Kenya and headed to our little village in Meru. We visited my home in Kianjai where we spent a wonderful time with my relatives. We visited four of my Aunties who are now 65 years (recently retired from teaching professions). We again visited three more of my aunts who are now in their seventies, between seventies and nineties respectively. Everyone had their program, and it was difficult to balance. However, Faith and I were able visit some of our cousins.
Most of the time Faith preferred to spend a lot of time with her mum who at this time was immobile and poorly. It was quite an emotional caring experience for Faith who had left her mum in very good shape after she had retired way back, before our plans to come to the UK. It was a difficult experience for Faith and the girls to find her mother in such a condition.
This reminds us of those who are carers, those that we take care for and the challenges that goes with it. Our prayers to all carers that you know. We pray for God’s love in them for others who require their attentions.
I am comforted that Faith was now at peace after coming to terms with the present situation of her mother. We ensured we were all around to help in whatever way to make her feel supported. The good news is, that there is now a paid residence carer to help Faith’s father look after her mum.
We found ourselves, forced to change our vacation plans in the last minute. We had to decide now who to visit and whose visit had to be cancelled, to provide a quiet time for my family too. My daughters were able to visit and spend some of their time with their cousins, or their cousins coming up to be with them.
In our third week, we got a weather shock! We fell sick, including the baby. We went to a Methodist hospital for treatment and after thorough investigations there was nothing found. The day of our flight we were not in good shape. So, the first thing on our arrival was to book an appointment with our area GP. Luckily, we got a same day booking, and further tests, were done but thankfully nothing was found. A few days later we were all well.
Thanks go to many of you for all your prayers which made our holiday a success. We shall be sharing some photos on the Circuit Facebook page, although there are not that many. Thank you and may our good Lord richly bless you.