By Michael Nambafu
Since more than eighty participants for the World Gathering of Young Friends- Africa arrived at the Kanamai conference centre, young friends have expressed their gratitude and joy about how the conference is being conducted and have praised the organizers for the work well done.
They singled out tireless effort being made by the organizers led by John Fitzgerald and Bainito Wamalwa in making the conference accommodative to all.
Participants said that the conference will come up with the means of uniting the youth and older generation from all different walks of life thus strengthening the church and spreading Quakerism.
They said that the conference is open to all types of Quakers and has created space for exploring what is intangible, but important to their faith.
Participants stressed that various topics that are being raised at the workshops and base groups, have provided them with spiritual nourishment which will be a major bearing in their Quaker faith and growth.
Most participants were challenged by the different styles of worship and their theology, like unprogrammed Quaker worship which is not common among African Quakers.
They said that the gathering has made them discover a common language and vision that has made them feel united through their differences and have made contacts which they will nurture. They hope to put their faith into action by becoming brave and adventurous in trying to realize their vision.
The participants also said their interaction with other friends has given them an insight into their worship system which will be cultivated or incorporated in their own system for the purpose of rediscovering the basic foundation of Quakerism.
Ben Guaraldi said that he has been in North America and England but the Kenyan conference has taught him the difference between culture, eldering and faith.
“What I have learned from the conference has really strengthened my faith by defining to me who is a true disciple”, said Moses Sasaka.
Patrick Savagaji said that he has learned how faith and practices from different parts of the world on Quakerism had divided their faith and on the other hand how it has unified and strengthen Quakerism.
But Christine Sabwa suggested that the conference has given her greater opportunity to interact with Friends from all yearly meetings and she is looking for spiritual inspiration and being enthused by things she has not thought about before.
T. Phori said that he has experienced diversity among Friends from a different tradition of worship and how Friends exercise the spirit of love, truth and peace among themselves.
All participants agreed that after the meeting they will go back into their different yearly meeting and instil to other friends what they have learned so that they can strengthen their faith and spread Quakerism.