Life as we know it in Africa, in East Africa, in Kenya is changing. The social structure is not what it used to be. The communal kind of living and communal belonging is unknown in the urban areas and in the rural areas is slowly fading away. We are losing one of the greatest buffers and anchors of days past when life deals a blow on anyone; we are losing the gift of being in a physical social village.
It takes a village to raise a child my people say.
And I dare say that it takes a village to write and publish a book.
I had a few favorite teachers in graduate school. One of them is Prof. Mark Shaw. He is man of wisdom and calmness, I enjoyed the one class he taught me and the other that his prodigy taught me using his well prepared notes. In this class, Prof. Shaw used his manuscript for his now published book “Work, Pray, Love: A Visual Guide to Calling, Career and the Mission of God”.
In his book ‘the village’ is one of the tenets he looks at when it comes to work, pray and love. He encouraged us to know our village, the different layers of it, from the core to the outer parts and cultivate relationships within the village.
Lucas Owako is one of those people in my village. Together with his beautiful wife Victoria, their son Ariel and daughter Olive, they are part of my village. Lucas is one of the brightest minds I know, as well as someone who is not easily ticked off. I say that tongue in check because in graduate school I once served in student leadership with him and he successfully led us through several days of ‘quiet protest’ (read, absconding chapel in a christian university). He went through the first draft with a toothpick dotting every I and crossing every T.
My godmother Helen Maina is right in the core of my village. She is amazing: amazing sounds like an understatement. Together with her gals and two boys and precious grandchildren. I am glad to call them family.
I have been trying during this entire project to take care of my village and not in any way neglect them as I pursue this new path the LORD has set before me.
Having a village and allowing them to participate in your success requires balance and strength.
By God’s grace, I hope and pray I am keeping the balance.
Amani Bawata one of the people in my village had this to say about the devotional:
Growing up, I could sing the National Anthem and the recite the Loyalty Pledge. While I mourn the loss of such seeds of patriotism, I celebrate this effort to both rebuild the foundations of our patriotism but much more, to unearth the deep truths found in our National Anthem. This devotional is ideal for all Kenyans: for the old to be reminded and for the young to be taught: that the founding fathers of Kenya acknowledged the place of God in the growth of Kenya. I recommend this devotional to all Kenyans to read, meditate, study and apply it both as individuals and as groups. – Amani Bawata
Initially taken aback after telling them that I am a stay at home mum, most ladies then quip:
“You are lucky to have a supportive husband”
To be honest I am not quite sure I understand this statement, maybe I should just ask the next person who tells me this to unpack it slowly for me: wait a minute, am having a conversation with someone who just told me that. Let me follow up on it.
But I digress. . .