I hope you all had a good Easter break; an opportunity also to reflect on our reason to believe in Christ. Jesus conquered death for us, alleluia! I was meditating on 1 John 3:8 (Jesus came to destroy the works of the evil one) and John where Jesus says: “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” NIV. A life full of love, peace, health…, in Him we have everything. My encouragement is that Jesus is with us always, He loves us and He is above everything.
My trip to Kenya:
I celebrated Easter with Rwandan friends, refugees, who live in and around Nairobi, Kenya. It was my first return to Kenya, after 16 years of being in the UK and I was very happy to see many friends from Rwanda living there and Kenyan friends, ex-colleagues at the International Committee of the Red Cross, ex-neighbours and to see how the city of Nairobi has improved much in those years. The atmosphere was good. It was warm and the elections for the new president went well, it was peaceful.
I would like to thank many of you who supported me with prayers, flight tickets, t-shirts and kids clothes and money donations to help Rwandan refugees who live there. I was able to distribute the T-shirts to 37 people, each one received at least one t-shirt of his/her size. With £1,745 of your donation, I was able to do food shopping for 14 families. I was able to find accommodation of two families and paid their rent for 6 months. The majority of those Rwandan refugees live in extreme poverty which affects also their health condition. I was not able to help many who needed medical treatments, but I was concerned with families that have small children who are malnourished. I met one mother with an 11 month old boy who weighed less than 7 kgs. The baby boy also has asthma and needs nutrients that would help restore his life. The mother was not ignorant of that, she was just in need of help. Many refugees who live in Africa live in this kind of poverty, especially those who don’t receive any help from humanitarian organisations and there is no social services to assist them.
Sunday the 7th of April, I was invited by my spiritual father and mentor, Father Peter Meienberg, to preach at Langata Women’s Prison and talk to those women and especially spend time with Rwandan refugees who were there. Being a refugee is hard. You can now imagine what it may be like to be a prisoner in a foreign land. Langata Women’s Prison must be the biggest women’s prison in Kenya (More than 700 women and some of them are there with their children). Father Peter is a benedictine monk from Switzerland, 82 years old, who devoted his life in helping refugees and women who are at Langata Women’s Prison and their children. He has been in East Africa for more than 50 years. He conducts mass services in that prison and spends the whole day talking and comforting those women. He has been a great support to me and many refugees from Rwanda who survived the genocide. Without his help, I don’t think I would still be alive. He is very known for his abundant love and compassion to the poor, the refugees, the prisoners (the “least of these”). He is a walking Jesus. He is a good inspiration to me. As he grows old, he wishes I can take over the ministry to the Rwandan refugees living there. I hope to go back there in December to assess their needs and find ways to be a voice for them here in the West.
Some of you may be called to help the poor or the refugees, you are welcome to join me in one of these mission trips, maybe God will give you clarity of your calling while you are there. You can also help them without going there. You are welcome to contact me for advice on how you can do that.
Again, thank you very much for your support in supporting these “least of these”. I believe our God is pleased when we do this (Isaiah 58:6-14) and He is faithful. He will reward us in due time.
May He continue to reveal His will for our lives and may we continue to walk in His ways.