Archive for April, 2006

Highlights from Day 2 of Prophetic Prayer Summit @ KICC, Nairobi


Sorry guys for delaying this; time hasn’t been on my side. I didn’t attend today’s meeting, but I gather some government officials were expected to represent the country’s leadership at some of today’s sessions. It ends on Sunday, – if any of the people attending the remainder of the proceedings sends me anything, you can be sure you’ll have it here in real time. Now, here is what I got from yesterday’s sessions (PLEASE EXCUSE MY TYPOS AND BAD GRAMMAR), following the first highlights I posted here on Wednesday.

Worship session – Morning
– Luke 13:34-35: Watch out that the Lord might not weep over you; let Him rejoice over your life with singing.
– He’s going to turn around the captivity of His people. Though your beginning days are small, your coming days will be exceedingly great. We bind the strongman, principality and territorial spirit over this city and nation. We nullify every oath and covenant that has been made over this nation that is not of God. We declare a shift in the spiritual world in favour of God and His purposes over our nation in the name of Jesus.
– We stand here in your name and authority, Lord Jesus, asking that you release us into your purposes and designs for us in this land. It’s time to move from rituals into His manifestation; from tradition into His presence.

Session One – Pr. Eava Keith (from USA)
– You are not a concubine; a harlot to be bought off by some people. You are a bride purchased by the blood of the Lord. He suffered so that He might birth the seed He has put in you. You must accept Him and choose to be His bride. You must turn away from false gods. You must choose God; you have no option in this matter. It’s either Him or you cease to be His bride.
– Zecharias 3 : You are high priests for the bride; Satan the Lord rebukes you for luring many away from the groom. You (believers) have the authority to stand as the Lord did; He rebukes Satan on your behalf.
– Genesis 4: He desires to bless you; subdue the earth and have dominion, power and authority over it. We repent, we choose Lord to folow you; to obey you, to stand with you.
– Kenya needs Jesus. The people who do not know the Lord know that His condemnation stands over and above them. They have become cynical and lost faith in God. They need to know that God loves them; it’s the enemy of their souls that hates them. God is restoring what they need to have in Him both in the physical and spiritual realm. He’ll bless Africa through Kenya.
– Isaiah 46 – Your country is struggling with the god of secret societies, the one world god that comes against God’s plans for you and your nation. Freemasonry, for instance, has a stronghold in your nation. Freemasonry and such other secret societies seek to build for themselves altars in your country’s life. They seek to extract the very best from you. False gods and the Anti-Christ come against God and His purposes in this world. God is saying that He is revealing this to you so that you realize that you are precious to Him; He’s grieving over your lostfulness over what I have just described. I come not to assign blame; I have come to ask you to repent so as to break the spiritual curses over your nation.
– Genesis 10 – The spirit of the Anti-Christ has has, since the beginning of time, come against Christ and built empires for itself; don’t allow it to prosper in Kenya. It has separated the bride (Kenyan Church) from the bridegroom (God).
– Drought and famine doesn’t come against the people; they both come against the demonic principalities that have been allowed to reign in the country via the hearts of some of your people who are in agreement with the Anti-Christ. Some of the people who have done this are in the Church. You must repent! That’s the only way you’ll save yourselves, your nation and the rest of Africa in these last days.

Session Two – Dr. Billy Lubansa (Zambia)
– What happens in Kenya will affect the rest of Africa. I’m suprised that some of your pastors and bishops are not here to hear this.
– Kenya shall be saved! Kenyans, you are being re-positioned for your destiny. You were not made by accident; you are here by God’s plan. You are not a biological accident. Oh, beautiful land of Kenya! Take your position and posession! We pray and fast to go to America; some of us who are already out there are currently praying to return to Africa. Know your position and destiny in Christ; don’t lose that by being ensnared by what the West has to offer you in the way of a livelihood. Go to the West and do what God has sent you to do there; but know your position and guard it, you’ll see the Lord coming through for you.
– Isaiah 46:10 – God declares the end before the beginning. There’s much to slow and stop you along the way but the Lord alredy has your destiny in sight. Failure is not final, it’s a way to learn.
– Deutronomy 29:29: Your destiny is clear from the Lord. Don’t be fooled by false prophets who are only interested in your money. They are running after the money of the well-off while disregarding the plight of the poor.
– The latter rains are coming over you; there shall be an explosion of God’s mighty woks over you and your land. The noise of that shall be so much; Africa shall have to stand still and hear the noise of Kenya!
– Ignorance, fear, human traditions, wickedness, etc dis-position you. The Church has eyes but it’s not seeing and ears but it’s not listening; they are not using either of the two in these last days. God wants them to see what He wants them to see, not what they ant to see. God also wants them to hear what He wants them to hear; not what they want to hear. May God open your eyes and ears.
– Did you know that 3/4 of the Church is in a back-slidden state? Sometimes we backslide because we don’t know the meaning of life. Who are you? What are you? Why are you? Unless you answer these questions, you’ll be doing things without destiny. Elijah ate because the journey before him was long. Why do you eat? Why do you marry? Why do you sleep? Why do you preach? Etc. Everything you do must be adding value to getting you to your destiny.
– Sometimes we are displaced because we don’t understand the value of and in our lives. It’s high time you understood that you are not a substitute; there is no one else like you on his planet. The value one has for something will determine how much he / she will offer for it. The Lord paid for you with His own blood; that’s how much He valued you.
– Jeremiah 29:11 – He knows beggining and end and the plans He has for you. The value God has placed on you can never be changed, – not by anyone or any circumstance, past, present or future.
– God does not need to save by many or few; He’ll work with those who are out there for Him. Nations will begin to flock to Kenya for blessings; we need to prepare for that (a program was then announced to raise 1 million intercessors for Kenya, to pray for one hour each week for Kenya and Africa between 4:00-5:00 a.m).

