Easter in Kenya and the UK: the same, yet different
Easter is the most important date in the Christian calendar but this year, during this pandemic, Christians the world over will be celebrating Easter very differently. Everything is very different to normal (whatever ‘normal’ was).
In the UK, many of us, (though not all), have seen our church services move online sometimes with no hiatus at all. We’ve joined the masses who have adopted video meeting software. Thanks to reliable technology and Wi-Fi we have been able to continue to worship ‘together’ and even welcome others to our livestreamed services who couldn’t or wouldn’t have set foot in ‘traditional’ church. We’ve been able to follow along with services on the television or even join services online in different countries.
Where Nasio are based, in rural western Kenya, churches don’t have the facilities to livestream services.
In Kenya the story is somewhat different. Where Nasio are based, in rural western Kenya, churches don’t have the facilities to livestream services. There’s just about enough connectivity to have a What’s app call, as long as you don’t have much to say, and don’t mind the connection dropping a few times while you say it!
Despite these differences, Christians across the world will be worshiping this Easter in a very similar way. When you peel away the church buildings, worship teams, technology and other resources, you are left with the core of worship which centres on your personal relationship with Jesus. This time of isolation with restrictions on what we can do and where we can go don’t stop us worshipping.
I’ve had the benefit of witnessing the power of the faith our Kenyan Nasio team have by seeing their prayer requests which we share via What’s app. This pandemic may limit our social interaction and indeed it’s causing a great deal of disruption and concern worldwide but it hasn’t reduced the faith of the Nasio team, if anything it’s strengthened it. It’s inspirational to see the stories, songs, bible verses and celebration of praise shared on a daily basis. Our faith remains strong whether our celebration of Easter falls amid a global pandemic or not.
I’m actually hoping that we don’t return to ‘normal’ but that this pandemic will give us a glimpse of a better world where community and faith thrive. Praise the Lord!