The hair journey

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Today is my birthday. So make sure you sing me a happy birthday song before you continue reading. I’ll know if you don’t. (insert a mother’s tone to child attempting to rebel). So I’ve battled with writing a birthday post. But I thought it shouldn’t be a routine. I wrote one last year so we can have a break this year. Plus probably there’s was not enough drama to record. And I haven’t achieved some of the things I had thought I’d want to achieve. So I decided to answer a question that many people have demanded answers to. Again the last two posts have been intense. Why not have a lighter one?

You’ll never realize that your hair has shareholders until you cut it. You go try out and see. Even the person who has never commented on whether your hairstyles are good or bad will demand to know why you did it. Some will go like, “Why didn’t you tell me before doing it?” Isn’t it interesting?

So there’s this day last year. A Friday in November, I forget the date. I woke up and felt that that would be the end of me and hair. I felt like I wouldn’t live an extra day with it on my head. But I was definitely coming from somewhere. So these are some of the reasons:

I have always wanted to it. Yes I have. I was curious to know how I’d look like. At one point in 2014 I had made up my mind to visit the barber. But I did one mistake. I called my mum to inform her. My plan aborted. Coz I had to prove to her there was nothing wrong with me, I just wanted a new look. God knows the prayers she said to Him, not to let her daughter walk in that misguided path.

Early 20s crisis. I was in a crisis. I was engaging big transitions that made me confused. I was also trying to answer some important questions about life. (that makes me sound like a deep thinking and focused young person, right? 😛 ) Then there was end month and after a look into my budget it was clear a hairdo wasn’t possible. This was also stressing- money. So I got convinced that if I did away with my hair one problem would be solved and the burden would be lighter. The hair was only a victim.

Shaved ladies look awesome. I still think so up to now. Let’s not engage in this point so much coz by the end of it I may be tempted to look for the nearest barber shop.

So I shaved. I felt so relieved. No hair to comb or take to the salon. And now am growing the hair. Not because I felt the loss. I just thought it is adventurous. And my joy was made complete. Coz I did what I consider as the most daring thing in my life.

Having said that, I just want the readers to know that they don’t have to worry about distance when considering what gifts to give to the birthday girl. My phone’s M-PESA is active. And I also have a bank account. You are sorted!

And before I leave, you wonder what the photo on the post has to do with the post? Everything. We are talking about the hair of the birthday girl. (See what I did there? 😉 ) Anyway that was to play with your mind.

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Let me be human, and let Him be God

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I fear failure so much. I get stressed up when I fail. Life stops. Literally. I will fuss over it for days. I’ll get into a reverie of replaying things in my mind and doing it all over again so that I correct things. Only to come back to reality and find things the way I left them. I mean, life stops!

Am talking about all kinds of failure. Spiritual, academic, ministerial, friendships…. If I fail in a task entrusted to me I’ll want to kill myself for it. Sometimes I set too high standards for myself and when I don’t achieve I get stressed up. Even if someone comments that I did something well I’ll still not believe because I didn’t meet my standards. I’ll think it’s my fault, anyway. Recently I began fearing that I could be taking it too far.

May be it’s because I hate mediocrity. I will fuss over the praise and worship who didn’t lead the service well, fuss over something that went wrong in a friendship (never mind that it wasn’t my fault), feel bad about a post that I don’t think relayed what was in my mind properly, and get stressed about it. I’ll do crazy stuff in an attempt to correct things. Like I’ll over work myself or maybe go give the praise and worship director a piece of mind…. Just something.

The fear of failure comes along with a desire for approval. Like if am not told something I did is good I’ll conclude it’s because it’s not perfect. Now that’s double trouble.

For quite some time I’ve wallowed in this fear. Hardly did I notice. Until recently when I did something that I considered very wrong. I said ‘considered’ because someone else doesn’t think it was wrong. So it’s been probably a month and am still fussing over it. Mourning over spilt water. Regretting and hoping I had a chance to do things all over again. Wondering what I was thought of.

You see, my problem is that I think about issues until my heart aches. Literally. There’s just a feeling I have when am not happy with something. It’s either my heart or the stomach. Can’t figure out.