Session 3: Pr. Emmanuel Kure
– Isaiah 64:1-4 – When God begins to move everyone knows it; His move will either build or destroy you depending on where you are in relation to Him.
– The gates are open for Kenya to be the lighthouse for Africa and the world.
– Why was the concept of the Church introduced by God in the Old Testament through to the New Testament? Why did Jesus say the Holy Spirit would be sent to us? Why are you alive today? Why are you filled with the Holy Spirit?
– God is still alive through the Church; making Himself a manifold witness in the world’s darkness. Don’t worry about any demon harassing you; the time for its defeat has come.
– You have not sought God in His Scriptures; you’ve always waited for others to interpret it for you, that’s why you have been defeated. Not every wind of doctrine should move you. Be aware of your hour of visitation because the rest of the world is waiting to celebrate Africa at its hour of shining. It must start now.
– Ezekiel 36:1-5 You are the mystery of God on earth. You people fear herbalists, wizards and witchdoctors yet God has ordained you to step over them by the power of His might and Spirit. When the genuine comes, the imperfect must leave; it’s time for true worshippers to arise. Only then wil the destiny of your nation change. The wicked should not overwhelm the righteous and portary themselves as angels of light. The righteous should take their rightful place. We are priests and oracles of God. Christ is in you, the hope of glory. The most important thing for you at this hour should be your salvation and that of your nation.
– He has no created you to move with the crowds that make you feel good and all that; He has created you to fulfill a destiny for Him and His Kingdom. Church ministers should not let the glamour of their ministries to blind them from the immense work that still remains undone.
– You’ll not die untill you fulfill the mystery of your existence. Your destiny is too important for Him because it will change the face of the nations; woe unto you if you don’t fulfill that or consider it meaningless. When Christians begin begging to be respected, they are finished. My friends, beyond this age there is an eternity; how prepared are you for it? Your business on earth is to prophesy to your life and situations and change them by the power of God. You are supposed to be God’s agent of change. It’s time you took control over the state of affairs in your country through righteous influence. Change your environment both in the physical and spiritual, failure to which you will not be a good representative of your God. It will take you to correct the wrongs in your society.
– Untill the Church in Kenya recognizes and accepts prophecy, it will not move forward. The late General Abacha, even in his wickedness, recognized tgat God had prphesied against him and his wickedness. when the government recognizes that you control the territory, it will bow down at God’s feet. Till you learn to prophesy, Babylon will not fall. Don’t speak your imagination, speak God’s word. The world has been interceeding that you get to know this and manifest God’s glory on the earth.
– Romans 8:19-20 is a calling you have refused to fulfill.
– Warning to Kenyan bishops – Don’t copy our (Nigerian) bad ways. The day God refuses to protect you, resign from His work. Don’t set a bad example for your congragations by lining yourselves with bodyguards when they (the congragations) are suffering at the hands of villains. I have previouslu witnessed God saving me from 21 religious extremists armed with sub-mchine guns; God always kept me a step ahead of their schemes. If God cannot protect you, how will humans protect you? Psalms 127. If you are a pumbavu pastor, go ask for more bodyguards from your government (audience burst out laughing at this point, including yours truly :-)). It’s not the government’s securiy that secures your life; it’s God’s annointing that breaks the yoke.
– The Church is to blame for Kenya’s problems. The day it shall arise in its power power, glory and righteousness, things will change in this nation. Vacancies will be created in your public and private sectors because of you if you change your spiritual garments and attitude towards God in all sincerity. It’s high time Kenya and Africa ceased to be beggars and became donors, producers and not merely consumers who are slaves to the international commercial order. Africa has become a dumping ground for everything. I declare a new dispensation for that to begin changing. And it will change with you. We are beginning this campaign in the South because it is there that the (Dutch) Church was used to oppress the people. There are many unhealed wounds there, causing much much pain and oppression. That needs to change starting this October. We’ll then move to other parts of Africa.
– Kenya is suffering because the glorious Church is silent and compromised. Its leaders are also fighting over heir small empires and fiefdoms. Do you know that there is a serious battle against graft in Nigeria? The Church there asked the Lord to begin vommiting the corrupt from Nigeria’s earth. The government began acting because if it didn’t, it was also going to be vommited out of power and the country’s land.
– Acts 2 – God will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh and they will prophesy. If you get this understanding, Kenya’s deliverance will be set. Refuse to die till you accomplish the reason for which He created you. Isaiah 38 – Don’t let Jesus retire you before you are done.

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April 28, 2006 at 4:08 pm 4 comments

Highlights from Day 1 of Prophetic Prayer Summit @ KICC, Nairobi


Sorry guys, I’m tired…so this will most likely have typos here and there. Pia, leo sina photos zozote as my camera is off-duty kidogo 🙂 But this report is generally in my tradition of getting you stuff about and from the Kenyan Christian community as and when I get it. Read on….

Speaker: Pastor Emmanuel Nuhu Kure (from Nigeria)

