Singing for Justice and Peace
By Jac and Sherri Kirkpatrick of Lee’s Summit, MO, USA
He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. —Isaiah 2:4 NRSV
We cannot have peace without justice. That thought struck us when we visited with a sweet little girl who lives in a slum in Mumbai, India. It was near the Dhobi Ghat, a huge outdoor laundry. She was selling colorful little purses on the street. She spoke good English so Jac complimented her and asked if she was studying English in school.
She suddenly looked sober, dropped her gaze, and quietly said, “My family does not have money to send me to school.” There was no justice for her. I could not help but think of the difference between future possibilities for this little girl and the bright-eyed little girls in HealthEd Connect schools in Africa.
Education is an urgent issue for girls, and all children, to have a chance for a better tomorrow. That is why we are so adamantly enthusiastic about our Girls Achievement Program and the people who support it.
The great C5 community children’s choir in Carthage, Missouri, sang for the benefit of HealthEd Connect. It’s not exactly a children’s choir anymore because none of the kids wanted to leave. So the choir now has youth of all ages. When we visited, there were over 25 members in the choir.
Led by Patty Sacry and accompanied on the piano by Patty’s husband, Dr. Roger Sacry, the choir astounded us in every way. They are a big booster and fundraiser for HealthEd Connect and asked us to come to Joplin, Missouri, to share more about the programs. So we made the trek to share stories and hear the choir perform harmonic African songs for the benefit of an appreciative audience. One of the young choir members told us after the performance that she was planning to go to Africa and already had $36 saved. What a great group of young people!
HealthEd Connect is promoting justice and peace through education in India, Africa, and Nepal.
Prayer for Peace
God of grace and peace, help us put aside our words of war and weapons. Let us support those who speak a language of peace around the world.
Spiritual Practice: Pursue Peace on Earth
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 161:2a. Reflect on how you can “see violence but proclaim peace…feel conflict, yet extend the hand of reconciliation…encounter broken spirits and find pathways for healing.” What does the peace of Christ mean to you? How can you help teach peace? Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom. What act of justice or peacemaking does God invite you to pursue this day? Dwell on these words of pursuit: see, proclaim, feel, extend, encounter, find.
Today, God, if I don’t want children of the world to “learn war,” then I will help them learn what is good and helpful—I will help them learn peace.