No Gathering at Uhuru Park
Today is the 1st of May. In normal circumstances, workers, members and officials of trade unions would be drifting in their numbers towards Uhuru Park for International Labour Day celebrations. Under the scorching sun, they would listen to speeches from those that call the shots in the labor union circles and the government. The President would most likely bring the celebrations to a cheerful end, after promising some goodies for the workers; perhaps an increment in wages or a reiteration of workers’ rights, especially for the most vulnerable among them.
Today however things are different; new. Our lives have been upended in ways we could never have imagined. Although I am aware that everyone I know, is hunkered down and safe, I cannot stop thinking with a lot of anxiety, about families of the already infected persons and those that have lost their loved ones. The uncertainty of the future has also got me apprehensive.
We are all currently sailing deep in uncharted waters. We soldier on, but with a destabilizing unawareness of what magnitude of storm awaits us. Having watched this pandemic ravage the globe, will never take for granted normalcy, the ebb and the flow of the world as we have known it.
Granted, we will not have the usual Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Park. As a matter of fact, a lot of the people who normally celebrate this day are unhappy; some have been laid off from work while others have been forced to take pay cuts, thus affecting their livelihoods and those of their families. This Labour Day has fallen on unprecedented times, it is a Labour Day like no other.
A few months ago, I followed a Twitter discussion concerning toxic bosses. A number of Twitter users gave harrowing accounts of the pain of working under such bosses. It was then that I realized how in my short career life, I have been immensely blessed to work under the kindest of men. I have never had ‘boss issues’ at all. I have resolved that if I ever have people working with, for, and or under me, I would handle them with grace.
1 Corinthians 4: 12 says that “… we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled we bless; when persecuted, we endure.” COVID-19 is a trial to all of us, and Paul encourages Christians to endure during such times.
We can do so by:
- Being grateful.
Now more than ever I realize the ground under me could be swept away in an instance. My attitude towards that, however, is not that of fear, but that of a deep appreciation of each moment, person and opportunity I have. To those who have work to do, always be grateful for the blessing of usefulness in work.
2. Being gracious.
If the world was ever hungry for a demonstration of grace, now is the time! Exhibiting it to other people is basically modeling our faith to the glory of God.
3. Showing kindness.
Be nice and kind to those entrusted to you. Everyone is bearing the stress and emotional stability brought about by our collective unknown future.
4. Exercise selflessness.
In the short period, my family has been running a business, it has occurred to us that most entrepreneurs have fallen in the trap of greed; characterized by a need to make unfair profits and to ‘use’ workers, by taking more from them than we give. On this Labour Day, reflect on the condition of the people working for or under you. Be extra kind to them.
The Conviction and Call
I can still recall the voice of the Missions Director brother Calisto Odede, during Commission 88. I was the Kenyatta University Christian Union (KUCU) secretary during that year. I remember listening to him being convicted to avail myself to serve the Lord as He sends me. (more…)
Increased cases of suicide cases
According to the World Health Organization in 2000, throughout the world, approximately 1,000,000 people died of suicide. More than 50% of this constitutes the youth who are in higher levels of education; colleges and universities. This translates to a global mortality rate of 16% or one death every 40 seconds. This makes the number of deaths by suicide worldwide higher than the total number of deaths from war and homicide combined. This only means that preventive measures have to be put in place if we will save the current and even future generations.
the number of deaths by suicide worldwide higher than the total number of deaths from war and homicide combined.
In contemporary African society, suicide was viewed as an offense and a sign of bad omen, a belief that could have been the reason why many people shied away from committing suicide. Those who were caught committing the offense faced dire consequences. This, however, is not the case today. Through civilization, modern education and western influence; the narrative has changed. Such exposure among other factors has contributed to the high number of suicidal cases in society. (more…)
Every time I have studied the book of Nehemiah, I have prayed that God would raise a Nehemiah generation in our time. A generation that has not only the burden to see the transformation in the society, but also one that is ready to transform the concerns into tangible actions. For this to be achieved, one must have counted the cost and committed to doing the right thing even if it means that they will be at it alone.
