Violence, cleansing; healing and hope in an African worldview

Last week I read a brief article in the print edition of the Nation (can’t find it on-line) that showed how Nandi elders in Western Kenya were calling for all youths who were involved in violent acts to come for purification. The consequences of not making this right could mean calamitous events for the community.

wink-the-powers-that-be.jpgOne of the many things I like about most African worldviews is their understanding of the holistic interconnectedness of the world. Whenever violence occurs, something deeply troubling disturbs the cosmic economy and needs to be made right. Violence seeks to replace the world as God intended it to be with chaos. I think Walter Wink (despite his liberal views of Jesus’ death) gets this right in his book, The Powers that Be. 

The church here is taking concrete action to address this spiritual reality.

Msafara Wheels of Hope is a church initiative that will act as a catalyst to lead the country into spiritual cleansing and bringing hope to Kenyans. A secretariat of eight pastors are coordinating logistics, mobilizing resources and team building to travel to Mombasa, Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret, and Kisumu.

These five (5) major urban areas were where election violence initially erupted after being targeted by spiritual forces of darkness. [Background: A “witch doctor” from Tanzania carried a python around to each of these cities and spiritually claimed them for his political clients.] With a focus on restoration, reconciliation and prayer, Msafara hopes to enable five hundred (500) pastors in each area to lead their people in healing. In each area Msafara will conduct pastors’ workshops in reconciliation while others will distribute humanitarian aid and provide counsel to traumatized internally displaced people.

Finally, there will be a cleansing, healing, prayer and jubilee service for each area. Msafara will be actively involved in spreading redemptive stories of hope through the media. It will also help resettle displaced people. In the same spirit of Ezra and Nehemiah, Msafara calls Kenyans to unite in the spirit of hope for the future.

The Plan [From their brochure]: From 7th to 17th March, the “Msafara Caravan” of 100 national pastors, and 200 local pastors in each city will gather in 5 main cities in Kenya to wage war against the demonic. Beginning in Mombasa, the “Msafara” will make it’s way to Nairobi, and then move onto Nakuru and Eldoret, and finally end up in Kisumu. A special team of 200 “Wasafiri” will also to accompany the pastors. The wasafiri’s task is to bring comfort to the internally displaced people, to give out humanitarian aid, and to pray, cry, laugh and counsel with the hurting. A special team of prayer intercessors is also being mobilized nationwide to accompany the “Msafara” with prayer.

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