But here’s the good news in all this… God is still at work in me. One of the lessons dawning on me is that am human. Flesh and blood. Incapable of doing any good thing. In fact my righteousness is compared to filthy garments. I can only lean on God’s grace for righteousness. And allow him to work through me and in me.

Being human means that I fail. One of the ways that Christ works is through our failure. He is famous for the many messes he cleans, not the many ‘good people’ he pats on the back to congratulate them for being good. So let me human, and let him be God.

So I’ll stop judging myself too harshly and beating myself very hard. In any case it has only added to my heartaches. This doesn’t mean that I now become lenient or mediocre. Perhaps it means that I loosen up and stop caring too much. May be it means I begin seeing my life in light of Christ working in me, and working out all things for my good and ultimately his glory. May be it means that I deeply realize how fallen I am, and how am incapable of doing any good thing apart from God’s grace. May be it means that I need to be humble too. I mean, isn’t this a manifestation of pride?

And what’s my point with this post? Sharing my ‘In His Steps’ journey. It’s a difficult one. But my eyes are still fixed on the prize!

The Lord at work in me

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I am a Christian blogger. I write articles on the Christian view on different issues. Many have spoken well about my writing. But is that all about me-  a Christian blogger who writes good articles?

I am a mess. Totally. What you don’t know is that behind the scenes I struggle with the very things I write about. I struggle with wanting to be accepted by other people, bad attitudes towards people and emotional entanglements…

I am a snob. I judge by outward appearance. Sometimes I dislike just by the first impression. I have put up very high walls to keep off certain people from my life. I wouldn’t say I hate. But it could be something close to that.

I mess around with my friendships. I don’t forgive easily. I want those who wrong me to suffer just like they made me suffer. I think evil of them and curse them in my heart. I vow never to reach out to many of them. Sometimes I do this without an inch of guilt.

I’ve screwed up things in my interaction with those of the opposite sex. Severally my emotions have preceded my heart. Then things didn’t end up well. Then guilt ate me up. A very heavy cloud of guilt hang on me. You didn’t notice it because I managed to keep an appearance.

I’ve stooped so low in my struggle to belong and be accepted. Then I ended up feeling used, and like my worth wasn’t appreciated. I’ve allowed my friendships to define my life- what I wear, how I do things…etc. Then I’ve ended up feeling so cheap.

I am a young lady. I’ve had all those mixed emotions that ladies have. Sometimes I’ve wanted, so badly, to leave Kenya and go start another life away from the people I know. Many times I’ve not understood myself. I have cried out of nothing behind closed doors. I’ve had moments, so many of them.

I’ve struggled with being a perfectionist and being bossy. I’ve wanted people to think like me and act like I do. Then when things didn’t go how I had wanted them to I ended up frustrated. I’ve thought of myself as superior to other people and so I’ve acted boss on them. I suspect that I hurt many in the process, and may be left others with a bad taste in their mouths.

What’s my point? I am a mess. Something not worth a second glance. Wretched and doomed for destruction. Sinful in all my ways, from birth.

But there’s this treasure in the jar of clay that I am- Jesus. He’s my treasure. If there be anything beautiful or admirable in me, it’s nothing of me. It’s simply him.

He’s covered up and cleaned up my mess, so that even as I struggle it’s not written all over my face. At the cross he traded these ashes for beauty. He’s walked with me since receiving him in 2009. Though I be the mess that I am, there’s significant progress in me. For I was a worse mess.

Just to say it simply, the Lord is at work in my life. He’s the perfect model of love- he teaches me how to love. He’s my strength and joy- even in the most confusing moments I have found myself in him and rested in his assurance of salvation. Though I messed up in my friendships, he’s been teaching me how to forgive. I’ve also known, so deeply, that he’s cast my confessed past sins as far as the East is from the West.

Am a work in progress. Am not there yet, but am not where I used to be. Christ is at work in me, molding me day in day out to reflect his beauty and character. The good work he began in me, he’ll bring it to completion. And perfection.

When you see any good in me, it’s because the Lord is at work in me. When you any bad in me, pray and believe that the Lord who’s at work in me will change me. Because the Lord is at work in me!

Who is Jesus? A sponsor?

