Umoja Ni Nguvu-Unity Is Strength
By Mary Awuor Ogengo of Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. -Psalm 34:14 NRSV
One hot day as I went about doing my house chores, I watched a file of red ants march into my kitchen to a sugar dish stationed on the kitchen work top. The small insects picked up sugar crystals, some of which were twice their size. They rolled over the crystals, and some worked in pairs as they did the important task of carrying this important food to their home. None of them seemed to tire from the task, they showed a lot of team spirit, and in about an hour I could see the level of sugar in my dish had gone down.
This reminded me of some years back when I was pastor of the Nairobi congregation. We worshipped in a tent which had been used for over 15 years until it was dilapidated. Members of the church council came up with an important project to improve our place of worship.
The plan was massive considering the congregation membership. As we embarked on the task, I saw us as these little ants with a big load to carry. Through members’ generosity, work began and we were able to finish the first phase of the sanctuary, including the walls and the roof.
During that time there was an international leaders meeting and MEADS training in Nairobi. On Sunday, a worship service was held in the incomplete chapel. Many felt the presence of God and enjoyed fellowship with one another. A lot of gifts were demonstrated in our worship service.
Brother Ini Edet, Nigeria Mission Center president, stood and made a contribution toward the completion of the sanctuary. This triggered a chain of contributions for purchase of specific materials like windows, doors, and flooring. I saw massive generosity in action. In no time enough funds and pledges were made to complete the sanctuary.
Today, the Nairobi congregation worships in a beautiful sanctuary. We look at it as a place of worship for all nations with each part of the building made possible by contributors from all nations. We learned that each contribution put together makes us complete.
I appreciate every person that contributed. As the ants unite to achieve their task, so we as Christians are able to achieve much, serve God more, and build better communities of peace, joy, and love.
I dwell in your presence.
Prayer of Examen
Spend a few moments recalling your day. Let details, events, and conversations drift through your memory. Offer gratitude for the day and pray to be aware of how God was present. What did you notice or feel that brought meaning? Pay attention to moments when you felt least in harmony with God’s vision for creation. Offer a prayer of confession. Pay attention to moments when you felt most in harmony with God’s vision for creation. Pray to be even more aware of and responsive to God’s presence in the days ahead. Amen.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.