Sunday, January 27, 2008

Kibera (Kenya) Lutherans - Gospel and Mercy - ELCK and Pr. Meeker to Build, Rebuild, and Again

In a phone conversation with Pastor Meeker today (Sunday, 1-27), he told me how his congregation is coming together to begin to rebuild. (girl rests upon baptismal font while family help rebuild the pulpit)

"Well, brother," said Pr. Meeker, "the Lord is good and has blessed us. We had 180 people in church today. What about that!" The consummate optimist and hard worker, shepherding the faithful members of Springs of Life, Pr. Meeker did go on to talk about some of the difficulties. "This week will have to rebuild and fix the electricity and water again. Just when you think you are making progress, the looters start up again. But, we'll make it, brother. We are not giving up, the Gospel is going out among the people."

As Lutherans, we fully grasp the power of forgiveness to face sin and everything it brings in this world. Our baptismal grace, something Lutherans are proud of, provides the certainty of our salvation, the certainty of the Lord's blessings to strengthen us and bring people to faith. The cross that Lutherans understand is a cross that doesn't place numbers on the people of God, rather seeks the faithful proclamation of a sacramental life that brings hope and peace beyond our struggles in this life.
The girl in the picture above is a great image of how Lutherans rely on what God has done for them, not on what they are doing for God. It is God's faithfulness to His people that strengthens us to endure the hardest of hardships.

So, with confidence, Pr. Meeker, Bishop Obare, Pr. Chuchu and the people of God continue in Kenya to proclaim the gospel and to rebuild the lives God has given them to care for. The faithful workers and members of the congregation, as is the case anywhere in the world, will follow through and do what they do - to rebuild - so that the proclamation of the Word and the sacramental life will continue - as we all rest on our baptismal promises.