Lectionary Selection: John 4:5-42
Prayers for Kenya:
God, we thank you for the work of Rev. Helena in the Volta Region of Ghana with African Independent Churches on leadership and Social Transformation. We are grateful for the extraordinary work and role that Queen Mothers play in Ghana. We are blessed to have a tradition of strong women in Africa like the Queens Mothers and many others throughout Africa who stand in the tradition of the Samaritan women. These women were not silenced by taboos, they challenge stereotypes and point the community to the liberating, transforming power of Jesus who went against oppressive norms in societies. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Kenya:
Working with the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) affords me the opportunity of traveling and work throughout Africa. We work with African Instituted (Indigenous) Churches (AIC) and many other faith traditions in the various communities. It is always exciting to see what God is doing throughout Africa. We saw God’s hand at work in the Volta Region of Ghana, where Reverend Helena Mananu-Hooper is the Director of the AIC leadership training and Skills Development Program.
A few months ago, Reverend Helena conducted a workshop for Queen Mothers. Each village has a Queen Mother. She is selected by the Paramount Chief, the Royal family, and the King Makers living in the town or the village. The Queen Mother is well respected in her community. According to Rev. Helena, the Queen Mother role is normally ceremonial, as she sits next to the king during the annual festivals, or during a community function she sits with the chief in silence and can only speak to issues through the Chief or linguist with permission from the Chief. We sometimes misread silence in some African communities, which leads us to conclude the woman lacks power. In actual fact, Queen Mother’s play a powerful role in Ghana in making decisions, advising officials, etc. She is well respected and is a vital in the life of a village.
The workshop for Queen Mothers was to engage them on pertinent issues in their villages and how they can use their voice to speak out and act to sensitize the community on issues that affect them. Some of the key issues the Queen Mothers discussed were sex trafficking, child abuse, youth unemployment, treatment of elderly women in the community, etc. Many of these issues were considered taboo to openly discuss in the community; but, with the Queen Mothers speaking out about them, this gave the issues recognition and the community an impetus to act on them.
The power of the Queen Mothers reminds me of the Power of the Samaritan women in the scripture reading today. The Samaritan women was able to engage her whole village, to come with her and meet a man that can transform their lives. The community not only listened but they followed her.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Phyllis Byrd
Mission Partners in Kenya:
More information on Kenya: https://www.globalministries.org/kenya
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Kenya:
Phyllis Byrd serves with the Organization of Africa Instituted Churches (OAIC) in Kenya. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.