September 29, 2011

Mission to Kajire, Kenya

Kajire is a village in Southeastern Kenya about 100 miles from the Indian Ocean. It is a rural area. The local economy is agricultural--mostly subsistence level farming.

Kajire became a point of interest for Trinity Church, Beaver two or three years ago. A parishioner became friends with the Rev Ferdinand M'bwangi who visited Western Pennsylvania for a couple of years while attending seminary. One night at dinner Ferdinand admired the runnning water in our houses and he began to talk about the village where he was born. There is no water in Kajire, except for the little bit that can be collected at a water hole a couple of miles away. And so, people in 2011, much as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago, walk to the water hole, gather their day's water (if there is any left) and walk back home. That parishioner, our parish, determined to help the people of Kajire get a well in their village. That well is currently being dug.

It just so happens that Kajire is also right in the middle of the worst drought Africa has experienced in many years (and that is saying a lot). No water means no crops and no crops means no food produced. It also means no crop to sell in order to buy food. The people of East Africa, and our friends in Kajire, are starving to death as a consequence of no rain!

A number of us in the parish have been praying for Kajire for a long time now. And the Lord has placed a burden for Kajire on our hearts. The Lord is calling us to find ways to partner with our brothers and sisters there, to alleviate their suffering, to build indigenous industry, to help them help themselves. The Lord has also called us to go and meet his people in Kajire, up close and personal. And so a group of us will go to Kajire in January, to meet the local leaders, to survey the area for opportunities to serve, and to preach the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We go as representatives of Trinity Church, Beaver and we will bring back and share our experience with everyone.

I will be posting a series of blogs about our relationship with the people of Kajire over the next few months. The articles are written with the intention that those of you just hearing about Kajire will feel moved to join in this mission and for those who have already been moved to join in the project, to keep you informed about what is going on.

The need in East Africa is immense. Large numbers of people are dying of starvation daily. If you saw the numbers it would break your heart. Trinity parish will never be able to meet anywhere near all the need but we can do what we can do. And our Lord honors all effort. If we do what we can, many will be blessed by our efforts. So, I invite you to join in this great adventure, as we seek to serve the least, the last and the lost. What could be closer to God's heart than people reaching out to help lift their brothers and sisters up? After all, isn't that what Jesus has done for all of us?

"Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: so clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen."