Report on Global Change Consultation at Tongaren Yearly Meeting

QUERY 1How has global change affected our communities and ourselves?

GOOD CHANGE

BAD CHANGE

  • Communication has improved through mobile phones, radios and use of Internet. You can easily access business opportunities through Internet.
  • We have been badly affected by misuse of the mass media.
  • The change has brought about proper understanding of the Bible by having it translated in our local languages which are easily understood.
  • Our culture and traditions have been affected adversely. We have changed the way we eat and dress.
  • Schools and medical services have been brought closer to us.
  • There is sharp rise in crime.
  • There is a great improvement in the transport sector.
  • The cost of living has risen.
  • Our young people have engaged in drug abuse.
  • Excessive use of artificial fertilizers has brought about our water being contaminated.
  • Urbanization has resulted in so many people living in slums with no access to basic needs.
  • There is a decline in mortality rate.
  • There is change in weather patterns.
  • Use of greenhouses is polluting our environment.

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?

To reduce chemical pollution we do not use artificial fertilizers but practice organic farming. We are planting indigenous trees to conserve our water and environment. To retain our young people in the church we have introduced use of modern instruments in our praise and worship services. To reduce cases of unemployment, we have started income generating projects to sustain our selves.

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?

There is a lot of misunderstanding in the use of mobile phones. People tend to cheat while using these gadgets. The global change has made us to consider our interests first at the expense of doing God’s work. We virtually have no time for God since we have so many activities to carry out at the same time. There is absence of Godly love amongst ourselves and we are very “Possessive”.

We are to be responsible and available to God in all aspects. We have to seek for wisdom from God while responding to the changes around us. My faith will always lead me to relate my response to global change to the scriptures. We are called upon to be role models in our society. Global change should not override our faith. We are known as a peaceful people.

We should preach and practice peace in our homes, society and community, we have one strong testimony that “Quakers Marriages rarely break”.

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?

There was an invasion of locusts in our area in the year 1938. Everything was destroyed by the locusts. The crops, the trees and everything that was green were destroyed. This led to acute shortage of food. There was also severe longer drought that year. The children who were born during this time were named“Nasike” for girls and Wasike for boys meaning locusts. After the hunger that was brought about by locusts we had another hunger by the named of kings African Rifles (KAF) locally pronounced as “KEYA” which we brought about by the 2nd World war.

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 tension?

As a church we have engaged in a project of donating food and clothing to our brothers and sisters in Turkana which is in the Northern part of Kenya. We also provided shelter to the internally displaced persons during the aftermath of the year 2007/2008 post election violence. We also try to assist the orphans and widows who are amongst us.

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?

There is a need to look at our spiritual journey keenly. “Are we walking the talk”? Do we practice the peace that we preach? Or is ours a public relations gesture? It is important for us to have programmes that bring us together to gauge our success and failures. We should be thankful to God for the far he has brought us. We should have commitment to the work we are doing.

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