A Baraka team from Kajiado Diocese in Kenya is currently visiting St Paul’s Parish, Lisburn.
Their visit to Connor reciprocates a trip to Kenya by 25 people from St Paul’s last August. The visit strengthens a very new but strong partnership between St Paul’s and Kajiado and is an opportunity to continue those links.
The parish has contributed six motorbikes to Kajiado Diocese and these have proved a great success in extending the work of God in some very remote parishes. In turn, what the St Paul’s team learned there from the people they met has been life changing.
The Baraka team arrived at St Paul’s on February 17 and will be in Northern Ireland until March 10. There was a very emotional meeting and reunion at the International Airport which seemed to leave the other arriving passengers bemused!
The team is led by the Rev Naftaly Lemooke and includes the Rev Capt James Njoroge, the Rev Capt Eric Solonka and the Rev Mary Kuria. The team is also accompanied by Mr Daniel Taama who is Bishop Taama’s brother. Very sadly Jayne Kuluo, who was to be with the team, could not travel due to the death of her husband and the thoughts and prayers of the people of St Paul’s, Lisburn, are with Jayne and her family in Kajiado.
Since arriving in Lisburn the team have been involved with a Week of Outreach in St Paul’s called ‘Love is….’ which ran from February 13-20, taking part in and seeing what such a week entails in a busy town parish. (To see what was happening in St Paul’s please go to this link at YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXIbFpgQ89w).
The Baraka team was also able to lead worship and praise in the final mission services on Sunday February 21, bringing a completely new dimension to an already contemporary service. Members of the team will be involved in some visiting in the parish, preaching and will have opportunity to celebrate Holy Communion. There will also be visits to other parishes across Northern Ireland sponsored by CMS Ireland.
The rector of St Paul’s, Lisburn, the Rev James Carson, said: “The word for blessing in Swahili is ‘Baraka’ and that’s what the team from Kenya are seeking to bring us, blessing! We pray that the team and those who meet them will be blessed during the time they have with us in Ireland.”