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Restitution Indeed

Building organizational capacity for local church and community partners is a central part of what World Renew does. But in 2013, one situation where community capacity development interventions were taking place, the grassroots systems and structure grew stronger than the body that should have taken lead on change making. Why? The attitude, visioning and worldview held by the grassroots leadership around stewardship was questionable. These were reflected in negative bureaucratic processes that hindered the needed relationships and accountability for a growing organization recovering from differences and conflicts. The outcome was painful for all involved and led to the end of this partnership.

When does a leader become susceptible to compromise? Even with the presence of policies, without deliberate effort to operationalization them into working guidelines and guardrails, the processes fail. For instance, my youngest son asked me to be his mentor as a requirement for his MA studies in Organizational Leadership. What did I have to relinquish as a parent to be an effective mentor? We settled on mutuality, accessibility, responsibility, and effective communication. All these require Grace (God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense).

In regard to the partnership mentioned above, time led to staff transitions that consequently brought new people in positions, while the institutional memory was still quite vivid with significant stories of change from the communities.

Jesus the oasis of peace quenches our thirst.

When asked what we (both World Renew and this partner organization) missed over the last 9 years that deemed it important to consider re-engaging in the partnership, there were significant evidence-based testimonies of changes that were enumerated. For instance, no other area with similar changes has ever been established during the last nine years. The last nine years were described as a time in the desert without the working and walking together with World Renew. When relations sour, the experiences are like travelling in the desert. Jesus the oasis of peace quenches our thirst.

The feelings over the loss over these years could be felt within the room. However, these formed the reasons why we should reconnect, reengage, and revive the partnership. A sigh of relief and a song of praise — “Tukutendereza-Praise the Lord -Halleluiah” came out when both parties agreed to the same direction and purpose.

The story of two men on a journey to Emmaus had an unexpected encounter with a stranger as narrated in Luke 24:13-19: “Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along? “They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked."

Do you need to get back to Jerusalem?

Do you need to get back to Jerusalem where Jesus had instructed his disciples to wait after a painful, heart-breaking experience?

Differences may persist and remain painfully harboured. We may experience lamentation. But it is important to remain hopeful.

Considering the present challenges experienced in the world, our limitations and hindrances do not affect God’s plan for creation. God is still in charge of the universe.

Days of darkness may be with us, but not forever — instead for a season and for a reason. A ray of Light will dawn on our path and our lives ignited with joy, peace, and focus.

How do we respond in times distress, trouble, loss and disconnect with reality? Each one of us will find ourselves in such painful realities of losses, wounded along the way of life and frustration. M y grace, peace and joy beyond human understanding unveil to us the loving and caring companion. We are not alone in the pain inflicted upon us due to unjust systems. Through Christ’s experience during this Easter season, we are reconciled to the King of Peace and renewed hope that our sins are washed away. There is no more complete restitution than that offered through God’s grace.

Photo provided by the author.

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