Inaugural Annual Peace Stakeholders Summit

The dawn of 24th September, 2016, dawned with it a new hope for the people of Rift Valley. More than 400 Christians gathered at ACK Imani Guest House Nakuru for the first regional peace stakeholders summit organized by Way of Peace. 
As hundreds of delegates trickled in to the venue, the glimmer in their expectant faces told of a deep longing for change and a resolve to stand for peace. The Rift Valley has borne the brunt of a history of tribal conflict, fuelled mostly by divisive politics, negative ethnicity, historical injustices and poor leadership, factors which have successfully swayed the church and drowned it’s voice and influence.
WAPE organized the summit with the goal of helping the church to do it’s soul work ahead of the next General Election. They brought together representatives from the church, the government, civil society, academic sector and international peace stakeholders. Speaking during the summit, Dr Allan the Executive Director of WAPE said “Our aim is to remind you that this nation is God-given, it is for us all, it is enough for all and it honours God when we honour each other, regardless of race, tribe, clan, denomination or social status”
Alongside the summit, WAPE in partnership with Fathers Heart Music team launched ‘We are One-Kenya music album; a twelve-song album laden with Biblical healing, forgiveness and reconciliation messages.
Speech upon speech were delivered, awakening the church to its potent role as the salt and light of the world, spurring them on, imploring them to shed the shackles of tribalism, asking them to transcend hate politics and  instilling in them a sense of duty in propagating Gods agenda in the community.
Speaking at the event, Most Rev. Jackson Ole Sapit, the Arch bishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya recounted his days as the bishop of Kericho where he had the privilege of attending a ‘Healing the Wounds of Ethnic Conflict’ (HWEC) workshop after the 2007/08 post election violence. He spoke of how HWEC had given him a fresh perspective on the cost of negative ethnicity. He further reminded the church of their role in national healing, forgiveness and reconciliation. He ended his session by asking the church to commit the following: not to be involved in any activity that dishonours the Lord Jesus Christ, not to be associated whatsoever with those who kill, rape, or are guilty of any form of violence, to uphold the sanctity of life and to love, honour and respect those from other tribes, religions or political affiliations.
Dr Rhiannon Lloyd of Healing the Nations, who is also the author of HWEC manual also addressed the summit. She led a deeply emotive and warmly refreshing session where she acknowledged the role of the Europeans in major historical injustices which still weigh heavily on the shoulders of Kenyans generations later. She brought in to light issues that have been repressed for long but whose consequences are being felt; she spoke of land grabbing by colonialists, slavery and tribal division. She then humbly sought for forgiveness from Kenyans on behalf of the colonialists.
Other speakers such as Prof Rose Mwonya, the VC of Egerton University, Rev. Anthony Makena of Christ is the Answer Ministry Nakuru and a representative of the office of Rift Valley Regional Coordinator emphasized on the need to bear the cost of sowing peace and not just wait to reap its fruits. Peace, just like charity begins within the four walls at home before spreading to the four corners of the world.
The summit was held at a time when the political climate is charged, it was relevant, impactful and timely.