Seventeen people from across The United Church of Canada participated in the Mission & Service Global Pilgrimage to Kenya, from March 25 to April 4, 2017. The pilgrimage visited Mission & Service partners throughout the region. This series of blog posts shares the story of their journey.

It was the end of a very full day on which many of us were still suffering through jet lag. We were hearing from a group of passionate folk who were committed to working with vulnerable, oppressed, and marginalized people. “Aha” moments so often seem to come from nowhere — unexpected experiences of grace. The speaker was talking of why they were committed to the ministry that they do. "Love heals." He said. "Love reconciles."

Group orientation in Kenya for the Mission & Service pilgrimage.
Credit: 
Hope Rowsell

I was stopped short. That narrowing of focus that happens when in the presence of truth. My Canadian ears hear "reconciles" and I think of the work we are called to do as a country and a church around right relations and Indigenous justice. But here it also was in Kenya with work with people who are vulnerable and oppressed.

This is the work of Mission & Service. This is what we can accomplish through the generosity of the people of The United Church of Canada to do the irruptive, disruptive work of the Spirit. It is work within Canada and around the world. And I am deeply proud of the people of the United Church who make this work possible. Love heals. Love reconciles. In supporting the work of Mission & Service we empower the work of Love.

United Church magazines among others in a church office during Kenya Pilgrimage.
Credit: 
Ruth Noble

Kenya is full of passionate committed people who love to tell the stories of their faith. I am reinvigorated to know that in being a Mission & Service Enthusiast I can continue to help support the work of the Spirit here in Kenya and within our own communities. Love heals. Love reconciles. For this I give thanks.

—Rev. Tim Reaburn, Hamilton Conference