When I was growing up, I use to tell a joke to my British friends. On the 4th of July, while we Americans were celebrating our independence, I’d always ask them, “Do the British have a 4th of July?” Their answer was always, “No”, and I’d finish off the joke by saying, “So you jump from the 3rd of July right to the 5th? Of course you have a 4th of July, it’s just not a holiday for you!”
Today is Kenya’s “4th of July”, called Jamhuri Day. It’s the day that Kenya celebrates it’s independence from England. This year, it’s a particularly big day because today Kenya turns 50, so “Happy Jamhuri Day!!!”
My parents came to Kenya when I was 3 years old. I had my 4th Birthday party in July, 1973 and Kenya celebrated it’s 10th birthday party in December of that year. That means there’s been Dixon’s living in Kenya for 40 of the 50 years that it’s been around. And since I grew up here, and now live here, I’ve spend almost 30 of my 44 years living here in Kenya. I can truly say that Kenya is my home even though my passport says I’m American.
Kenya is not without it’s problems, as any country in the world has problems, even the United States. The BBC just put out a great article about issues that Kenya face as they celebrate half a century of being a country, but what I like about the article is at the end, after showing all of the hardships that Kenya is facing, the author says “there is hope”.
We as Christians know that a growing economy, decreasing unemployment, and a lowering of the infant mortality rate are all good, but that isn’t the real basis hope. Our true hope comes in the knowledge that for as many problems there are in society, the answer to those problems is Jesus Christ. His death on the cross gives us true hope for the future.
I want to leave you with the lyrics to Kenya’s national anthem because I love the fact that it is a prayer to God for that hope that only he can bring.
O God of all creation
Bless this our land and nation
Justice be our shield and defender
May we dwell in unity
Peace and liberty
Plenty be found within our borders.