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This week the news that Jimmy Gait had released a new hit ‘Yesu ndiye sponsor’ were welcomed with an uproar especially by Kenyans On Twitter (KOT). I took time to go through the comments that were a mixture of sarcasm and humour from both believers and unbelievers. There seemed to be a consensus- Jimmy Gait is losing it.

The accusations were that Jimmy was taking the gospel thing too far with his trendy hits. Some people suggested that soon we’d hear him produce a song called ‘Shetani ndiye fisi’ and probably a song talking about brexit.

At a personal level, I did what was natural for any person to do- I laughed at the absurdity of Jimmy and the hilarious comments by KOT! But then later on as I thought through the issue I was saddened. Saddened by the fact that even non-believers seemed to be shouting at the believers, “Guys, there’s too much mess in your houses. Clean it up.” I was sad too that such a distorted view about Jesus was being sent out to people, which is totally misleading. But why is it so?

Let’s first see who’s a sponsor, in case you didn’t know. Sponsors are mostly old men and women who finance young ladies and young men for sexual favours in return. This term has gained popularity in the recent past, as one of the new trends of immorality especially in Kenyan universities.

Let’s face some facts here… Why would a young person need a sponsor? It’s almost obvious that it’s for them to get someone to finance the life they want to live, which they would otherwise not afford since it’s beyond their ability. On the flip side, why would an old wealthy man or woman, who is most likely married, seek sexual satisfaction from a young person fit to be their son or daughter? I would answer that in one word- perversion. And so why does the ‘sponsorship’ business exist? It’s definitely because of greed and perversion.

Having said that, let’s look at the issue at hand. Jimmy says ‘Yesu ndiye sponsor’ in his new hit. From the understanding of who’s a sponsor, judge for yourself whether that’s an appropriate title for our saviour Jesus. And who’s Jesus, anyway?

Scripture gives us a very comprehensive knowledge of Him, and as sure as you can be ‘sponsor’ is not one of his qualities. Neither is there a quality of Jesus close to that. Let’s look at a few things that Scripture reveals about Jesus:

1. He is the King of Israel, King of Kings. On the cross where Jesus died, a charge read above his head as revealed in Mathew 27:37 “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Though this was mockery by the Roman soldiers, it was God’s divine order that the charge be hanged, since that’s who he is!

2. The ‘Great I Am’…
When Jesus walked on the water the disciples saw him and were terrified…. But Jesus said to them, “Take courage! It is I….” Greg Gilbert, in his book “Who is  Jesus?” explains this claim by Jesus. “The answer is that the sentence It is I, though it may be good English grammar, does not convey… exactly… what Jesus said. What he said, literally, was Take heart. I am!” That was the ancient and famous name of Israel’s Almighty God.
In some other portion of Scripture he states that God and him are one, and that whoever comes to the father must come through him. Philippians 2 says that he’s of the same nature with God. He’s therefore rightfully justified to claim to be ‘I Am’ like God did when talking to Moses.

3. The lamb of God, Sacrifice for man.
Because of him the penalty of death does not have to be paid by the sinner. He stood the place of the sinner by a beautiful arrangement expressing both God’s unbending justice and his mercy. Whoever hides in his blood (by accepting him) has passed from death to life. He is a complete expression of the father’s love!

4. He is the resurrected and reigning God.
He went through death and conquered it. The wounds on him stand as glorious proof of how death had taken him for a moment and how he conquered it. Therefore God enthroned him and invested in him with final and full authority to rule and to judge- and, wonderfully to save!

Jesus is so much more than our little heads can fathom. Scripture reveals knowledge about him that is sufficient for us. Sponsor is not anywhere in this. I’d therefore conclude that Jimmy Gait’s song blasphemous. It is contrary to Scripture. Jesus can never be a sponsor. Ever!

Perhaps Jimmy’s view of Jesus in this song was one who sorts him out financially, like sponsors do. But still, is that really the Jesus of the Bible? You see the impact of Prosperity gospel? It decreases Jesus to one who exists to bless US, to care for US, to protect US, to give US comfort….etc. In this case man becomes the focus and we call this a humanistic approach/view. That’s too blurred a vision about Jesus. It’s a distorted image that veils us from seeing and knowing the Jesus revealed by Scripture.

