Dar is a city with many wonderful things including friendly people, cultural diversity, the ocean and beaches, delicious food, and exciting opportunities for work and business. You can probably think of something to add to this list. At the same time, you are likely to agree, that there are many things about Dar that are in a bad state. Things we need to build. Infrastructure is inadequate. Corruption is the order of the day. Our education and health services are in trouble. Many people have barely enough to live on, while many others are disillusioned with the work they do. Marriages are falling apart, and children are trying to find their way. There is much to build in Dar!
Today I am launching a new weekly note entitled Let Us Build. The purpose of Let Us Build is to provide some words of hope and wisdom to help us build our lives as residents of Dar. As a weekly piece, Let Us Build will address the key issues that we face in this great, but often challenging city. Every Monday you will receive an email discussing a particular topic. I hope this is something that you would like to be a part of.
You might ask me: why would do you want to do this? The answer is simple. I believe it is part of my purpose to serve our city in this way. For many years I carried a dream of returning to Dar to play a role in rebuilding it. This is one of the ways in which I will fulfil that dream. Let me be upfront and say that my main reference point for what I will share with you is the Bible. I am a Christian and a pastor of a church in our city. I am convinced that there is no greater source of hope and wisdom than God’s Word, the Bible.
Given that this is the first time I share Let Us Build with you, I will be brief in discussing this week’s topic. I want to address the question: how do we respond to the brokenness around us? Do we get angry? Do we ignore it? Do we say it is someone else’s problem? Are we overwhelmed by it? I want to point us to a man in the Bible called Nehemiah as an example of responding well to brokenness.
Nehemiah grew up in exile, and had the important job of being cupbearer to the King of Persia. He received news that the wall of Jerusalem, the city of his forefathers, was broken down. How did he respond? Amazingly, his initial response was to weep! Nehemiah 1:4 says “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.” Bear in mind that this was a man who was probably born in exile, and had a fairly significant job in a foreign land. He could have just said, “that is too bad” and moved on.
Despite the detached life he had lived, Nehemiah was so touched by the state of Jerusalem that he wept. It sounds odd, but weeping is a great place to start when we see broken walls. Like me, perhaps you often complain about the broken things in our city. I don’t blame you – there is much we can complain about! Friends, we need a change of heart that leads us to weep for Dar. We need to weep over the brokenness which exists in so many areas of life in our city.
Thank you for reading this far. If at this stage you feel this is not for you please let me know and I will remove you from the mailing list. On the other hand, if you have benefitted from reading today’s note, please give me your feedback. Also, if you know someone who might want to receive Let Us Build, please let me know so that I can include them.
All the best for the week ahead as you play your part in building the city of Dar!
Sheshi Kaniki (Pastor, God’s Tribe Church)