Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Pray the Devil Back to Hell"

The horrific fires this past week in Nairobi and Molo prompted a prayer request today from Carolyn, our Mothers' Union Chair: "I fear that these fires are evidence of Satan in our country."

They are certainly evidence of poverty in Kenya, and Satan has a field day in poverty. The exits of the Nakumatt store in Nairobi were ostensibly chained shut to prevent looting during the blaze. As a result, countless (so far) customers were trapped inside and perished. The tanker fire in Molo was attributed to a confrontation between police who were cordoning off the area and people who were desperate to siphon whatever petrol they could retrieve from the spill. Over 150 people died in that inferno.

We don't often speak about "Satan" in our mainline churches in America, perhaps preferring less graphic references to "evil." Wherever we are and whatever we name it, however, I am convinced Satan/evil is present, and fire seems to be the most recent evidence of it here. Kenya is a land of dramatic contrasts. Both God and Satan are very visible. Every day, I better understand Carolyn's heartfelt request.

Nan shared a friend's review of a new movie that is now playing in U.S. theaters. "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" is the true story of a women's prayer movement in Liberia that led to powerful change in that country. Just as women's peace-making efforts facilitated the resolution of a generations-old conflict in Ireland, so did women's work in Liberia. Nan's "You go, Girls!" has been a rallying cry for the Mothers' Union of the Diocese of Maseno North. Barack Obama's "Yes we can!" has reinforced the Mamas' determination to address hunger, poverty and pain in their own communities.

And so we pray... for Maseno, for Kenya, for Africa and for the world: "Ashindwe!" ("Go back!")

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me what a difference women can make, Mom!

Our thoughts go out to you and everyone surrounding you.

Kate + family