I challenge us to read Scripture as well as pray that the Holy Spirit reveals to us who Jesus is so that we don’t fall prey to believing the increasingly distorted image of Christ. Greg Gilbert has also belaboured in explaining who Jesus is as seen in Scripture in his book “Who is Jesus?” I recommend that you read this book. May the Lord help us!

Two months down: My experience in teaching practice and the lessons learnt

writing beliefsI have an attachment with the high school I went to. It’s so strong that I had wanted to go there for my teaching practice, so badly. Actually that was my first choice. That’s until Kenyatta University happened. For whatever reason they chose for me a school that had its name ending with Farm. Who does that? (I have always wanted to use that)

So I whined, complained and probably cried (I forget). The struggle to go to that school was so real especially on the morning I reported. I have always had trouble adapting to new people and places. This was no different. I kept to myself the whole day and only talked when asked a question.

It happened that during the day, that Thursday, I invigilated a form three exam. That was when God broke my pride. As I watched the students do the paper I think I felt what Jesus felt when he looked at the crowds who were like sheep without a shepherd. He was moved by compassion. That’s what I felt. Compassion. So I dropped my whining and attitudes towards the school and said, ‘Here I am Lord, use me!'(No I didn’t say it loud. It would have distracted those kids while doing an exam. I said it in my heart. Hehe..)

It’s now two months and it’s been great. Forget about the conferences I’ve attended and even the insights I post here on the blog. That’s the real testing ground of what you believe in. And here are a few things I’ve learnt:

  • It’s easier to speak about purity than to live it out. School is a greenhouse. All the crops inside a greenhouse are prevented from pests, bad weather and all. In school it’s easy to have fellowship with believers because they are just a call away. But outside here it’s dangerous. There are numerous opportunities for sinning. And who will know anyway? None of my friends has visited me (by the way am angry at all of them 😦 ) and so really how would they know if I gave in to the pressure to conform? A few times I’ve felt like a small helpless lamb surrounded by these salivating hyenas. People, team mafisi is real.
  • A healthy devotion life is cultivated, not earned. Now that am a christian I don’t have the default setting of doing my devotions with ease daily. There are days (and many of them for that matter) that the last thing you want to do is devotions. All you want to do after a busy school schedule is sleep. You are so fatigued (from marking compositions written English like Kikuyu. Pun intended) and the morning is so precious, you want to redeem every spare minute for sleeping (my friends can tell you more about morning sleep and I). In these circumstances the temptation to skip devotions or to just read a chapter to fulfill acts of righteousness is very real. And so what to do? Consciously and deliberately beat my body! Other times I’m overcome and I give in. Forgive me Lord!
  • Relationships don’t thrive by chance. You work on them. I love my friends and I consider myself loyal to them (I hope they do too). It’s easier to ditch them and pick them up in September when I go back to school than it is to keep them. As I mentioned, none of them has come visiting (why do I feel like complaining!). I decided to work on the friendships after realizing  I could go back to looking for new friends on September. Distance should not be a hindrance for not keeping in touch. So call them at random so we can catch up, visit those I can and pray for them too.
  • There is only a handful of believers outside there. It’s easy to assume everyone is a Christian since my immediate circles are made up of Christians. But then it hit me that everybody doesn’t believe in the things I believe in and some don’t even care about becoming Christians. Some of these are my workmates and some are older than me and don’t think I have anything to offer since I’ve not started living. (Someone told me you begin to live when you marry. Before that you are just existing) I therefore have a role to live out authentic Christianity practiced with a lot of grace and patience.
  • The place of honoring God is paramount in any Christian’s life. This I have to bare in mind as I teach and interact with students and all other people I meet. I will therefore be careful in what I say and how I do things, that I may honor God in all both now and in the future.

I have one more month to go. The experience so far is not regrettable. My prayer stands ‘Be it unto me according to God’s will’.

Who is to blame?

BlameOn Saturday I happened to have been in a matatu from Thika. I had sat in the front seat, next to the driver. At some point the driver told me I looked familiar. I acted snobbish saying in my mind, “That’s an old pick up line. Who does that?” He probably noted that I was cold him and didn’t continue with the discussion. He didn’t have any ill intentions, as I would later discover.

