What’s one “small thing” I can do for peace?

Mother Teresa quoteWambui Nguyo began her latest report from Nairobi with one of my favorite quotes: We can do no great things, only small things with great love.  

She continues, “These are words of Mother Teresa and they have an applicable meaning with the people of Korogocho slum who benefitted from the SIA Small Business Fund. What one may call small/little, is a treasure to another.”

Learn Together, Pray Together

“The three families that benefitted from this SIA fund have a story to tell. They even looked different from the last time I saw them.”

Since receiving their initial $100 grants in August, these three groups have been learning together about improving their businesses. But the talk is about more than just marketing and sales.

“They meet for fellowship and have been able to rotate the leadership of the group among those comfortable to lead. Among them they have three people who are Muslims and we agreed from the beginning to make sure all are comfortable and respect each other’s religion. This has not been a problem with this group. I had left them some print outs of developing prayer/ sharing groups and they have been using them. They actually keep meeting minutes and are very committed to put God first in whatever they do. They also use this space to share on how their businesses are doing and share on the challenges if any.”

Building Peace

This praying together, across faiths, is an important part of SIA’s mission. We are here in part to encourage each person’s spiritual development, with the understanding that faith takes many forms. In 2012, I wrote a post about the importance of diversity for building peace and creating a better world for all. “The strength of Spirit in Action is bringing people together from many different traditions for a higher good overall rather than separating people along dogmatic lines.”

And Wambui is well-positioned to encourage this diversity. In addition to volunteering her time with SIA she works for Alternatives to Violence Project, Kenya, which helps people heal from conflict and violence and also trains people in conflict resolution and reconciliation tools.

Sometimes doing “a small thing with great love” is as simple as listening to someone with a different worldview, or praying with someone who uses different words in their prayers. Creating space for sharing between Christians in Muslims in Kenya is one step towards building larger spaces of peace. And now SIA is part of this peacebuilding!

*Next week I’ll share the stories and photos from these business groups in Kenya! Stay tuned.

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5 Responses to “What’s one “small thing” I can do for peace?”

  1. marsha johnson January 29, 2014 1:35 pm
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    My dear Tanya and fellow Spirit in Action enthusiasts,

    This entry has brought me to tears. It has been my dream for Spirit in Action since its inception that people of varied faith traditions would come together to work, pray, love and respect one another. This is the most tangible SIA example I’m aware of that this is happening, and I am on my knees in gratitude to the Creator of us all.

    Hallelujah!

    With gratitude and celebration,
    Marsha

  2. Dennis January 29, 2014 2:14 pm
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    Wonderful to hear that Wambui Nguyo, our newest small business coordinator, is doing such a good job. Considering that she is working in the slums of Nairobi, I’m sure she knows a lot more people who can benefit from our small business grants.
    Dennis

  3. Kathleen January 30, 2014 11:54 pm
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    What a perfect update! … and a wonderful reminder for the rest of us to work for peace.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Success stories from Kenya! | Spirit in Action International - February 4, 2014

    […] As promised, today we have real stories from the new business groups in Kenya. These groups are truly modeling the spirit of SIA. They are eagerly trying new things, realizing the benefits of their hard work, and paying-it-forward to help others in need. […]

  2. New businesses leaders "over the moon" in Nairobi | Spirit in Action International - June 10, 2014

    […] Business Fund (SBF) grants weren’t just pleased, “they were ‘over the moon’” says Wambui Nguyo, SIA SBF local coordinator. “They said it seemed like a dream, especially when I confirmed it […]

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