Rebecca Joshua addressing the planners (Photo by Viola Matela) 

By Viola Matela

The national Minister of Roads and Bridges has called on the Church to become economically self-reliant so that they can work towards sustainable peace.

While addressing members of the Presbyterian Church during their 20 year Strategic Plan Workshop, Rebecca Joshua Okwaci encouraged the Church to embrace fundraising so as to get delivered from the bondage of begging.

She also advised Church to encourage people to work in order to build economic power and resources for the future.

“Church should become independent with little reliance on donors. This can be through fundraising where members contribute the little they have,” the Minister of Roads and Bridges said.

Ms Okwaci also said that Church could invest in land, agriculture or any other opportunity which was not acquired through illegal means to build peace.

In addition to this, she said that the economic independence of the church gave it room to deliver services like health since standing with the sick or traumatized required these facilities.

Ms. Okwaci later emphasized that Church which is connected with peace, love and unity can instill the same values in children when it has schools where they are taught.

Ms Okwaci argued that the love had to be spoken out on top of being put in action. “Let us love in action and practice speaking it to one another and we’ll build peace from one generation to another,” Okwaci said.

She also noted that peace was a process and everyone needed to contribute to its nurturing.

“Peace is a process and we must continue building. In peace making, people must talk to one another and reach out. If there’s no peace within you, you can’t give it out,” she added.

Rt. Rev. Peter Gai Lual Marrow, Moderator of the General Assembly also encouraged the members to use the power they have to reach out to the public and the country’s leaders.

“As Church with a moral responsibility, advise the leaders and pray for them,” Rev. Lual said.

He further called upon the participants to help neutralize people in trauma and hate speech perpetrators with peace messages that superseded any division or boundary.

According to Rev.Lual, in the process of peace, looking at root causes cannot solve anything but if people were wrong, they needed to be told.

“If people are wrong, tell them what they have done and if they are doing the right thing, encourage them to go further,” he said.

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