Preliminaries
a). Pastor Othniel Mwabili

– Kenya is a lighthouse for Africa; it’s called to send missionaries to the rest of Africa and evangelize it. Other African nationa have been finding their destinies through Kenya. This is precisely a sign for Christians regarding what God wants to do both in the physical and the spiritual. Irresponsibility in not fulfilling what He has revealed to us is going to be an insult to Him.
– You need to fight a good fight for your country by what God has revealed to you via the words you speak and what you pray regarding your nation.
– The 8-4-4 generation has been derided previously, but the seasons are shifting and God is doing something new with the so-called “zero-generation” (8-4-4) in this land. The physical and spiritual shaking that has been witnessed in the country has come so that believers may be enthroned. Those who have been saying that there is no God should look up. What He is going to do in this land is immense, no one will even dare accredit it to NARC; His finger will have done it. He is going to rebuke those who have gloried in selling their country to false gods.
– “Kenya” means bright. God is taking us to our rightiful place. You don’t have to look blessed now to seem blessed, God will manifest Himself in your life as you respond to Him. You have to obey God’s word and apply it in your life. We know that Kenya is blessed; now the fullness of time has come. A major overflow is coming; thank God that you are living in these days. He’s raising a generation that will go to the four ends of the earth proclaiming His Lordship and goodness as He shakes its foundations. It’s not about our capacity or numbers, it’s about Him being with us. If you obey Him, He’ll answer you. Because you have chosen to listen to Him as a nation, He’ll impregnate you with a vision for yourself and the nations. Take care of yourselfm therefore, so as not to mess with what He is birthing in you; it’s about Him, not you. It will bless you and the children of other nations. Take care of the seed He is planting in you. Psalms 68 is coming true for you and Africa. God has re-membered you. You are a child of remembrance; a child of preservation.

b). Pastor Wilson Mamboleo
– God will not let the prayers of His people go to waste. The tears of the saints of God since the inception of the country till now are before Him. All past Kenyan presidents, the present and future ones will have to recognize that pool of tears and turn their nations to God and Godliness or else their leaderships will be in trouble. Kibaki just realized that. Youngmen younger than myself are going to lead this country into better days. Nineteen years ago we gathered here for prayers for this nation. It has taken us this long to gather here again.

Main session with Pr. Emmanuel
– My Father, My Father, whatever in Kenya that is not built on Christ – your solid rock – bring it down. Arise and bring such things down. On the day you died for the nations, your blood was spilt for Kenya too. Let each tribe and community in this nation commit itself to your saving knowledge. Bring down their altars that oppose you and your message of salvation and peace.
– Kenya is going to recover the years it has lost; the day of its glory has come. Its glory among the nations has come. The Lord will instruct the nations through those who believe in Him. Luke 21: God is shaking nations; every shakeable thing is being shaken. My own country Nigeria is trembling, South Africa is trembling, your own Kenya is trembling….this is because we are in moments of travail; the birth pangs are on, leading us to the end of the age.
– We have been born for these times; there’s a trumpet sound that is ushering you into your mission. I’m a child plucked out of fire for this generation. Every fire you have been through has been to prepare you for your championship / dominion.
– I’m seeing a change of leadership in this country, there’s a new generation coming. You are going through a physical and spiritual transition. You are in the travails and birth-pangs that will give birth to the new generation. Africa is in the place of travail right now. I don’t know the outcome of this meeting, but it will be abrupt afterwards. The hour of Kenya has come. The travails of those who have preceeded us are almost over.
– Luke 21:22 – The day of the Lord is nigh, don’t be amazed by the calamities and catastrophies that are befalling the earth in our days. The day of your glorification and wiping away of your tears has come. Prepare your heart as His throne; His day is at hand. The day of the bride is here. The earlier leaders of nations realize that the better it will be for them and their citizens. The Church has become so accomodating of the world that it has lost its flavour. It has caroused with the world for so long; those who have kept themselves pure must now arise.
– I release you from the bondages over you and your nation, – witchcraft, freemasonry, satanism, …..etc.
– A few years ago, God gave me a very harsh message for Nigeria. Its political and religious leaders ran away from me; they wanted nothing to do with me. But now they are rushing back, wanting to hear what God is saying. Exodus 4:23-24 – God has declared battle against your physical and spiritual enemies both as individuals and as a nation. Why do you think people from all nations rush to your country every now and then? Do you think it is because of your wildlife? If so, think again. They rush here – and some might not know it – because the seed of the gospel was planted here and found a foundation like it has had in no other African country. Kenya is favoured by God. People, you have had His favour from the beginning. There’s no demon or human being that can destroy Kenya’s destiny before God. Don’t you be overwhelmed by your current pains as a nation and Church.
– Why has God delayed your entry into His glory? Kenya is a pillar – a city of refuge – one of the few through which God will have mercy on Africa. Kenya is among the few landmarks of Africa – don’t change that or God will fight you. If Kenya falls, Aftica will be wounded forever. I didn’t come here because of you, I came here because of me; if you fall, I’ll be affected. I have come to help you in your time of battle so that I’ll live. The heavenlies (Editor’s note: It means “spiritual world” – for those among you who are not born-again) are currently fighting over Kenya.
– I didn’t come here as a Nigerian who wants recognition; if others have come here for that, please forgive them. Please forgive Nigerians who have wounded your souls. There are 3 categories of people who will take Kenya out of its present morass:
i). Elders and princess: The Church in Kenya is divided into harlots (corrupt) and glorious (incorruptible). The ame divisions extend to the princes in your national, political leadership. God will separate the good from the evil in both your politics as well as the Church. He will side with the Godly. A line between the righteous and the unrighteous is being drawn right now. God is going to raise new Church leaders to replace those who have betrayed Him in this nation. God is going to answer your prayers. These are the days when God is going to choose His elect. Have you noticesd that leaders of nations, including your very own Kibaki, are losing control over situations in their countries? In these days, a good heart or intention on the part of a leader is not going to be enough. Nations must turn to God and pursue righteousness in all their dealings. Isaiah 45:22 – Go back to the God of the land, Jesus Christ; not your tribal deities. We have more of the latter in Nigeria, where we speak nearly 800 languages. That has meant that unless God annoints anyone to rule Nigeria, he or she cannot rule it succesfully. Kenya must return to God. He’s the owner of the land; you are strangers in this land. The government has to go back to the owner of the land and negotiate with Him. I pray that Kibaki will meet with the right prophets who will tell him the truth so that the Godly remnants in Kenya and the nation can be saved. Kenyans, you are a fulfilment of prophecy.
ii). Wailing women – Jeremiah 9 – When things have gone wrong in a country and its Christian leadership has been bought by government functionaries to preach and prophesy according to the government’s liking and the favours the former get from the latter, God turns to prayerful women in the land. There are bishops and pastors who are hirelings. They talk about prosperity; but it’s a condemnation of righteousness. Church ministers in our generation need to repent; their stomachs dictate their pace in the things of God. The late Abacha once sent me US$90,000 so that I could go and change God’s will in his favour. He knew in his heart that I had access to God. How many government ministers can Kibaki say have access to God? Who among them can he listen to? New ministers and MPs need to be rising now; they need to emerge now so as to be part of the change that must come upon your land. God used me to rebuke Abacha. I told him that unless he repented, he would die and that I would face the same consequence if I touched his money. I never took his money, try as he did to both send other emmissaries to me as well as some hit squads. He died. Everything I’m saying is on tape and verifiable, those among you in this audience who work for the government of Kenya can call Abuja and confirm this with anyone in government. The day the Lord ceases to defend me, I’ll die. People, governments don’t take us (clergymen) seriously because they know that we go for the highest bidder these days. Godly ministers and MPs must now emerge to fulfill God’s purposes in your country.
iii). Virgin daughters of Zion – Every righteous man or woman in your country is a virgin daughter of Zion. You are brides of God. Virgins for Jesus are going to be born (Ezekiel 10:2).
– There is much love for the self in the Church, no love for God. There’s much love for selfish interests. Few among your Church leaders have beeb willing to pay the price for Kenya’s revival and salvation. They want the prosperity gospel, miracles, healings, etc but no holiness. They work for God’s promises (blessings), but not love for Him. Allow God to change you so that you and your nation may be saved. Virgins, the beginning of the end has come. Make your lives His dwelling place.
– If there was anytime Kibaki and Kenya needed help, it’s now. This is because Kenya doesn’t know its real enemies. Some of Kibaki’s so-called “friends” are his worst enemies; some of the people he considers his “enemies” are the friends he needs. And that’s where the Church comes in. Kenya must decide its spiritual destiny now (Daniel 7:26-27). Dominion and rulership are both calling you forth, people of God, but judgement must first take place in your nation. The constants that made you irrelevant must be dealth with. Marketplace conditions and conspiracies that opposed you must fall down. Judgement is coming on government and non-government forces (including the Church) that have opposed and frustrated God’s purposes in your country’s life. Tommorrow (today :-)) we;ll enter into further prayer for this land and re-structure it in the Spirit. There are people who must be sacked by the President in the next one month. Kenya, get ready for a shaking. There are businesses that have snuffed life out of your country; God is going to snuff them out. Some of you are going to be the persons that will help spearhead the new changes in this country. This is all because God’s walk in Kenya has blessed many nations; it’s what we are fighting for. In your stability the rest of Africa will be stable; in your sickness Africa shall be sick.