Something interesting but usual happened on the way. When we were almost getting to the place the traffic police park during patrols, he took out a hundred shilling note, folded it very nicely and put it at the handle of the driver’s door. I have always been agitated by this behavior that has become common in Kenya. The police officer came and pretended to check the insurance stickers, then came to speak to the driver and eventually took the folded note.

At that point I thought of engaging the driver on the issue. (I was familiar to him after all 😛 ) Why would he willingly give the police officer money yet he had not even done enough inspection of the matatu, and so no mistake had been found? He told me that matatus will never be found without having broken any rules. There will always be a scratched mirror, non-renewed insurance covers or any other kind of mistake. I further asked him why he didn’t wait to bribe the police after he had inspected the car, and only did before hand, without any negotiations taking place. He told me how the police were unfair. They take advantage of every situation and in such a situation they would overcharge you.

I stopped the conversation with the driver at that. But I carried on with it in my mind.(Am afraid I think too much sometimes). Do you see the kind of game played here? The matatu guys are willing to part with a hundred shillings at every place they find the traffic police, so that they will be allowed to get away with their irresponsibility in servicing and doing vehicle maintenance. Sort of saying, “My matatu’s screen is broken, I have no speed governor and haven’t renewed my insurance. I know the passengers are at stake but it’s okay. You can have this one hundred shillings to allow me to move on with my journey.”

For the officer who accepts the bribe it’s sort of saying, “It’s okay. You don’t have to keep spending a lot in servicing and doing vehicle maintenance. You can just give me a hundred shillings and it will be okay. Never mind about the passengers.” So the passengers are traded for one hundred shillings. Imagine! One hundred shillings for fourteen or more passengers!

And so really, who is to blame? The drivers blame the officers for being gluttons and taking advantage of them. If I had talked to an officer he would have probably blamed  the matatu guys for having too many mistakes and not observing traffic rules. The authorities would probably blame their officers for not adhering to the state rules and the code of conduct. The passengers would blame the drivers as well as the officers for putting their lives at stake. At the end of the day, we’d all blame each other.

I think we are all to blame. The passenger who witnesses bribing, the driver who never takes his car for maintenance and has to keep bribing his way out, the officer who selfishly asks and accepts a hundred shillings, putting passengers at stake and the authorities who are lax in following up with people who defy the rules.

That leaves me with an unanswered question. What am I to do? Start telling the driver about Hesabika- stand up and be counted? Read the officer’s number and report it to wherever? Rally the passengers in the vehicle to resist the behavior? May be these are all viable solutions. Bottom line, it sucks to see this happen right on your nose.

And as a friend would say, how do these officers feel while using money gotten from ‘selling’ passengers? I don’t think there is a blessing in doing this. To us all, let’s stand up and be counted. We could talk to these drivers and tell them that if they were responsible in doing what is required of them, there would be less trouble. These small ways can be of impact in big ways.

Boundaries

boundariesWe talk about boundaries so many times. How ladies should be treated and how not to treat them, and how to relate with men. But I fear we’ve probably stretched the boundary lines a little bit further.

Am a young person. I love having fun. I have so many friends, male included. I love hanging out with them. But how should my interactions go like? Is it okay if we walk holding hands? And how about the hugs? How long should they be? How tight should they be? And what if I was in a bus and there was no seat for me, then a guy offered his lap, that I sit on it? Should I gladly accept the offer?

Well, I recently had an experience. At the end of it I was very convinced that I have a problem. There is something wrong with me and I should try and loosen up. May be things are not as serious as I take them. And how come I appeared to be the only one disturbed? Perhaps I need to accept that that’s how people nowadays are behaving…

I know you are dying to know what it is that am talking about. Okay. I’ll tell you. We were a group of young people. Christians for that matter. There were no enough seats. So some people were supposed to stand in the bus. But then standing wasn’t as fun. So an idea went round- either verbally or through observation. Gentlemen would have the seats and ladies would sit on their laps. (In the spirit of being a gentleman?)

