[Written on March 15, 2013]
There’s a celebratory mood in Kenya. Other than those celebrating the wins of their preferred candidates in various electoral positions, there’s another, more subtle celebration. Despite many fears of a recurrence of the 2007/08 post-election violence, the 2013 elections were predominantly peaceful. The few incidences prior to the elections, were, if I may call them such, “pre-election” violence. No matter the efforts by international media to zoom in on them, they didn’t count.
We were determined to see our prayers answered.
There would be no post-election violence this year.
AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
There is therefore a general attitude of gratitude in the hearts of many Kenyans. We are grateful that no people were chased and displaced from their homes this time around. We are grateful that no life was lost out of grievances from the election results. We are grateful that God heard and affirmatively answered our prayers. There are no new IDPs.
One thing still worries me though. The fact that God answered our prayers. The fact that we got exactly what we asked for, and nothing more. This worries me. Continue reading Kenya’s 2013 Post Election Violence
It is a small room. There’s probably about 30 to 40 people inside. All the people in the room are praying. Fervently. Faithfully. Resolutely. Unceasingly. You see, one of their own has been thrown into prison. And they are praying for, if not his release, at least his well being. That he won’t be killed like James, the brother of John. The Christians in Mary’s house are praying for Peter, who had been thrown into prison by Herod. Their prayers are so loud and passionate that they can barely hear the knocks at the gate to the house.
But Rhoda, a servant who was probably standing near the door, hears the knocks and rushes out, towards the gate. When she recognizes Peter’s voice, she is so overjoyed that she forgets to open the gate and rushes back into the house. She announces that Peter is at the door. Everyone thinks she’s crazy. Continue reading Okay Kenyans, You Can Stop Praying Now
Three reads to enrich your week. The first one is lengthy but timely. The second is brief and to the point. And the third one is, well, just read and find out:
- THE IDOL OF ‘OPEN’ OPTIONS: “We worship the god of open options. And he is killing us. He kills our relationships, because he tells us it’s better not to become too involved. He kills our service to others because he tells us it might be better to keep our weekends to ourselves. He kills our giving because he tells us these are uncertain financial times and you never know when you might need that money.”
- In I CHOOSE PEACE, Serah Njambi reminds Kenyans (with the General Elections a week away) that peace is not just a prayer that we make or a dream that we have, it is also a practical choice that we make. “We are a generation that knows our country’s history just as well as we are aware of the LadyBird Series fairy-tales. We often forget the price that was paid for liberty and so we trash it at any opportunity without thinking of the implications.”
- Finally, in LEAVING (CHRIST)IANITY, Michael Patton takes us through the stages that many people go through on their way to apostasy, losing their faith or simply leaving Christianity. “Ignorance. Pity. Shame. These are all word descriptions she associated with Christianity. However, through these superficial word descriptions, it was evident that the best root word to describe her feelings was “betrayal”. She had been betrayed by the Church, because they duped her into a belief not unlike that of the tooth fairy or Santa Claus.”
Overall, may God inspire, comfort and admonish you through the reading of HIS WORD this week, friends.
When we look at other African countries plagued by wars similar to those in Kenya (such as tribal conflicts), those who have attained peace (albeit an imperfect peace) had to pay a great price for that peace. Come to think of it, the fight for peace is really a fight for freedom, and it is only when freedom is attained that peace is consequently realized. All men desire peace, but very few of us ever bother to think about the cost of peace. The price that Kenyans had to pay for freedom is that same price that we have to pay for peace today. Peace walks, placards, graffiti, concerts and conferences are all welcome approaches, but they are often insufficient. In the world we are living in, the reality and effects of sin cannot be denied.
PEACE ISN’T FAIR
The human heart is bent on chaos, and all the places that claim any semblance of peace, only claim so because violence is suppressed, not because people have willingly conceded to be peaceful. We may currently admire Rwanda for its peaceful streets, but we cannot ignore the heightened security, and the high number of security officers at every street corner in the country.
In this world, as long as sin remains, the most effective solution to the peace problem is not dialogue, but the law. Of course, peace that is attained through suppression of violence is not true peace. But it is a visible, external peace, a preliminary peace if you like. Peace does not mean that people have nothing to fight about, peace means that people choose (or are made) not to fight. Peace, like forgiveness, means giving up the right to hurt others for hurting you. It means not repaying evil for evil. It means withholding justice. Yes, peace on this fallen earth isn’t fair. Continue reading The Violence of Peace
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.” [Matthew 10:34-36]
It is exactly 2 weeks to the Kenyan General Elections. Next month, Kenyans will March 4th to a new government and leaders. One of the greatest immediate fears, as the day approaches, is whether the elections (the post-election days) will be peaceful or not. The memory of 2007/08 post-election violence is still fresh on our minds. For many, these memories are only disturbing news items that they witnessed on television from the safety of their peaceful neighborhoods. For some of us, the memories are much more real. Personally, I can no longer call Eldoret home, even though that is where I was raised and schooled. But for all Kenyans, the sincere plea on our lips is a plea for peace. We may be divided on who we want to be the next president, but we are united in echoing this prayer from our National Anthem:
“May we dwell in Unity, Peace and Liberty”
Continue reading The Truth About Peace in Kenya