Compassion leading to Justice in Kenya

Post a Comment » Written on June 2nd, 2011     
Filed under: Community Development
Selflessly, the Kenyan Covenant Church decided to forgo plans for a chicken farm and address the needs of its neighbors.  In January of 2010, the Covenant Church in Kenya requested a grant from Covenant World Relief in order to benefit the most vulnerable in their community and offer a better future to their youth. However, the church was faced with incoming Congolese refugees that had nothing and needed everything. Soon, the church’s plans for a chicken farm morphed into an education project for their new-found neighbors. Many of the Congolese refugees that entered the community were orphaned by the conflict in the Congo and found themselves greatly disadvantaged because they did not speak the same language. In Kenya, it is necessary to speak English in order to find work and so the church aimed to address those needs through the education project.

Currently, the education project has directly impacted the lives of at least 60 school-age children. The project has impelled a paradigm shift within the community, as well. They have turned from an ever-changing refugee group to a more unified, stable and steadfast community. Further, the area has experienced improvement in security because of the transformation the youth and children are going through. Families as a whole are being embraced in the community. Change is evident as parents are given the opportunity to search for jobs while their children stay safely in school. The church in Kenya hopes to continue to provide education to the children in the program in upper level classes the coming year. As a result of the successful program, Kenya has become a prevalent landing spot for the increasing number of those affected b y the conflict in the Congo.

The Covenant Church in Kenya has received a lot of attention from its surrounding community and churches as a result of their bold deeds. Not only has the church taken in strangers, who others see as a burden, but they have taken them in and empowered them with the tools they need to become a valuable part of the community. In doing so, the Kenyan Church has embodied the true Biblical definition of community which Scot McKnight defines as emerging “out of loving behaviors- like compassion and embrace and forgiveness- and out of acts of justice”, in his new book One.Life.  The Kenyan Covenant Church is loving and empowering their Congolese neighbors and embracing them into their community, which has allowed all the residents to experience justice.

To read more about this project, including the upcoming Children’s Service project, visit the project page here.

By Xenia Gonzalez, North Park University student and intern with Covenant World Relief


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