Pray with Kenya, June 5, 2022
Lectionary Selection: Acts 2:1-21
Prayers for Kenya
Transforming God, like on the day of Pentecost when they all came together in solidarity, you filled them with your barrier-breaking Holy Spirt. Enable us as your church to be an unstoppable force in the world, breaking down unjust barriers that rob a person and community of their dignity. Help us to receive your Spirit afresh each new day. Amen
Mission Stewardship Moment from Kenya
The Three D’s
Daughters of Dignity and Destiny
The Three D’s work with vulnerable young women who are teenage parents. The initiative took place in Siaya County, West Ugenya ward. In many communities in Kenya, as well as other countries in Africa, young women face a multitude of challenges such as poverty, malnourishment, gender-based violence, a high rate of school dropout, etc. This initiative has a multifaceted approach. The young women and their families go through training in entrepreneurship, agricultural practices, nutritional/health, and life skills. The teenage mothers receive a scholarship to finish school and a mentor that will walk alongside them. The local agricultural office assists the families in starting a kitchen garden.
To help improve the nutrition of the young mothers and the family as a whole as well as being an income-generating project, the family receives chickens to rear.
Many young women in Kenya and Africa as a whole find themselves in a vulnerable situation in society. The Three D’s initiative was designed to engage the whole community, including the school, the area chief, the parents, and religious leaders just to name a few.
The number of young women we had resources to fund was only 20. During the launch of the program, the members of the community were invited. We were overwhelmed with the number of requests from parents pleading that their daughters “must be included in this program.” It is unfortunate we had to turn many of them away. We are praying for more resources that will enable us to have a second phase of the Three D’s in the same location as well as in other parts of Kenya.
I often ponder what ingredients go into the Africa pot to make for a sustainable, impactful, transformative, community-led initiative? I saw the ingredients come together before my eyes. It is the community members joining hands and pledging to work together during the launch of the Three D’s.
One government representative told the young ladies, “Development of our county cannot be actualized by a few. It takes an organic initiative like the Daughters of Dignity and Destiny which is reinforced by the whole of the community – religious leaders, government representatives, members of parliament, the chief, schools, family members, and well-wishers – working together to address the systems, values, and deeply held beliefs in society that cause and reinforce inequalities young women in society face. It takes every member of this community to join hands and root out these inequalities and gender-based violence within the community.”
As we celebrate Pentecost Sunday, the lesson I learned was Pentecost cannot be confined to a Sunday celebration once a year. It is the dynamic work of the Holy Spirit we experience every day. We see in the book of Acts how the Holy Spirit transforms the very core of Peter which causes him to expand his boundaries to be more inclusive. It was the work of the Holy Spirt that caused Peter to enter the space/home of the Roman Centurion Cornelius and they broke break bread together. The deep symbolic act of sharing a meal established a relationship, they became spiritually bound to each other as one.
The launch of the Three D’s, Daughters of Dignity and Destiny was Pentecost as the community came together as walls that divided and even castigated the teenage mother were broken. The 20 young women became our daughters who we honored and respected. In the words of one of the attendees at the launch, “We need and depend on you to finish school, go to University, and develop our community and country. We are willing to do whatever we can to assure you do well…”
Thank you, Global Ministers, for partnering with the community in this initiative. Thank you, Ward Administrator, Diana for your leadership, passion, and infectious belief that the transformation of the community is possible through the power of God working through us all. Thank you Siaya County, Ugenya Ward for your contributions to this initiative as we all joined hands to address the issues of gender justice.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Phyllis Byrd
Mission Partners in Kenya
- All Africa Conference of Churches
- National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK)
- Organization of African Instituted Churches
- Presbyterian Church of East Africa
- Programme for Christian Muslim Relations in Africa
- St Paul’s United Theological College
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.