I got very disturbed. I felt like people were reading it in my mind, that I was in disapproval of the sitting arrangement. I didn’t know what to do. Do you have moments when you do not approve something but then you can’t say, because you probably don’t want to appear preachy? You go to open your mouth and you think, “Why am I too concerned?” So I kept quiet. But then I engaged the issue in my mind. Just to make sure I wasn’t being primitive.

I don’t think I’ve come up with a standard way of how people of the opposite sex should interact. You know a manual that reads “How to maintain boundaries with the opposite sex. A manual for young people.” Then probably have it written my name at the bottom. Then go hawking it in buses that do rounds from town to Ruiru, telling them a nice moving story about myself. Adding that selling the manual is not only going to help the young people but also help raise my school fees would be an added advantage. See what I did there?  😉

So, there’s no SI unit that I’ve developed. I believe I have not gotten it yet. There are days I have felt so guilty after say taking a photo with my arms round a guy and there I have known I stretched boundaries further than they should have. You ask what’s wrong with that? Eer… I don’t know. May be holy distance and all?

One thing I know- Paul told Timothy to treat older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters with absolute purity. Don’t I like the absolute purity part! Coz that means not just physically, but emotionally and mentally. And so really, this wasn’t a long post with 10 ways of treating brothers/sisters. Lol. It was a simple challenge to us to may be check out our interactions and see whether they glorify God, and see whether we were doing things that are only a reserve for our husbands/wives in the future, and may be sinning in the process.

So, would I sit on a guy’s lap if there was no seat? No. I’d rather travel while standing. Would I walk holding hands with a male friend? No. But I just might try that when I get a boyfriend. *hides* How about hugs? This one requires a full blog post. You may want to read this When hugging becomes sinful.

Was I justified to think that the behavior at the bus was wrong? Yes. I feel convinced. I do not trust myself enough to go seated on a guy’s lap for even 10 minutes and not sin in my mind. And what about the guy? Because it’s not all about myself. It’s about helping each other land to heaven safely, with no minor/major injuries from sin.

The reason I have all this reservations is not because I am one of the tukutedereza mamas who had a set of guidelines about everything. Including how to eat. Lol. (No, am joking.)  It’s because I think it will help me walk in absolute purity, as well as those am interacting with. Therefore I never want to stretch my boundaries. They just might stretch further than I had intended.

Beyond the Hesabika conference…

HesabikaIt’s almost two weeks after Hesabika conference and still I’ve not gotten over it. Perhaps because I actually hope not to get over it. That’s why this article has been in my mind since last weekend. And though I have not been able to write it down (blame it on the busy schedules of a high school teacher. Lol. Plus poor internet on that other side. By the way I live in a shopping center called Kayole in the locality of Kambiti. We leave the network some meters after Makuyu. Story for another day.)

So where were we? Hesabika! The Lord saw it right that this thing comes just before I go for my teaching practice. He knew the kind of environment I was going to and the intensity of the temptation to be lazy and to not care too much about my work. That’s how my first week was.

There is a general laxity and a ‘not taking things too seriously’ attitude in my place of work. It’s only natural to blend in and flow with this course. But not after Hesabika! I just didn’t see how God having given me an opportunity to reach out to the students academically and influence other spheres of their lives I would squander it out of my own selfishness. It doesn’t make sense. And that’s what Hesabika taught me.

Perhaps for the first time in my life I consciously committed myself to a life of integrity. It was a dangerous thing to do. Because opportunities to contradict your commitment will generously parade themselves and lure you into going against the commitment. And that’s why the whole idea of accountability partners signing my commitment form was important. Because they can ask me whether am still standing up to be counted.

I will stand for this wonderful course. I will strive on. In small and big ways I’ll stand up to be counted. As I teach for the next two or so months, I desire to be counted. To treat those kids (and some few adults) like they are God’s people, and not nuisances who’ve come to disrupt my life. They have eternal value! I’ll go an extra mile, as the Lord enables. What has been deposited in my heart I’ll not hesitate to give to them. And even if one, just one soul is changed for life, I will give thanks to God.