Epilogue
PastorTanya Pugh (from Oklahoma City, USA)
-I Chron. 9:23-34: You must guard the glory that the Lord has placed over your lives and this nation. Your children have oversight over this nation from this generation onwards. You are in charge of your country’s intercession. You have been called to turn your faces towards God and join others in battle for the Lord against sin in your lives, country, Africa and the world. You won’t accomplish anything till you begin worshipping the Lord. There’s going to be much fruit in the land; He’ll give you rain for the new seed you are putting in the land both in the spirit and the natural. Pray that towers of sin in your land may fall. He’ll give you rain and heal you.

Dr. Billy Lubansa
-We (clergymen) worship ourselves too much. We worship ourselves more than and instesd of God. It’s easier these days to see God and the president of a nation than to see some clergymen. We worship our jobs, marriages, businesses, etc. Rains won’t come unless we bring down these towers. The rain of favour and healing is coming. We decree this land to be the Lord’s for the purposes of the establishment of His Holiness. To preach the gospek is not a right but a priveledge from the Lord; we should not abuse it. God is looking for someone He can work with and because of you, Kenya shall be saved and transformed; because you stood in the gap with the Lord.
– These are important days in our lives and God is getting ready to do some wonderful things in our lives; not the conventional. You cannot reign with God unless you are in fellowship with Him; there’s no dominion without communion.
– This is a year of full restoration, all you have lost is coming back to you because God has remembered you Nairobi, Kenya and Africa. He is going to re-member your family, business, etc. God’s word has power to do you well in every way; reach out and grab it now! This is not the season of manna. Reach out and grab the word; don’t you be complacent.
– To be re-membered by God is to be re-made (be put together). Everything yours that had been distorted will be re-membered. Jehovah has remembered Kenya, behold He is going to do a new thing in your country. We are coming out of the ordinary; we are going to birth a new Kenya. God is here, in this place; that makes this meeting succesful, not our numbers. You are not a biological mistake, you are in God’s divine plan for the destiny He has for you and your country. Previously mocked and rejected, Kenya’s womb is going to birth an extra-ordinary spiritual and natural re-positioning. God’s mercy is here but if you regard passing vanities as your posession and inheritance, you’ll perish. Don’t run away from God, you have a destiny. don’t run away from God into witchcraft, freemasonry, etc or else you’ll perish both as an individual and as a nation.
– Your sacrifice towards God must begin with the attitude of your heart. Kenya, you are coming out of your bondage! Out of the belly of your bondage! God has remembered you! Psalms 61 – God is going to answer your prayers in this Psalm. Father, we decree that you are God over Kenya. We command her out of satanism, idol worship, false religions, freemasonry, every form of demonic activity in the name of Jesus. Kenya, you are blessed in Jesus’ name!

*I’ll try and get you more info from the remaining days of the proceedings.

April 27, 2006 at 1:16 am 4 comments

Who Am I? Who Are You?


Who Am I?
Who Are You?

That question still rings in my head. My group therapy leader, a psychiatrist
and Christian, still seems unsatisfied with my answer. I have pondered,
wondered, ruminated, and mused over this question for the past two weeks.

