Maureen, Judith, and Erica at BTL, Ruiru
Today we participated in the first of a three-day training conference on peace, reconciliation, and conflict management with our CBM colleagues and African partner churches. This is a timely focus for our Kenyan team as Kenya suffers further acts of violence against Muslim sheiks and churches in Mombassa this week. This most recent incident follows a series of attacks against churches over the past year. Unrest throughout Kenya is of great concern among our church partners. “With the coming national elections,” warned Dr. Julius Karanja of the African Christian Church & Schools, “grave concerns are felt among Kenyans that the wounds from the 2008 post-election violence have not yet healed... at the grassroots mistrust is high and has not improved with time.”
The conference is being facilitated by our colleague Gato Munyamasoko from Rwanda, where he has headed peace and reconciliation efforts with the Rwandan Baptist Association. Together we have been learning principles and best practises in peace and reconciliation in anticipation of a new peace building program with the African Brotherhood Church and African Christian Church & Schools. The conference participants were challenged by the question “Who is going to reconcile, who is the person with the skills, time and ability to bring together, encourage and reconcile?” asked our colleague Ruth Munyao. Stepping forward as ambassadors for peace should be woven into the fabric of who we are as Christ followers.
Ruth Munyao addressing the participants
Aaron, Dr. Karanja, and Gato