By Janet Nzisa and Fred Opiyo
Pictures by Abel Musungu
On 12 May 2018, many countries awoke to celebrate Mother’s Day, a day set aside to commemorate the moms in our lives. Nairobi Christian Church, Eastern Block, was not to be left behind. The service in Umoja, led by Evangelist Mike Odwallo, prepared the ground for this memorable day. He shared about the special women who stuck by Jesus at the time when many people including his disciples were running away from him (Matthew 27:45-56); and about Mary who became the mother of Jesus and how she was so humbled for the privilege God bestowed on her (Luke 1:46-56).
Mothers are nurturers and we celebrate them for who and what they are. They have a special place in our lives that should never be taken for granted. And woman do not have to have ever given birth to a child to still be a mother of many.
After the communion message from Prof. Alex Mumbo, disciples were given an opportunity to share about their mothers or wives. Steve Onyaga started off by sharing childhood memories of how his mother took care of him and all his siblings, and how she would always make sure they were well feed. He quoted Ephesians 6:1-2 and shared how his wife is now the pillar in their home and how their children who are now young adults still love sharing their secrets and stories with her. He praised her love for their family.
The teens shared very moving experiences about their moms and how their moms guide and support them. Through tears of gratitude, they shared how they have seen their mothers sacrifice even when sick to give them the best of everything including moral support.
Linney Nelly Ochieng particularly moved the crowd when she shared how her mother would wake up early in the morning to go to work despite having severe leg pains. She shared how in the evening her mum would come back home still in pain but would manage to wake up early the next morning, help her with and homework, and continue making it to work day after day.
Kevin Ambani shared how his mum used to teach him the Bible and would tell him, “If you don’t know Jesus you’ll never know God”.
Sanchez Luiz spoke of his mother who was widowed at a young age with eight children to take care of. She managed to raise them all singlehandedly and through her example they grew up to be the hardworking and responsible people they are today. In the same breath, he spoke of the dedication his wife has towards their children and how easily she notices when one of them is not okay and quickly takes action.
Evangelist Mike Odwallo praised his wife Liz for being a good mother to their children and the spiritual mother to many in the church.
Gitau Nganga who was raised by a single mother along with six other siblings shared how his mother and wife have been pivotal in his life. Their roles as mothers was not lost on him and he expressed much appreciation for all they do.
Liz Odwallo took the opportunity to speak to the congregation about the different seasons of motherhood. She encouraged the sisters to keep going no matter the hardships because someday their children will rise up and call them blessed.
Irene Nduta and Nancy Pole were recognized as two mothers who have been supportive and consistent in the Church over time. Irene was described as humble, sacrificial, devout, and zealous for the things of God. Liz compared her to the Ethiopian Eunuch who was eager to learn and to serve.
Nancy has toiled for the daughters of Sarah and loves and cares deeply for the women around her. She has been a mother to many and her prayers and encouragement have enabled many to stand firm in their faith.
Irene and Nancy were honored with gifts and words of affirmation for their service to the Church. Gifts were also given to those sisters newly baptized in 2018.
To all the mothers–we love, appreciate, and value you.