I don’t really find it that difficult a question to answer. My problem comes
with why does my answer seem so incredible when I share it with him or others?

Jeremiah 5:1 quotes the prophet as saying: “Roam to and fro and through the
streets of Jerusalem and look now and take note. And seek in her open squares,
if you can find a man, if there is one who does justice, who seeks truth, and I
will pardon her.”

I dont by any stretch of the imagination think that I am that one man who does
justice and seeks truth. However, I do believe that in these days of
increasing apostasy, I am of a breed of men who are fewer and fewer in number.

There are about 500 million males of African descent. Of those who are still
married to their first wives, have higher education, are not living in poverty,
in nations at war, stricken with illness, in jail, on drugs, in adultery or
fornication, in healthy and holy heterosexual relationships, practicing their
profession in a way that seeks to honor God and help the poor, I do believe I
am one of those men of whom Jeremiah spoke.

I believe that if we are to carry on as a remnant of what remains of African
men, we must define who we are, and not allow the world to define us as it
presently does.

The images of black men around the world is thugs, pimps, gangsters, addicts,
indiscrete sexually, dishonorable to our wives, our daughters and our mothers,
unemployed, foul mouthed, unreliable as leaders and unrepentant as sinners.

The question I would put before each and every one of us as black men, those
who have the blood of Africa running through our veins is just who are you?
Can God find in you someone who will do justice and seek truth? Or are you
going to give in to the image that the world expects of us and to become part
of the continued decay and decadence of our cultural heritage and the loss of
our heavenly inheritance?

Who are you? Are you worthy of God roaming to and fro through the streets…
God is looking for a man who will do justice, seek truth so that He will pardon our
people. That is who I have asked my God to make me. That is who I am.

*Forwarded to me by a group of my friends in Chicago, Illinois. The photo is from my archives.

April 24, 2006 at 10:47 am 8 comments

Sojourn in Africa’s hot spots

By JOHN OLE KISIMIR

*The writer is one of my mentors in Kenyan and African journalism.

Since my graduation from the university, I’ve traveled to many parts of Africa – the many parts of Africa at war! I’ve ducked bullets. I’ve seen landmines and big guns. I’ve seen battle lines being drawn. I’ve seen children carrying guns that are heavier than them. I’ve shed tears at the immense suffering of African children and their mothers under the hands of ruthless fighting factions – be they governments or rebels.

I’ve met warlords in the dangerous streets of Somalia towns. And too met Pokot and Karamoja warriors in western Kenya. I’ve met well-trained fighting groups as well as encountering merciless rag tag fighters and child soldiers. I have seen things and gone to places that I would never like my mother to hear about.

Be they Kony’s child abductors in northern Uganda, Mai Mai militia in eastern Congo, or Pokot warriors in western Kenya, these groups have one thing in common. They Kill. To them, human life is the cheapest commodity in town. At the end of the day it does not matter how many mothers will mourn the death of their child. I’ve seen this happen over and over. In this situation you don’t even know how to console someone.

As a journalist and humanitarian aid worker in the war torn Horn of Africa, life is exiting and frightening. Many a times I return to a town and realize that my contacts on some street have disappeared – I mean, have been killed. It is depressing.

I was once caught up in a shoot out inside a cinema hall in the Somalia central city of Baidoa during the World Cup 2002. Thanks to the love of soccer. Again soccer took me to more trouble in another town when spectators who are mostly armed started shooting at each other with machine guns. I survived.

To some, especially journalists, curiosity and building a strong CV at the front lines is the big motivation for working in war-torn countries. Others would work in such circumstances to earn good money. But the majority of people that I have met work to alleviate the suffering of vulnerable people under immense stress.

In all my travels and encounter with violence nothing ever shook my life and broke my heart like experiences of the Rwanda genocide that occurred in 1994. The irony in almost everywhere in Africa where war is waged is that the land and people are so beautiful. Rwanda, also known as a country of a “thousand hills” beats many places in beauty both in landscape and even people.

If you are a conference tourist, Kigali City is a great place to be, especially the magnificent five-star Novotel. The streets are busy with people and traffic and business is booming. I thought everyone was just doing fine. No. I was wrong. I drove out of Kigali in search of what genocide really means. I drove past mass graves with hundred of small crosses on top of them. I read names on the plaques of some of them. I took pictures and even waved to cheerful children playing by the roadside. Crops of corn and bananas grow in the fields. Cows, goats, and chickens line the road.

Then I stopped at Ntarama, a small Catholic parish 40 km east of Kigali. Eerily, the pastoral hill country around Ntarama offers no evidence of war, disturbance, or any violence. Brick and tin-roofed buildings in the area look untouched by the three-month war that ended in July 1994.A sign on the road finally announces the church. In French, Kinyarwanda, and English, it reads, “Ntarama Church Genocide site +/- 5000 persons.” Another sign in Kinyarwanda explains that events here should not be forgotten.

Yes, it is now twelve years after the genocide, but the 50-by-20 feet church at Ntarama still stinks of decaying flesh. It is strewn with the bloodied clothing and the bones of the 5,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus who were slain here by government soldiers and Interhamwe militia. Ordinary civilians, many neighbors of Ntarama’s victims, also participated in the slaughter. I stood at the door and watched faded identity cards, a child’s plastic shoe and women’s handbags that litter the ground, all covered in years of red dust. On the altar there is nothing but, just one tiny baby’s skull.

“I survived this,” 46-year-old Pacifique Rutaganda, the site caretaker, told me. He has lost 12 relatives in the massacre. The killing started here on 14 April 1994 when Tutsis came here, God’s own Ntarama church for safety. But Rwanda was then a symbol of life without God. Hutu extremists unleashed the bloodbath using machetes, clubs and grenades.

