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Week 1: Lent reflections – Sunday 18 February

Our first Lent reflection, written by Christian Aid’s programme communication manager in Kenya, David Mudachi, leads us to reflect on the wilderness moments of our lives. It considers how, as societies, we can find inspiration to respond from Jesus’ wilderness sojourn.

Group of women walk across arid desert

Entering the wilderness

Something to read: Luke 4: 1-10

Something to consider

‘Your neighbour remains your neighbour irrespective of whom you vote for,’ is a catchphrase used by Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, reminding Kenyans of the need to vote and coexist peacefully.  

The genesis of this statement was the post-election violence that erupted in 2007 after a heated presidential election. The opposition party claimed that they had won the elections and that the reigning government had ‘stolen’ its victory. 

The result was public outcry that saw the country sharply divided along ethnic lines, with about 1,000 people losing their lives and millions displaced. 

This period marked a dark period in Kenya’s history; a season of wilderness for all Kenyans where our national unity and value systems as engrained in our national anthem was tested to core. Had it not been for the friends of Kenya, I dare say we would not have pulled through this period. 

Reflect on times of shared wilderness experiences in your society and life

Wilderness could represent a place of danger, chaos, confusion, uncertainty and even scarcity or drought. Do wilderness experiences provide a reality of what living really means? 

People sometimes wonder whether going through the wilderness is a punishment from God, a result of poor life decisions or even at times a strategic push or guide from God to help us accomplish some greater goals in life.

Jesus equally experienced a wilderness period in his life in Luke 4:1-10. For 40 days and 40 nights, he endured a trying period where he ate nothing and was tempted by Satan.

What remains encouraging from this portion of scripture is that irrespective of all the trials and tests Jesus was subjected to, he did not succumb to the ploy of the enemy. 

He emerged victorious. It is after this period that he launched his world-changing three-year ministry before his crucifixion. 

For many the wilderness is far from metaphorical.

It is estimated that 3.4 million people (according to UNICEF in Kenya) were affected by drought in 2017. Many of these people have had to leave their homes as they search for food for their livestock and families

As we follow the example of Jesus and enter the wilderness this Lent, may we also choose to journey with those in the wilderness of drought caused by a changing climate.

Something to do

Join the Count Your Blessings journey to sojourn with those who have been forced from their homes because of drought in Kenya.

Something to pray

God of the wilderness, 
we remember the millions of Kenyans 
who are currently displaced because of the drought. 
We pray that you would comfort them and 
provide for them 
as they go through this difficult period in their lives.
Walk with them through this literal wilderness 
and draw us to walk closer too, 
to get the dust of drought under our skins and 
the passion for justice into our hearts 
so we might not only count 
but share our blessings. 
In your name, Amen.

David Mudachi lives in Kenya and is passionate about changing Africa’s narrative through positive stories of hope and a brighter Africa.