Growing Together in the Light

A place for Friends and others to explore Quakerism. A place where, in the Light that comes from God, we may all grow and where we may hope to find a unity that underlies our diversity of language.

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Location: Arlington, Massachusetts, United States

Raised a Friend, I am currently a member of Fresh Pond Meeting in Cambridge, Mass. I am also active in Salem Quarterly Meeting and in New England Yearly Meeting.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Reading about Kenya with a breaking heart

I have been reading the news from Kenya and my heart is breaking again. I was in Kisumu less than a year ago, shopping and having a lunch and waiting for the flight home from the FUM General Board Meeting. And now I see pictures of what might have been the place I shopped burned out and gutted.

I see the pictures and in my mind I also see everything I saw when I was there last year – and scenes from when I was in Kenya in 1970 when I was a student at Friends World College. I can almost smell the smells and taste the tastes of Kenya. And I mourn because in none of my memories was there the smell of tear gas or smoke from burning buildings. Pangas were the ubiquitous multi-purpose tool not weapons to be feared. I did not see churches burning or babies bodies thrown carelessly on racks in the morgues.

I read the Kenyan blogs and I hear the shock of Kenyans at how quickly their country has changed. I think how lucky the United States was to have had early leaders who were willing to give up power peacefully after an election, and what a rare thing that is.

I hold all these things in my heart and I pray. I think about the line in the Lord's Prayer about “Lead me not into temptation” and how I have seen that translated as “Lead me not to the test.” And I think how my faithfulness to the Peace Testimony and honesty and the command to love my neighbor and to bless those who persecute me would be tested if I were to find myself in such a situation. And I pray for the people in Kenya who are faced with exactly that test.

I think about the title of Alan Paton's book Cry, the Beloved Country. I think how this describes Kenya now.

God bless Kenya.
God bless Africa.
Lord, forgive our foolish ways.

Will T

Some sources of information:

A list of blogs on the situation in Kenya
Peggy Senger Parsons is posting reports from David Zarembka here
Carol Holmes has reports here

2 Comments:

Blogger Cat Chapin-Bishop said...

"Lead me not to the test." Yes, that speaks to me. It's so easy to pretend to myself, sitting here in safety, that I would act peacefully and lovingly no matter what.

I am humbled, thinking about it. I don't want this test. I don't want it for others, either. But for those who manage to live up to the leadings of love and forgiveness in such a time... well. There are no words.

January 05, 2008 12:58 PM  
Blogger Friends for Peace in Kenya said...

Will:

For following the news out of Kenya, I recommend the Kenya News blog at http://www.updatesonkenya.blogspot.com

Could you add a link and feature on it in your blog?

Thanks,
Mary Kay Rehard
Former FUM Field Staff in Kaimosi

January 18, 2008 4:11 PM  

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