We were to have the cluster on Saturday of 23rd July, 2011 but postponed it to Sunday of 24th July, 2011 since there was funeral in Busakala area and burial was on the date of 23rd July, 2011. We started off with prayer from one of the participants. We got a word of encouragement from the Book of Psalms 147:3 and Deuteronomy 30:1. We observed a session of brainstorming on global change. As like in most clusters we have so far held most members felt that the changes we are experiencing are human induced. In our desire to get more wealth, gain more knowledge and explore we end up affecting the nature that surround us.
QUERY #1: How has global change affected our communities and ourselves?
When we think of global change what comes on our mind is the number of people we have in the world currently. Population growth has gone high. With the high population and our farms being under utilized the end result is that we are experiencing food insecurity. However, there is some slight advantage of this change; we have an improvement in the transport and communication system. Also health services have improved great deal. With the increase in the road transport, several cases of ugly road accidents are happening everyday. Use of cell phone has led to divisions in families due to mistrusts. When we get addicted to the use of computer we tend to access some programs that affect us negatively e.g. pornography.
QUERY #2: What actions have we taken in response to global change as experienced in our area, to express our responsibilities towards all creation? In what ways have my own activities or those of my community contributed to positive or adverse local and global change?
We had individual responses to this query as follows:
(a) I have engaged in tree planting.
(b) I plant indigenous vegetables
(c) I encourage my family to dedicate their lives to God
(d) I use local edible oils while doing my cooking
(e) I have dug my own borehole in the home to access clean water
(f) I use jikos that require less energy to preserve wood fuel.
(g) I burn all plastic bags after use
(h) I make sure all my children go to school to acquire knowledge and wisdom.
QUERY #3: How do changes around us affect our relationship with God? How does my relationship with God affect my responses to the changes around us? What role does faith have in my life and in the life of my community? In what ways do I and my Friends church or meeting community bear witness to our Testimonies in our daily lives?
When I sit in my house, switch on my Television set to get preachings I tend to assume there is no need to go and fellowship in church. At the same time love of money has made people not to be honest to God. Most of the time when we do business we do not use the right measure. We work even on the Sabbath day to make our ends meet. At same time we use modern technology like keyboards, guitars, drums in praising and worshiping God. The chemicals we use make us to be sick most of the time hence spending a lot of days in hospital prevented from serving God.
My faith will always guide me to use the right measure when I am engaged in business. At the same time my faith forbids me from using my cell phone to hurt others by propagating lies.
As the chosen ones of God our testimony should always go along with the good that the Lord has done for us.
QUERY #4: What stories or experiences from past times of catastrophic happenings – perhaps from Scripture, perhaps from the record of local or regional events – might inspire us to respond to the changes the world is facing today?
In the Bible we read a story of Ananias and Saphira the couple that was not honest when dealing with God. After selling all they had, they ended hiding some of the proceeds from God. The end result was very disastrous for the couple. What Ananias and Saphira did is still happening nowadays. Dishonesty is in our family, society, community and our places of work.
We read also in the Bible the time when Lot’s daughters gave him beer and he got drunk. After getting drunk he did the unimaginable with his daughters i.e. sleeping with them. To date we have people who are addicted to hard drugs that are ruining their lives.
Locally we had hunger in our area that was nicknamed “Kamuriah”.Kamuriah was a name given to an Asian who had a posho mill in our area. The Asian used to buy maize, grind and sell to us the flour. He was like a” messiah” during those days. As far as we can remember this is the longest hunger we experienced in our area since we had a dry spell of nine months.
QUERY #5: How can we bear witness to the abundance God offers us and testify to the world about ways in which justice, compassion, and peace may address significant disruptions, stress, and tensions?
If a child in our community excels in examination but is an orphan with no fees we are supposed to come and assist and make sure that the child continues with education. But we have experienced cases whereby a deserving child has been denied justice by being denied a bursary.
We have schools dealing with orphans and the less privileged in our society. Compassion will definitely leads us to bring people who are more qualified being given the first opportunity to get employment.
QUERY # 6: How can we support one another in rekindling our love and respect for God’s Creation in such a way that we are messengers of the transforming power of love and hope?
We look at the terms rekindling as reviving the fire that was in us. It is like the fire we had initially has burnt out and there is a need to start a fresh. We need to remember “when did the rain start beating us”. We can rekindle our love by changing the way we look at face value of things. Some things may not be appearing in the way we perceive them to be. We need to have an inner spiritual understanding ourselves. If we can understand ourselves this will give rise into an opportunity of getting to understand the other person next to you. We shall rebuke but in love. We shall correct but in the right manner that is compassionate. Each person has his/her strong and weak areas. We can encourage one another in areas that we are strong and strengthen our weak areas as the word says “Let the weak say I am strong. Let the poor say I am rich.”, because what of what the Lord has done for us.