Inter-Denominational Thanksgiving and Prayer Services were held at KWS headquarters in Nairobi and in other conservation areas across the country on November 16, 2018 to show gratitude to God for His blessing as the year comes to an end.
At the headquarters, the service featured diverse prayers - including a traditional religious leader from Amboseli who prayed in the Maasai language – and entertainment by myriad KWS staff from field stations and headquarters. Rangers and other cadres of staff performed songs. A female Corporal Ms. Eunice Ambani, gave the occasion an emotional air when she soulfully played a saxophone.
KWS Lay Chaplain Mr. Brandard Emuria advised the gathering to adopt an attitude of gratitude, exhorting them to live by the Biblical words in Exodus Chapter 15 verses 1-20. There was a sermon by the Principal Chaplain for Administration Police Major Imam Ibrahim Abdi Noor, followed by several intercessory prayers which were done by six KWS staffs. The prayers were for: thanksgiving; peace and stability in Kenya; KWS to metamorphose into a world-class conservation hub; the Board of Trustees and Leadership of KWS; wildlife protection in Kenya; KWS staff and families and retired staff; those afflicted by various ailments; staff departed in the line of duty and for KWS Chaplaincy. The last intercessory prayer which was for children and youth was recited by a girl, Kavura Kitolo.
Prior to the service, staff had been requested to submit their tools of work: these were then blessed after offertory was done.
In his address, KWS acting Director General Professor Charles Musyoki thanked the Chair of the Board of Trustees (BOT), Dr. John Waithaka, for attending the service straight from the airport, in spite of being fatigued after a 10-day visit to Israel. He stressed on the importance of being grateful, as well as asking for divine guidance, because our individual efforts can only take us so far, but with God’s guidance we can accomplish much more. He said that going forward; the Thanksgiving service would be an annual event.
Dr. introduced KWS Board of Trustee members Mr. Henry Barmao, representing the Inspector General of Police, prominent lawyer Fred Ojiambo, as well as the BoT Vice Chair Betty Maitoyo. “For though we walk through the valley of copious, seemingly insurmountable challenges, we shall fear no evil,” the vice chairperson said.
Dr. Waithaka expressed his gratitude to the KWS Chaplaincy, The Director General and KWS staff, for organizing the prayer service. “The Board of Trustees is working extra hard to make things happen. During our three-month tenure, you have seen positive changes. Expect bigger and better results in the coming years of our term,” he said.
He expressed gratitude for the plethora of wildlife within our borders. “I drove through half of Egypt and almost the whole of Israel and was struck by the fact that I only saw one species of wild animal – The Arabian Oryx. “God has blessed us with a country with abundant rainfall and wildlife, and bestowed upon us this rare responsibility to look after them. ” he said.
The Chairman challenged each staff, in particular the uniformed cadres, to do their best, keeping in mind that a person with good intentions faces several challenges. He noted that Kenya’s name was expunged from the reputation-damaging ‘Gang of eight,’ in which Kenya was listed in because of unprecedented levels of poaching and illegal wildlife traffic.
“In the spirit of Thessalonians 1 Chapter 5 Verse 18, when it comes to giving thanks, thanksgiving is not restricted to only today,” Dr. Waithaka said.