Thursday, November 8, 2012

ESR alum Silas Wanjala: Peacemaking in Kenya

ESR alum Silas Wanjala just finished six months as the Friends Relations intern at American Friends Service Committee and recently shared. With the assistance of a grant from the Pickett Endowment for Quaker Leadership, Silas has been speaking about unrest in Kenya and the efforts of Quakers and other organizations to promote peace there. Below is an excerpt from a recent piece he wrote for AFSC:

"I was studying at Friends Theological College (FTC) in Kenya. After the election and the violence that followed in December and January, I was eager to learn peacemaking skills and how the Quaker church can help. At FTC I had three experiences that led to my believing that nonviolence can be taught and that Christians ought to teach it as part of their message.

"One overriding message that was common to all three experiences was the element of forgiveness as a process of healing. I also was introduced to nonviolence as a conflict resolution tool and I was taught to understand the message of Jesus as recorded in the Sermon on the Mount. "You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

"Those teachings and my understanding of Jesus' teachings on nonviolence have convinced me that the Quaker church can contribute to resolving and reducing conflicts and violence in Kenya and in Africa as a whole. I want to be a part of that process."

You can read the entire article here:

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