I just watched a 30-minute film called Watu Wa Amani, People of Peace.  It’s about a conference outside Nairobi in 2004.  The Peace Churches, such as Mennonite and Brethren, came together to talk about the violence that was happening across the continent. 

Kenya was one of the countries highlighted.  As I watched this short video and heard the stories and watched the devestation, I cried.  I wanted to cry out and tell people to stop.  However, from my small office, who would hear?

Who indeed.

One man commented, “We must not just be peace lovers but peace makers.”  Scripture has numerous passages on peace in the old and new testament.  The first one that comes to my mind as I heard this man speak and I continue to think on the video is from Matthew 5:9.

        Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

My work is not to bring peace to a war-torn nation.  However, as part of my work, hopefully people better understand one another and understanding leads to less conflict and therefore more peace.

Am I stretching it? 

As I watched the visuals and heard the stories, I thought of some of the movies and books that I have read about these things: A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, Hotel Rwanda, and Last King of Scotland among others.  All I could think of was that these things are really happening.  It is so easy to think things like, “Wow, that sucks” or “Glad that’s over” as we sit in the movie theatre at home watching these movies.  The news in the US is fairly centered on the US.  The rest of the world is huge and screaming to be heard.  These things are still happening; it is not over. 

I encourage you to look at your world in a different way.  Take some time to watch these movies, read some books, look at news from sources outside your country or your worldview that give you different perspectives.  I think it will help balance your world, stretch your mind and comfort zone, perhaps move you to some sort of action or giving and provide you with more specific things about which to pray.

It’s happening.  It is the bad stuff, the violence, the poverty, the hunger, the illness.  It is also the change within you and the result of that change moving mountains to stop as much bad ‘it’ as you can reach.