Many blessings from Team Baraka...

Posted by Sarah Caughey on Thu, 11 Mar 2010 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

St Paul’s Parish in Lisbrun recently hosted a team from Kajiado Diocese in Kenya. Here, Rector Jim Carson shares about what the Team got up to during their visit, and the lasting impact which this time has had on the parish, and others who spend time with this special team…

The Baraka Team from Kajiado Diocese in Kenya visited Northern Ireland from 17th February to 10th March 2010, sponsored by C.M.S. Ireland and hosted by St Paul’s parish in Lisburn.

The team members were all people that folk from St Paul’s had already met in Kenya during the summer of 2009 during their META (Mission Experience Team Abroad) visit to the Diocese: Rev Naftaly Lemooke (who led Team Baraka), Rev Capt James Njoroge, Rev Capt Eric Solonka, Rev Mary Kuria and Mr Daniel Taama.

Baraka in Swahili means ‘Blessing’ and everyone who came into to contact with the team was blessed whether they were a member of St Paul’s congregation or a sister church or indeed a local politician.

The visit was a continuation of the partnership which St Paul’s Lisburn, through C.M.S.Ireland, have firmly established with Kajiado Diocese in Kenya. In the summer 2009 twenty five adults travelled to Kenya for what was a life changing experience. The parish had given a number of motor-bikes to Kajiado and they are being used in some of the most remote parishes of that Diocese, helping to establish new congregations and bringing support to isolated communities. Following this visit, the next logical step to extend the partnership and project was ‘people to people’: engaging, sharing, growing.

The Baraka team came initially to see, experience and evaluate St Paul’s parish week of outreach 13th-21st February called ‘Love is…’- click here to find out more. The team then spent a full week in St Paul’s going to parish events, preaching and speaking, Celebrating Holy Communion, an excellent ‘Kenya Night’ and visiting parishioners in their homes. So the team got a full flavour of parish life in Northern Ireland. Other high-lights included meeting the Mayor of Lisburn; a visit to Stormont hosted by Mr Edwin Poots, a visit to the Giants Causeway and visits to other sister parishes that have a link with Kajiado.

One of the most moving and spiritually moving contributions the Baraka Team made was ministering to one of St Paul’s Lisburn own Kenya team members who suffered two bereavements during the Baraka teams time in Northern Ireland and singing and praying at one of the two the funerals.

The link with Kajiado has brought a real sense of renewal and revival to St Paul’s Lisburn in conjunction with other ‘Forward Together’ projects in which the parish has engaged 2008-2010, a three year project. Chris Orr a member of the team to Kajiado in August 2009 will testify how he found God in Africa and how since then his life has changed; numerous other team members parishioners will say how being involved with the project and having had contact with the Baraka Team has positively affected them and how they view church and faith.

True partnership is not found in contributions of either money or things, even motor-bikes but is in relationship ‘people to people’. ‘Things’ may be a great help but it is as we have found in our Forward Together projects working/serving together, having real fellowship in prayer and around God’s word, literally it’s in ‘people to people’ that we find a new true unity, bond and love in the person of Jesus Christ.

Daniel Taama Bishop Taama’s brother alluded to this in three words as he left Lisburn – Wisdom, love and Amen. Wisdom he says, being wise comes before love and then Amen let it be so!

Baraka, Bwana Asifiwe! Amen!

Let us celebrate the flourishing of the Link between St Paul’s and Kajiado Diocese, and pray that it grows deeper and stronger in the coming weeks, months and years. Please remember Team Baraka as they return to Kenya, to families and friends, congregations and parishes.

If you would like to learn more about Kenya or Kajiado Diocese, please click here.


Ronnie & Maggie said Thu, 18 Mar 2010 09:49AM
Great to hear that Team Baraka has brought so much blessing! They have all arrived back home safely with many exciting stories to tell.Very many thanks to all who looked after them during their visit. Bwana asifiwe!!

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