Next to the church, authorities have constructed an open-air shed containing two long tables of unidentifiable body remains. One table has victims’ skulls neatly lined in a long rows. The skulls show visible signs of machete blows – long cracks along the cranium. Other skulls have holes punched in by spearheads. Decaying assorted body parts sit on the table next to the skulls.

I walked between the two rows. I was dumb founded. Thousands of skulls met me. By the time I was in the middle, I was almost dizzy. I turned away from skulls and my eyes met a rib cage, a hip joint and tibia on the other row. I turned from it but met more skulls again. The stench of rotting matter is strong here, but not overpowering.

I looked at the skulls again in more detail. I examined the different cuts on them, the ages and sizes. They were real people killed in a country where four in five people are Christians. But that didn’t keep them from raping, maiming, killing, and violating almost every Christian creed. Worse, more than 40 priests and other figures of the Catholic Church in Rwanda participated in the killings.

“I have 18 people in these bones,” Rutaganda explains. Over and over again since the place was open for public viewing, he has examined the bones hoping that he at least could identify the remains of his beloved children, mother, father and brothers. He keeps hoping.

I walked out of the shelter, signed a visitor’s book and donated a few dollars. I stood at the gates of the church compound and heard somber musical flute tune being blown from the next compound. People are going on with their normal farming activities. I could still smell the odour of human decay. I could not think clearly. I have no remarks worthy of the things I have just seen. What can one say about a place such as this? I felt a creeping discomfort looking at the gentle hills and mud homes and odd passersby. Which villagers here killed their neighbor, which hid in terror? I wondered.

I picked my cameras and left for a friend’s wedding in the capital. Life was different here, youngsters were dancing, stomping feet like Zulu regiments. Everybody was excited and happy but the site at Ntarama church had numbed my joy feelings. I took a taxi to the Airport wishing President Kagame and his government that they get the wisdom and energy to bring peace to these sick land and heal the scars of the past, deliver justice and a process of national reconciliation.

On arrival in Kenya, the media was awash with Felicien Kabuga’s story. The Rwanda genocide perpetrator is here at the comforts of my country while thousands of those he killed rot in Ntarama church. A month passes and I still look at the pictures of the skulls and pray, “Kabuga, may you die under thunder.”

Meanwhile, I got to move. Somalia is still fighting; Antonov fighters are still dropping bombs in Sudan; Democratic Republic of Congo as ever is in an uneasy calm; southern Africa and the Horn of Africa are engulfed in a terrible famine and landmines must be cleared in Angola. Together with other journalists, doctors, nutritionists, disaster management experts, counselors all sorts of professionals, we would be moving around these hot spots giving humanitarian service to the people who mostly have no control over the wars.

April 20, 2006 at 9:57 am 6 comments

Thank you for loving me this much, forever!




April 12, 2006 at 9:25 pm 5 comments

Marsabit….and an ode to Godana and Waqo


I returned from Northern Kenya by road late last night on what had been a difficult trip as part of a response to the famine situation in that part of the country, only to get the sad news a few hours later that several government officials and politicians had died in a plane crash near Marsabit.
My journey to and from the region was made difficult by heavy rains that have made movement nearly impossible.
I’m mourning, but also angry….
I have been wondering why:
1. The rainy affair (assuming it’s the only valid reason) had not informed flying decisions surrounding the trip, coming so soon after the Dr. John Garang plane crash that reportedly occured because of the same reason. I honestly want to hope no one, particularly the militias that have reportedly been roaming in the region lately, have had anything to do with the crash. It always pained me whenever they ran roughshod over the local populace and got away with it with minimal or no response from our disciplined forces. If they had a hand in this, they should be tafutwad and made to pay for it. If they didn’t, it is still high time they ceased destabilizing the region, whatever their local connections. Look at the pain the insecurity has just caused us!
2. The Office of Public Communications, State House and the mainstream Kenyan mainstream media took ages to break the news. Both the Nation and the Standard began confirming the obvious long after ordinary wananchi had been calling and smsing each other, sometimes with false details (there was a terrible one with a list of unpopular government ministers as the victims). I noted that while the BBC radio and online editions beat everyone of the MSM boys to it, the information flow locally was torturously slow for many. The added speculations and counter-speculations were completely unnecessary in the process. As a country, we still need to grow in the area of crisis management and communication.
Just some quick thoughts on the crash itself:
1. In one fell swoop, it has taken away nearly all the protagonists and antagonists in the insecurity question that has plagued parts of the region for quite a while now. What does this mean for the people of the area? What lessons can they pick from this terrible disaster?
2. It has plucked crucial members of the government of the day, particularly operatives that were helping run the Government of National Unity (GNU) with a steely determination amidst raging political storms. I never, for instance, agreed with Hon. Mirugi Kariuki’s post-Moi politics, but I admired his contribution to our country’s human rights’ movement in years gone by. He will be missed in his determined defense of the government of the day, despite accusations that it was running against much that he had believed in before it came to power.
3. It reminds us that we never seem to learn – Why should our leaders fly together when it was mentioned by the Muthoga team after the Busia plane crash in 2003 that it could be a destabilizing factor to the nation? I personally hope that some of our leaders who are in the habit of flying around are reflecting deeply on this; in this age of man-made and natural disasters, we can never be so careful about such incidents. I especially do not want President Kibaki or any of his current opponents ever having to die that way; it’s no disaster I would wish on any country, least of all my own Kenya.
Now….an ode to both Dr. Bonaya Godana and Bishop William Waqo, both of whom perished in the crash.
– Godana: I never interacted with you personally, but you were one of the few politicians I respected in this country. A young man whose guardian / foster-parent you were happened to become one of my best buddies at the university; he’s mourning and I’m mourning with him for you were a man truly worth his tears. You were truly a leader. May North Horr truly be consoled at this hour.
– Waqo: I never met you in person too, but your helpfulness to me on phone as the ACK Provincial Secretary in the stories I was chasing at the height of the gay marriage debates within the worldwide Anglican Communion – while working with one of the mainstream Kenyan newspapers – was just what I needed at the time. I wrote Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi about a year ago to thank you for it. I hope to God you got my little note of thanks. I’m also aware that the Christian community in Northern Kenya is what it is today partly because of your input there in recent years. Blessings in Heaven, Christian soldier, you now form part of the Cloud of Witnesses (Hebrews 12:1-2) that is cheering the rest of us on at this challenging moment in our collective national and world history!

