WHEN the apostle Peter addresses women, he talks to them in a language that they all understand. He addresses the critical question of beauty that he knows resonates well with the “fairer ones”.
This allows him to tackle a weightier matter- that of inner beauty that is the hidden person of the heart. And when the prophet Isaiah paints the picture of the redeemed in Isaiah 61, he uses language we all appreciate “Beauty for Ashes”.
This was the theme of a seminar on Inner Healing organized by the Women’s Ministry in Nairobi on April 20th 2013. The topic was in response to a need expressed during our last national conference at the end of 2011. From the evaluation it had emerged that woundedness is a major obstacle to our development and walk with God and also to our ability to keep ministering. And the current state of affairs in Kenya has not made things easier but rather accentuated the woundedness for many people, as evidenced by lots of vitriol poured out in social media, even from fellow believers!
When Isaiah prophesied regarding the Messiah, he indicated that a part of His ministry would be to deal with our emotional states, to bring healing and restoration, Isaiah 61:3 …to comfort the broken hearted and to announce freedom for the captives, to set free prisoners… to give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair… We believe that overcoming woundedness would release us to be who God intends for us, so that we can be engaged with Him in fulfilling His purposes for each one of us.
The seminar brought together 50 women of different background, ages and experience. Facilitators were Rhoda Owour, Salama Bossan and Nick Wanyoike, members of the Africa Staff Welfare Team who are trained to help people manage woundedness and other areas of their welfare. Various ones experienced real rich times of listening to God as they learned the discipline, a prerequisite to healing. There were also personal times to present to God issues of woundedness and seeking for inner healing. Several came out feeling great relief; while others began a journey of healing that will continue as they spend extended times with God in the coming days. The plan is to meet again on May 11 to complete the seminar. We look forward to yet a greater time to connect with the Great Physician.
Our hope is that participants experience inner healing from painful emotions, strong anxiety, anger, and feelings of inferiority or worthlessness, battles with shame and guilt and any other emotions that stifle our development and productivity!
We hope to hold a similar seminar for our sisters in the Western region (Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret, and Kitale) in July/ August.
Jane Chungi & Jean Kiviu