I know there are days I’ll not feel like teaching. Probably some days are be angry with the students and I’ll not feel like I want to see them. May be sometimes the only motivation for waking up will be the small stipend  we are given for early morning remedial classes.May be some other times the students’ grades will make me feel like not attending class. But I pray that the conviction of practicing integrity shall remain constant. So that even when I don’t want to teach I’ll be my body so hard, and I’ll stop focusing on the earthly reward of my diligence, and begin seeing the heavenly reward. Because at the end of the day, the goal is to please God.

And so this is a clarion call for us. That we’d all choose the path of integrity. To glorify our maker and also to make the world a better place. Let’s be the salt we’ve been commanded to be. Beyond the Hesabika conference, Hesabika still lives on. It’s not a movement to recruit people and pat ourselves on our backs for the large numbers. It’s a movement of serious Christians living out a serious call.

I admit it feels good to be part of Hesabika. Especially with all the publicity it’s getting and all. Do I mention that because of Hesabika I was on TV? (Let’s observe some silence as I have a moment 😛 ) Yes it’s good to feel this. But it’s far much more than this. It could mean a death sentence for some, a not so stable financial life for others or even loss of job for some. Therefore this is not for the frail in heart. It’s for people who will courageously stand up to be counted.

At this point I feel like ending this article in the same way the movie Courageous ends. 🙂 Who will say no to wrong vices like corruption Kenya? I will! Who will save the crumbling education system in the country? I will! Who will train the young people of Kenya to walk in the right path? I will. Where duty calls I’ll be all the more ready to serve! I will. I will. I will.

 

 

Hesabika

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HesabikaThe concept behind Hesabika is quite great. We’ve all probably gotten concerned about the many sequential issues we’ve gone through as a country. The arguments between the government and the opposition suck. Sometimes you are left wondering who to believe. Jubilee or CORD? Let’s not even mention the NYS scandal. I remember how at first I had believed Waiguru’s claim to be innocent. Right now I don’t even know what to believe.

I don’t remember any day I logged into Twitter in the recent past and found the country at peace and without an issue of concern being discussed. (Students read their news from Twitter now that TVs are a bit rare 🙂 ) And all these issues are disheartening. At some point you feel like all hope is gone. I love my country Kenya so much. But there are days I’ve felt like I’d pack and leave, probably to Tanzania where President Magufuli is working out miracles through his government. I mean, the mess is too much!

In schools we’ve had a replica of what is happening in the nation. I think I stopped getting angry at people cheating in exams. I got used to it. There’s hardly an exam done in integrity, even if they deploy ten invigilators in one exam room. And what have I done as an individual? I have cowardly avoided sitting next to the people that I know they cheat.I sit in front during exam times. But now I feel this is not good enough.

A pastor friend of mine, Pst Nicholas Kachu from Deliverance Church Thika, once told us how they’d do it in JKUAT during his times. The Christians would evenly distribute themselves in the exam room and they would report any cheating happening around them. Perhaps we need to borrow a leaf from them?

Campus politics are another disturbing cancer within our skins. The tribalism and corruption that happens around only leaves you sick and tired. For some time I toyed with the idea of vying for the Campus chair seat in my campus. I know this is hard to believe especially to my friends but am serious. I think my reasoning was informed by how sick and tired I was. So I thought, what if we mobilized and equipped several Christian students to vie in certain positions of inluence, then mobilized all the Christian students to vote for them? We would probably achieve in transforming politics in campus significantly. But what happened to my idea? I worried about where I’d get money to fund the whole process, and I also wondered whether the Christian students would want to vote me in. Because that’s how we Christians are undivided.

Therefore Hesabika for me is right on time. There’s too much I have been concerned about and would like to see change. I’d even be willing to play a part in bringing the change. I know many people are. Well, that’s except for those who only complain about corruption because they are not benefiting from it.

Hesabika is a christian initiative. I strongly believe that Christians are in the best position to influence things. Like Justice Richard Mwongo said during this week’s Monday special interview on Citizen TV, it’s only the believe in God, who is the author of morality, which can sufficiently inform our conviction against these widespread vices. And because as Christians we have a greater call, the call to holiness, we understand that we should be holy in all our dealings.

Hesabika is a gathering of like minded people who are tired of being concerned, and now want to translate concern into action. Now that this is the situation (a mess), what can we do about it? Do we sit, fold our hands and watch things move from bad to worse? Not at all! We are called to be the salt of the earth. We shouldn’t lose our taste.