April 10, 2006 at 5:51 pm 8 comments

Radical Christianity

By JOHN STOTT

If we belong to Jesus Christ, we have a double calling
in relation to the world. On the one hand we are to
live, serve and witness in the world, and not try to
escape from it. On the other hand we are to avoid
being contaminated by the would. So we have no liberty
either to preserve our holiness by escaping from the
world, or to sacrifice our holiness by conforming to
the world. Escapism and conformism are both forbidden
us.

This is one of the major themes of the whole Bible,
namely that God is calling out a people for himself,
and is summoning us to be different from everybody
else, saying: ‘Be holy as I am holy’.

This foundational theme recurs in all four of the main
sections of Scripture – the law, the prophets, the
teaching of Jesus, and the teaching of the apostles.
Let me give an example of each.

Firstly, the law: ‘I am the Lord your God. You must
not do as they do in Egypt where you used to live, and
you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan where
I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. You
must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees.
I am the Lord your God.’ (Leviticus 18:3,4)

Secondly, the prophets: God complains against his
people through Ezekiel; ‘You have not followed my
decrees or kept my laws, but have conformed to the
standards of the nations around you’ (Ezek. 11:12).

Thirdly, the teaching of Jesus: In the Sermon on the
Mount he drew the disciples’ attention to the
behaviour of pagans and of hypocrites, and then added:
‘do not be like them’ (Matthew 6:8).

Fourthly, the apostles in the letters of the New
Testament. Paul wrote: ‘Do not conform any longer to
the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind’ (Romans 12:2).

Here then is God’s call to radical discipleship, or to
radical non-conformity to the surrounding culture. It
is a call to develop a Christian counter-culture. So
what are the contemporary trends which threaten to
swallow us up and which we must vigorously resist?
There are many, but I will select three.

l. The Challenge of Pluralism

Pluralism is not just an acknowledgment that there is
a plurality of faiths and ideologies in the world. We
all know that. Pluralism is rather itself an ideology.
It insists that every religion has its own independent
validity, and that all religions have an equal right
to our respect. So pluralism condemns as sheer
arrogance every attempt to convert anybody (let alone
everybody) to our opinions. Pluralism dismisses world
evangelization (and would dismiss the Urbana
Convention) as a wholly unacceptable form of
imperialism.

Sometime ago I read of a social worker in Nigeria who
visited a youth in a back street of Lagos. On his
bedside table he found the following books: the Bible,
the Book of Common Prayer, the Koran, three copies of
Watchtower (the magazine of Jehovah’s Witnesses), a
biography of Karl Marx, a book of Yoga exercises, and
a popular paperback entitled How to Stop Worrying.

How then should we respond to the spirit of pluralism?
I suggest with great humility and with no tinge of
personal superiority, we must continue to affirm the
uniqueness and finality of Jesus Christ. He is unique
in his incarnation (the one and only God-man). He is
unique in his atonement (only he has died for the sins
of the world), and unique in his resurrection (for he
has conquered death). And since in no other person but
Jesus of Nazareth did God first become human (in his
birth), then bear our sins (in his death) and then
triumph over death (in his resurrection), he is
uniquely competent to save. Nobody else possesses his
qualifications. We may talk about Alexander the Great,
Charles the Great and Napoleon the Great, but not
Jesus the Great. Jesus is not the Great, he is the
Only. Jesus has no rivals and Jesus has no successors.

2. The Challenge of Materialism

To those of us who have had any experience of Majority
World poverty, the western world is almost unbearably
affluent. To visit a North American or West European
supermarket is to be exposed to a choice of goods so
wide as to be positively bewildering. Such wealth
leads naturally into materialism.

Materialism is not an affirmation of the material
order. In that sense all Christians would be
materialists because we believe in the created order
(God has given us all things richly to enjoy), in the
incarnation and resurrection of Jesus, in the waters
of baptism and in the bread and wine of Holy
Communion. Christianity has been described as the most
materialist of all religions. But no. Materialism is a
preoccupation with material things, until they smother
our spiritual life. We need to hear again the words of
Jesus ‘Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on
earth’ (Matthew 6:19). Again, ‘Beware of covetousness,
a human life does not consist in the abundance of our
possessions’ (Luke 12:15). That is, there is more to
life than money and property.

In addition, we need to listen to the words of the
apostle Paul, who also calls us away from covetousness
to a lifestyle of simplicity, generosity and
contentment. ‘Godliness with contentment is great
gain’, he wrote (1 Timothy 6:6). ‘For we brought
nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of
it’ (1 Tim. 6:7). As Job put it, ‘naked I came from my
mother’s womb, and naked I will depart! (Job 1:21).
Thus, life on earth is a pilgrimage between two
moments of nakedness. So we will be wise to travel
light.

After the funeral of a wealthy lady in the community,
a worshipper was brash enough to ask the officiating
minister ‘How much did she leave?’ To this question he
had the wisdom to reply ‘She left everything’. Thus
Paul went on: ‘If we have food and clothing’
(including shelter) and (I think we may legitimately
add) whatever else we can justify as reasonable
necessities in our particular context, ‘we will be
content with that’ (1 Tim. 6:8).