When Nehemiah received news about the condition of the walls of Jerusalem, he was filled with grief and mourned for many days (Nehemiah 1:4). Even though the book of Nehemiah does not explicitly give information of what other people or leaders back in Jerusalem were doing concerning the ruinous walls, there is an indication that they were not concerned as much (Nehemiah 3: 10-16). For this, they needed a Nehemiah who was both concerned and committed to seeing the restoration of Jerusalem; one who could clearly and convincingly communicate the need and rally people to action. This is what every person need for societal transformation. In addition to this, one ought to pay attention to the following principles:
- Awareness and Salience of the issue – someone needs to be aware of the issue at hand and find out whether it matters to them and why?
- Intrinsic motivation – One needs to find out whether they feel the moral responsibility to address the issue?
- Efficacy – Do you think your action will have an impact on the system?
- Capacity for collective action – Will other citizens/people join me? Is there an organization that has the capacity to launch actions on this issue that you can collaborate?
- Cost of Inaction – What is the cost benefit of my participation? Am I afraid to act? What is the cost of not taking an action?
The problem is inaction
It was a few weeks after my wedding. I looked back at the journey I had walked with my fiance, now my husband and all that went through my mind were mixed feelings. Feelings of triumph and joy that the Lord had walked with us to get us to where we had reached (in marriage) and at the same time the feeling that there were places I would have done better. As we started our journey, we had set our minds, painstakingly, above all else, to honor God. And that was our reason number one to walk the path we walked. And as I reflected on the journey that had been, I asked myself the same question, did we honor God in our walk?
Drawing the line
The question of sexual purity and how realistic we can get realizing we are flesh and blood is probably the biggest problem that many campus and high school students grapple with every day. As the valentine’s day is celebrated, many will be led to make decisions they are not proud of, in the name of celebrating love. Many will make decisions that may change the course of their lives drastically and maybe forever. The decisions will affect not only the social life but also the spiritual and all other aspects of life. Others, still through the ongoing mobilization and the efforts to influence people to pursue purity around this time, will heed the call and choose to be chaste. That will be a good decision, and the Lord is able to sustain his people to live sexually pure lives. What however will be the motivation behind the pursuit of purity?
Truth is, I was happy with many of the choices I made in my dating journey. Some though looked awkward fit for the age of the Ramapithecus and utterly unfit for the 21st century. I made them anyway, and if asked, I would make them once more if I were to. There were others that I was not very proud of and at times I do not understand how foolish I could have been. In the eyes of any man they look like sound decisions that any man would make would they be in my position. In my opinion, though, that is the problem of sin. It is deceptive, and many times we try to rationalize it as the only realistic way. Thinking of it though, who really determines how realistic my actions as a Christian are? Looking at these “realistic” decisions against the standards of God in sexual purity I can only say they are ways apart.
The pursuit of purity equally does not necessarily involve do’s and don’ts and that having followed them we are deemed to have overcome. I agree that there is a part we play in. It is our responsibility to walk in holiness as Paul readily reminds the church to flee from immorality and instead pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Peter also instructs the church to be holy just as the Lord is Holy. There are those practical measures we will take so that we guard our hearts against sin. Some of them may need to be radical decisions, but they are worth it in the long run.
The pursuit of purity is not merely a matter of our own personal victory and pride. I realize the Lord did not see us through the entire journey so that we may boast and show off our prowess and holiness as Christians. It is about God, whose heart is grieved by the sexual immorality. If for us it is about victories then the times we fail, we will have no place in our hearts for repentance. We will beat ourselves so hard, be broken and be disappointed in ourselves since we were unable to defeat a particular sin. We have to understand that as W. S Plumer rightly put it “all sin is against God in this sense that it is his law that is broken, his authority that is despised and his government that is set to naught.”
At times we are obsessed about other people’s opinion of us and about our inability to overcome sin when we sin. We stay caged in addictions and immorality and fail to repent and seek help. This should not be our focus in the circumstance that we already are struggling with sexual immorality. Because for God obedience to the call to repentance and fleeing from sexual immorality is more important than our personal pride.
I know there is the joy that comes as a result of overcoming sin, but that should not preoccupy us. It is and should be secondary. It should be primarily about honoring and obeying God’s word.
It never gets easy but with accountability and God’s Grace it is possible, many, by God’s grace have done it; we remained chaste till marriage, you surely can do it.
By a fresh graduate who participated in the 2016 Chastity Campaign