Journals
Posted on August 14, 2019 JOINING WITH GLOBAL PEACEMAKERS IN COLOMBIA
Boaz Keibarak
[world map] Africa Kenya push-pin Kenya
Evangelism Evangelism
Discipleship Discipleship
Peace and Justice Peace and Justice

“Our peace is our responsibility.” This is a saying in my country. On behalf of my beautiful wife Sophia and our beautiful daughters, I express our humble gratitude to the International Ministries (IM) family for welcoming me into IM as an International Associate Missionary. It is such a divine opportunity for me, Kenya and Africa at large to be part of the IM family.  It really sends a clear message that the work of responding to the call is not yet over, and God is calling us to continue to find ways to offer the best of what we have been given in every way until we hand over the ministry to the next generation.

When I look at what God has done during my time working with IM Global Consultants Dr. Dan and Sharon Buttry and with others in the IM family, it really gives me a glimpse of how IM is committed to its vision.  I truly give thanks to God who introduced me to this amazing ministry.  I cannot move without expressing my sincere thanks for your commitment to the mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”.   Be assured of my constant prayers for each one of you as we continue to shine the light of Jesus Christ!  Remember we claim a rich heritage and an amazing connection. Together, we are stronger and able to accomplish a witness for Christ in the world that we could not alone.

Currently, I am doing mediation and reconciliation among two pastoralist tribes (the Marakwet and Pokot, and the Turkana and Sabiny) who live on the Uganda/Kenya border. I am doing evangelism and discipleship among these tribes, and also reaching beyond (where there is an unreached community with no single church). With God’s divine time and through your prayers I will fulfill my commitment. My country is open for those who feel God is calling them to Kenya.  You are welcome to invest your time and spirit in giving love and gratitude to others, and you will experience God’s will for your call to “the ends of the earth”.

Recently I was invited to speak at the Global Baptist Peace Conference in Cali, Colombia, which took place on July 15-20, 2019. This Global Baptist Peace Conference was one of the greatest events I have ever attended in my life. The conference provided a platform for peacemakers from diverse countries to share their stories and exchange information. The beautiful voices of singers from around the world were amazing, reminding and motivating the peacemakers that “we are one people, we are the family of the same grace”.  Today, these words still ring in my mind, and I feel transformed because it reminds me that we are made in the image of God, “we belong to God, we should love one another because me and you, them and we, you and I, we and them are one people, one family through one grace”– powerful words!

I have heard and read about restorative justice but finding someone who has put this into practice is hard.  At the conference I heard one of the victims share, “Sending someone to jail is not forgiveness but it is a revenge”. Christian faith should consider and embrace healing justice, not revenge justice or punishing justice.  Instead, peacemakers should embrace forms of justice which promote forgiveness and reconciliation.

I met former IM Area Director for Africa, Rev. Eleazar Ziherambere. He has a Christ-like heart! He was my roommate.  We spent time praying together, and he lovingly helped me when my clothes bag was delayed from the flight.  He could not watch me wearing one pair of clothes throughout the week. Indeed, he wanted to offer me his clothes, but they were too big for me.  But that did not stop him.  He took me to the Cosmo Mall in Cali and bought clothes for me.  Indeed I spoke blessings to him, and I felt the love of brotherhood with a heaven heart. His words were always encouraging, and I thank God for him.

I also met with Jim Bell, IM’s Associate Executive Director for Global Mission. He is a very encouraging servant.  We shared a lot about ministries, had dinner and spent time together.  I felt a warm welcome being with him and also with IM Global Consultant Ray Schellinger.  Ray did an amazing job opening up his heart and bought me a gift of a Colombia T-shirt from his family.  My time with the IM family motivates me and gives me a glimpse of the love IM family has for Africa and for the world.  I felt that I was at home. Retired IM global servant Ruth Mooney was there with an open heart.  Ruth and I had time to reflect about the 2018 Bangkok Global Peace Colloquium that we both attended, and the amazing things God is doing season by season.  I am thanking God for these wonderful missionary colleagues.

IM, the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America and the Global Baptist Peace Committee did an amazing work of bringing the world together, sharing transformative experiences, fostering new relationships for potential partnership, and developing new opportunities to engage in global dialogue and cooperation among diverse peacemakers.

Last, this conference gave me an opportunity to explore my gifts and call for peacemaking.  It has motivated my passion to think, speak, move, and act globally.  Indeed, it was an opportunity for many peacemakers to move together to advocate for peace in our land and build a world without violence, especially in my new role as International Associate Missionary with IM.  My sincere thanks go to Dr. Dan and Sharon Buttry, Rev. LeDayne McLeese-Polaski and the planning committee for their tremendous effort and for asking me to be one of the speakers.  I am now mentored and ready to be a resourceful instrument for making peace.

Amani Yetu! Jukumu Yetu! (Our peace is our responsibility!)

Boaz Keibarak