A letter from Brenda Harcourt in Kenya
I am Brenda Harcourt and Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. That is the kind of greeting each person in the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) gives each time they stand to speak or bring greetings to others. They give their name and a statement about who they are in relationship to Jesus Christ. They have shared with me an incredible commitment, which will be a part of my life forever.
What a moving Easter experience I had! I worshipped in Nairobi at Loresho Community Church. Loresho is one of our Presbyterian Church of East Africa churches. It was one of the most spiritual experiences one could have.
We started with a talented and incredible worship team (the song leader was one you could listen to all day and be filled with the Spirit just because of his charisma) who put together a service of individuals sharing their stories of finding and following Christ. You see, in the PCEA people are encouraged to share their stories. They are encouraged to give their testimonies. Some shared that they had always been in the church, and then finally realized that they were in the church but not in Christ. Others shared that they had an experience that they could look back to as the moment Christ became real for them. It was a mixture of these stories and Scriptures and music that just left me in tears several times. Then the pastor stood to bring his message, and it was like looking at the people around Jesus during his ministry and death and resurrection and the questions they were asking him or about him. Everyone in the congregation was given an opportunity to come forward to a large cross in the front of the church and hang a strip of cloth symbolizing their questions or concerns or thank-yous on the cross and then kneel in prayer at the foot of the cross.
It was so thought-provoking because it encouraged each of us in our own way to claim the gift that was given to each of us and affirmed us with knowing that we all ask questions of Jesus. We all wonder exactly who and what he means to us. We each, like those around Jesus during his teachings and his death and resurrection, are sometimes left not sure what to say because sometimes the questions or the answers are so much a part of who we are in our faith journeys.
Please pray for the Loresho church that they keep sharing and witnessing to the love of Christ.
My prayer is that each of you take a moment to think and reflect on your relationship with Christ and that as you tell your stories the living Christ becomes even more alive in and through you.
In Christ’s service in Kenya on your behalf,
The 2011 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 59