I read long ago of a young man who found a $5 bill on
the street. ‘From that time on he never lifted his
eyes when walking. in the course of years he
accumulated 29,516 buttons, 54,172 pins, 12 cents, a
bent back and a miserly disposition!’ Think what he
lost. He lost the glory of the sunlight, the sheen of
the stars, the smile of his friends, the blossoms in
the spring, the blue skies above and the entire joy of
living.’ All because his eyes were in the gutter!

I am afraid I know some Christians like that. They are
materialists. We need to lift up our eyes for the
first glimmer of light that tells us that Christ is on
his way. We are pilgrims on our way home.

3. The Challenge of Relativism

All round us moral standards are slipping, certainly
in the West, and increasingly elsewhere as television
creates a mono-culture. People are confused as to
whether there are any moral absolutes left. Relativism
has permeated our culture, and is seeping into the
church. Here is a bit of doggerel which illustrates
the meaning of ethical relativism:

It all depends on where you are,
It all depends on who you are,
It all depends on what you feel,
It all depends on how you feel.
It all depends on how you’re raised,
It all depends on what is praised,
What’s right today is wrong tomorrow,
Joy in France, in America sorrow.
It all depends on point of view,
Australia or Timbuctoo,
In Rome do as the Romans do.
If tastes just happen to agree
Then you have morality.
But where there are conflicting trends,
It all depends, it all depends …

There is no sphere in which this relativism is more
obvious than that of sexual ethics and the sexual
revolution which has taken place since the 1960s. It
used to be universally accepted (at least where the
Judaeo-Christian ethic had penetrated) that marriage
is a monogamous, heterosexual, loving and lifelong
union, and the only God-given context for sexual
intimacy.

But today, even in some churches, cohabitation before
marriage (even cohabitation without marriage) is
widely practised, dispensing with that commitment
which is essential to an authentic marriage; while
same-sex partnerships are being promoted as a
legitimate alternative to heterosexual marriage. And
in the West one marriage in two or three ends in
divorce.

It is sometimes said by people who should know better
that Jesus did not address these issues. But he did.
He quoted Genesis 1:27 ‘he who made them in the
beginning made them male and female’. Then he quoted
Genesis 2:24, the biblical definition of marriage:
‘therefore a man shall leave his father and mother,
and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one
flesh, so they are no longer two but one, and what God
has joined together, let no human being separate.’ In
other words, Jesus affirmed that God created our
heterosexuality, and that he instituted heterosexual
marriage, and he endorsed this teaching with his own
divine authority.

So the fundamental question before us today is who is
the Lord? Is the church the lord of Jesus Christ, so
that it has liberty to edit and manipulate his
teaching, accepting what it likes and rejecting what
it dislikes? Or is Jesus Christ our teacher and Lord,
so that we believe and obey his teaching? He still
says to us: ‘Why do you call the Lord, lord, and do
not do what I say?’ (Luke 6:46). To confess Jesus as
Lord but not obey him, is to build our lives on a
foundation of sand. To engage in mission while living
in disobedience is a contradiction in terms.

Here then are two cultures, two value-systems, two
standards and two lifestyles. On the one hand there is
the fashion of the world and what is regarded as
‘politically correct’. On the other side there is the
revealed, good and pleasing will of God (Romans 12:2).
Radical disciples have little difficulty in making
their choice.

Conclusion

We have considered some of the main contemporary
challenges of the world to the church, in the face of
which the church is called not to feeble-minded
conformity but to radical non-conformity. Over against
the challenge of pluralism we are to be a community of
truth, maintaining the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.
Over against the challenge of materialism, we are to
be a community of pilgrimage and simplicity. Over
against the challenge of relativism we are to be a
community of righteousness and obedience. This is
God’s call to us to be different from the prevailing
culture.

Thus is why Karl Barth called Christian ethics ‘the
great disturbance’, because it violently upsets our
tranquil status quo. And this is why C.S. Lewis called
Jesus ‘a transcendental interferer’. We are not to be
like reeds shaken by the wind, Jesus said, bowing down
before the gusts of public opinion, but as immovable
as rocks in a mountain stream. We are not to be like
fish floating with the stream (‘only dead fish swim
with the current’, said Malcolm Muggeridge), but to
swim against the stream, even against the cultural
mainstream. We are not to be like chameleons, lizards
which change their colour according to their
surroundings, but to stand out visibly against our
surroundings.

What then are Christians to be like, if we are not to
be like reeds, dead fish or chameleons? Is God’s Word
entirely negative, insisting that we are not to
conform to the world around us? No, indeed not. God’s
Word is positive as well as negative. We are to be
like Christ.

I think we would find it helpful to keep three
biblical texts together, which all make
Christ-likeness God’s purpose for his people.

Firstly, it is God’s eternal purpose because we have
been ‘predestined to be conformed to the image of
God’s Son’ (Romans 8:29).
Secondly, it is God’s is God’s historical purpose, for
we ‘are being transformed into the image of Christ
from one degree of glory to another’ (2 Corinthians
3:18).
Thirdly, it is God’s eschatological or ultimate
purpose, for, though we do not yet know what we will
be, we do know that ‘we will be like him, because we
will see him as he is’ (1 John 3:2). Thus from a past
eternity to a future eternity, through the process of
time, God’s unchanging purpose is that, instead of
being conformed to the fashions of the world, we will
be conformed to the image of his Son.

I sometimes wonder if anything is more essential to
evangelism than the Christ-likeness of the evangelist.
As John Poulton wrote: ‘The most effective preaching
(or evangelism) comes from those who embody the things
they are saying. They are their message. Christians
need to look like what they are talking about … what
communicates now is basically personal authenticity.’
(A Today Form of Evangelism by John Poulton,
Lutterworth 1972, pp. 60-61, 79).

Let us pray! O that we may be like Christ. God help
us!

*I thank God for the gracious opportunity to have been
part of the 20,000-plus audience that listened to this
presentation in late 2003 at the University of
Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

___________________________________________________________
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April 6, 2006 at 12:43 am 4 comments

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