Bro. Jacob Chemuku who served as the facilitator started by giving us an outline of the task ahead of us, for the day. We were blessed to have in this cluster all the clerks for the Yearly meeting representing all the Youth, Women, Quaker men and Clerk Malava Yearly Meeting.
QUERY 1: How has global change affected our communities and ourselves?
Since we were dealing with issues concerning Environment, Climate, Economy and Society the participants decided to have a factual approach of the effects of global change as follows:
||Due to destruction of our natural resources we have rains that are erratic or no rains at all.||
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?
Taking care of our Environment should be a concern for all. We are always engaged in tree planting each. On the side of degradation of moral values, we encourage guiding and counseling for our young people and even the elders. To prevent malaria the government is giving us free nets. Our people are being encouraged to observe thoroughly sanitation and hygiene values in our homes to prevent waterborne diseases. We have also engaged on a programme on proper waste disposal.
To have enough food in our homes, we are trying our level best to use improved farming techniques for more harvest. At the same time we are planting crops that take a short time to mature to enable us have food throughout the year.
However we have actions that we have done that have affected the changes adversely. We have harvested a lot of trees that we sale in form of charcoal and firewood. When we cultivate on the riverbanks we give room to soil erosion.
The rise in population has given rise to so many slums in our urban areas. These slums often lack basic needs like water, shelter, education and health.
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?
In search of education and learning we learnt more about God. We have a clear understanding of who (God) He is. We are the stewards of Gods Creation and God feels bad when we engage in destroying his creation. With lack of food, shelter and other basic needs we have people not committing their lives fully to the God.
Due to ignorance, when we are blessed abundantly by God we tend to forget about His tender love and mercies for us. When we do not security people cannot afford to meet and worship God. Poverty has led to people ask, ‘’what kind of God are we serving?’ For one to be a minister of God nowadays it is no longer a ‘call’ but a ‘’profession ‘’There is also a rise in the number of ‘’false prophets’’ who claim to be servants of God.
When Quakers live in camps, these used to be that spirit of oneness contrary to what is happening currently.
We are at times compelled by conditions to respond to the changes adversely. An example is when you are given a permit to harvest your sugarcane on Sunday. We usually have no option but to go ahead and harvest our sugarcane.
The current Kenyan Constitution has left room for people to consume local brew. As the servants of God we should stand strongly against such laws.
My faith encourages me to have trust in the Lord despite of the circumstances. My faith will always make me not to allow some changes that are not in consistent with the word of God.As a Quaker I live as per what I confess. I also believe in a unified society.
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?
Is the Bible we read the story of the floods that we were there during Noahs days’ .God was angry with what people were doing. Even this days God is not happy with our actions against his creation.
We also read about the disobedience of Jonah in the Bible. God will make you go where He wants you to serve Him.
Locally, in our area we had a landslide in Kuvasali in the year 2007.Several families were buried alive by the landslide. The landslide happened because the residents of that area had cultivated up to the Hill hence making the soil loose. So when it rained there was nothing to hold the loose soil as the trees on the hill had been cut down to clear way for cultivation.
What is happening to our friends in Somalia can be compared to what happened to the children of Israel .The Israelites fled to Egypt because in Egypt there was food. The Somalis are coming to Kenya because we have peace. Unfortunately as much we may have peace, without food the problem facing us is enormous.
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?
We should be an example. We should be able to solve our own problems. If we have brethren in our midst who lack food, shelter and other needs it is imperative we respond positively to their needs.
We are blessed with a lot of rain in the Western part of Kenya. If we use this rain properly we can assist our brothers and sisters who are in starvation right now by sharing with them the produce from our farms.
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 have to transform ourselves first so that our neighbors see the transformation in us. If we are transformed we shall be conformed to the lifestyle of God and those who see us will realize ‘’there is a new thing happening.’’
We should be ready and willing to assist the needy in our midst .We should encourage our pastors to encourage our faithful to revive the initial love that we had. It is important to set up a kitty in our Yearly Meeting to help the less privileged in our society.