Last month, Pastor Kathryn and I sent a letter to our Christian partners in the churches of the Kerio Valley in Kenya in response to a comment from our President denigrating the people and nations of Africa. The following is a note we recently received in response from our Kenyan partners:

Dear Friends of First Congregational United Church of Christ,

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We heard about your president’s remarks and also an animal farm in Wisconsin where somebody was highlighting, saying that the people who are working in the animal farm are those from other nations. The person was stressing much on what will happen or who will be working in those farms if those people are sent away. We were indeed worried about the visitation but our hearts are relieved now after receiving your e-mail. Thank you very much for your concern and for the way you have been holding us in your prayers because of the problems of insecurity in the valley.

It is through your prayers and others that we are safe. We are very excited to meet you all in April and we really love to sleep in your homes and share ideas and experiences together. The blood of Jesus Christ that has bound us together as friends and as well as partners is so great and nothing can separate it. Please know that we hold all of you in our hearts and prayers.

Yours in Christ
Jeremiah Kibor, Chairperson
Mildred Chepkonga, Secretary
Kerio Valley

The Psalmist writes, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters sit together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). Jeremiah and Mildred, our Kenyan brother and sister in Christ, remind us that through Christ that we are granted such unity. The words and actions of others might seek to divide us, but the binding force of Christ’s love is stronger. The despair and resignation of those who have given up and given in might seek to disengage us, but the persistence of Christ’s Spirit fills us. The greed and violence that bedevil us in all nations may seek to defeat us, but the victory won through Christ’s Resurrection will not be denied! We praise God for this reminder from our friends in Christ from Kenya. And we look forward to “sitting together in unity” when they visit us here in April.

Your friend and fellow minister,
Rev. Steve Savides

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