A Community: Happy and Strong
By Sherri Kirkpatrick of Lee’s Summit, MO, USA
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. —1 Corinthians 12:12–14, 26 NRSV
When the Kafwa Center in Chipulukusu, Zambia, opened, its first event was a workshop on Building Happy and Strong Communities. Kafwa are HealthEd Connect volunteers. Adapting the motto, “Gross National Happiness” used by the country of Bhutan to guide country decisions, our workshop that day focused on identifying concerns and programs that would make our communities the happiest and strongest. We had great discussions!
Suggestions ranged from more educational opportunities to football (soccer) fields. We needed more income-generating programs, such as sewing and making beads from recycled paper. Kafwa from three schools attended the event. They are proud of the new Kafwa Center and the endless opportunities it opens for the community of Chipulukusu.
One of the first affirmations we made in our opening remarks was the Kafwa Center does not belong to the school. The Kafwa Center does not belong to the church. The Kafwa Center belongs to the Kafwa to use for their many community volunteer activities. They have already arranged for the government to hold well-baby clinics for children under five in their building. These clinics, with which they assist, were formerly held under a tree since no other buildings were available.
They are happy to be in a position to invite the government to their beautiful new center and to be a blessing to their community.
Prayer for Peace
God of individuals and communities, help us act generously, both alone and together, to further your shalom. Wholeness cannot occur without everyone’s involvement. Help us work for peace with cooperation and consensus.
Receive and share Blessings of Community. Begin with a prayer of gratitude for the friendships in your life. See and feel connections with family members, spiritual friends, people in your congregation and community, and people and creatures in God’s sacred web of life. What blessings flow to you from these circles? How have you felt the love of the community?
Today, God, I will find a way to be a blessing to my local or world community.