Lectionary Selection: Luke 13:31-35 or Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a)
Prayers for Kenya:
Pray for the The Organization of Africa Instituted Churches as we look for the resources to give the women business management skills.
Pray for the victims of El Niño rains that swept across East Africa, the lives, property that was lost.
Pray for Southern Africa that is experiencing drought and cattle and people are dying.
God thank you for taking our uuuuwe and transforming them into ululations. Thank you for working though people to change the lives of women like Elizabeth as well as so many others. It is my prayer that you will continue to work through your people to change lives all around the world. Amen
Mission Stewardship Moment from Kenya:
The Transformation of my uuuuuwe* to ululations*
*(uuuuwe is an expression of lament one uses when devastation occurs. Ululation is a high pitched sound of celebration)
Hi my name is Elizabeth and I live in Lulembela a small village in Tanzania. Everything in life seems to work against me. I am a mother of 7 children don’t get me wrong children are a blessing and I am grateful for all of them. But the problem is I do not have an income, my husband left me and he destroyed the fish farming business I just started to run, “uuuuwe, uuuuwe, uuuuwe.”
Bishop Kitula, the chairman of the OAIC Tanzania Chapter encouraged the women’s groups in the area to start an income-generating project that will also feed our families. The women in the area were helped by the OAIC to rent 8 acres of land to start our business of fish farming and we were given 54 fingerlings.
Uuuuwe, uuuuwe, one morning I work up and discovered that my husband had left me. He also harvested the fish that were only a few weeks old and he destroyed the pond. He disappeared without a trace. I lost hope uuuuwe, uuuuwe.
Bishop Kitula and the women in the area encourage me to start all over again. I did not think a new beginning was possible. I also did not think I had the mental strength to begin again. When you are wounded it is easy to remain in a wounded state or walk around saying uuuuwe, uuuuwe. The uuuuwe is so loud that it blurs your vision of the possibility of transformation. I had to move from uuuuwe to ululation. Thanks be to God for the strength and I am grateful for the encouragement from the Bishop and the women. I reconstructed the fish ponds, I was given more fingerlings, it was a uphill task but I now have a thriving fish farm.
I can now feed my family from the ponds; I started practicing subsistence farming where I grow maize, beans and some vegetables. My children are all in school and when they are free after school they enjoy helping me with the ponds and they are interesting in learning more about farming and emulating me. Ululations.
I never knew I could be a role model for my children as well as other people in the village. And to think I was about to give up, to continue with uuuuwe, now I ululate at what God has done for me. Who would have thought transformation was possible?
The story of Elizabeth reminds me of when Jesus looked to God and spoke to God and a transformation took place. The others were able to see the marvelous change in him and believe.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Phyllis Byrd)
Mission Partners in Kenya:
- All Africa Conference of Churches
- National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK)
- Presbyterian Church of East Africa
- Programme for Christian Muslim Relations in Africa
- St Paul's United Theological College
More information on Kenya: http://www.globalministries.org/kenya
Global Ministries Missionary in Kenya:
Rev. Phyllis Byrd serves with the Organization of African Instituted Churches as the Director for the Just Communities Program. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.