I look forward to Hesabika being an unstoppable movement. I pray that ultimately, we will achieve the society transformation we have so longed for. I desire that through initiatives such as these, the hearts of men will be stirred up and a revival would begin.

The Hesabika conference is happening this weekend, 30th April- 2nd May at Kenyatta University Main Campus Amphitheater. The charges are Ksh.5000 for all the professionals and associates. There is a fee for the students. You can place an inquiry if interested.

We surely can do something. Both individually and collectively. And because we’d achieve more if we do it as many people, then let’s gather and do this together.Let’s meet here as we seek to Translate concern into action and as we stand out to be counted. Hesabika!

 

The Siaya Mission: Salvation belongs to our God

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WairimuSo Jesus, when leaving the earth, told his disciples to go make disciples of all nations…(Mathew 28:19-20) But why would he do so? I mean, why tell us to do something that he can single-handedly do?

While we seek to answer this question, I’ll share my experience in our Christian Union’s annual mission in Siaya. You’d probably agree with me that traveling is fun. It’s one of the things that I’d do any time. In fact am too flexible in traveling, that sometimes it’s a struggle because I can forego other important things just to go to some new fascinating place in the company of awesome people. The trip to Siaya was one of those.

I’ll admit, the over-riding interest of going to Siaya was probably because it’s a long journey to a place I haven’t been, and not really for the reason of making disciples… Well, it was still at the back of my mind, but not really the core thing. I possibly couldn’t get more selfish!

But we went. Upon arrival I realized just how much I needed to adjust myself. It dawned so heavily on me, how the task at hand was weighty. And so I refocused. That was the beginning of my understanding or rather my perception of the great commission. Forget about the sermons and trainings on missions I have sat down to listen to. This was probably what I needed.

Salvation belongs to God. I cannot overemphasize this. I mean, it does belong to him. It’s easy to think or assume that you have a share in the role of reconciling the world back to God especially because you go, talk to people and probably lead them to Christ. But then I realized just how my understanding of the mystery of salvation was poor, that I couldn’t even be in the capacity to talk to someone about salvation and convince them to accept so. Not only so, changing the heart of a man is a hard task to do. It can only be the work of God and him alone. The few of us who went for the mission were only vessels. God is not limited, he’s is able to save the very same people he saved without necessarily using us.

This was enough reason to humble me. All along I’d meditate on the hymn ‘I know whom I’ve believed’. This verse was very profound:

I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing men of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.

Perhaps prayer is the thing that is done most by people in the mission field. Indeed, prayer is important.The Lord is Sovereign. I learnt something. I wasn’t praying so that I bribe God or twist his arm into doing something. My reason for prayer was that perhaps I needed God more than anything else. I needed to walk in His plan. Like it would be futile to just go share about his love while my heart is far from God. I needed to commune with him. I am in need of salvation just like the souls that are not yet born again. For I am prone to wander. So praying was a way of showing my dependence on God, and not necessarily to decree and declare things. Because the Lord is sovereign, he knows what I’ll say even before I open my mouth to pray and his will prevails in all circumstances.

It is possible to be disqualified from the race even after doing all the preaching and mission work. And so I took time to intercede for my own soul as well. So that after I have preached to others, and gone for all the mission work there is to do, I’ll not be disqualified from the race.

As I thought through the question of why God would invite us to go make disciples of all nations, I could only come up with one conclusion: It is a privilege. I mean, how else would you answer it? He has chosen to overlook our sinfulness, our weaknesses and our blurred understanding of salvation, and invited us to be coworkers with him. This thought blew my mind off! Imagine he even overlooked the fact that my interest for going to Siaya had been in the journey and not really the work at hand at the beginning… And so I chose to only depend on him even as we carried on with the mission, and to do all for his glory.

In Revelation John  saw a multitude of people from every nation, tribe and people…(Revelation 7:9-10)  Seeing people come to Christ constantly reminded me of this verse. Indeed, we shall gather in His presence as people from every tribe, nation and tongue on that day, proclaiming that salvation belongs to God!