Silver Festival – We are not getting old, we are becoming ripe.
The first Kenya Silver Festival was held On Friday, March 22, at the Good News Mission Church Nairobi.
Kenya is a young society with more than 70% of the population being youth aged between 19-30 years. Due to this demographics majority of the aged have been sidelined. Despite there being programs that cater for the elderly many still lack attention in areas like health, education and social issues.
The Good news mission Nairobi Church prepared the first ever Silver Festival from the age of 55 and above.
Although the silver festival was prepared in a short period of time, the event had an unexpectedly high turnout. Prior to the event, brothers and sisters of Good News Mission church Nairobi, gathered for prayers and engaged in advertisement in churches seeking for donation of stationery and sponsorship. 71 year old Song Kyung-sun, who lives in the church as a volunteer, was in charge of invitation and mind education. She had to forsake her thought and listen to the voice of the church and the servant of God. Although it was tiring to move to many places in Nairobi, she was able to gain a precious testimony of how God saw her through overcoming burden.
Song Kyung-sun, 71 year old
On the morning of the event, several buses arrived at the reception desk while the African a cappella video of the Gracias Choir sounded at the hall. The event was painted by colorful performances ranging from, performance by Tumaini band team, Kenya righteous stars. The highlight of the performance was Cultural Dance Team by the IYF students. The elderly were also treated to some instrumental and acapella music by teachers from the Saesori Music School.
The elderly arriving at the venue
Performance by the IYF Cultural Dance Team
Violin Performance by the teacher of Saesori Music School
Performance by the Association for the Elderly in Kenya
On matters health the elderly were given a short tutorial on how to maintain their oral health Kenya Good News Medical Volunteer, Jung Hyun-sook explained the importance and methods of dental care for the elderly and also made a brushing demonstration.
Then, there was a mind lecture by Song Kyungsun. Speaking directly in English with the help of an interpreter in Swahili. She spoke about the law of Koi fish that grows only 5-8 centimeters in an aquarium, but can grow as big as a height of a man in the river.
Sister Song Giving Mind Lecture
The event’s theme was dubbed “We are not getting old anymore, but we are ripening”. The message of the mind education was pegged on the narrative that the 'silver team' should not just stay in in their comfort zone, but come out of their space and grow like the koi fish in the river by opening their minds and learning together.
Though she spoke in poor English, the participants were all impressed by the over 70 year old grandmother who has lived in Kenya for the last thirteen years and is still challenging and giving happiness to others.
The participants listened a pure and positive posture and their countenance resembled that of a young person. They nodded to the point that their heart should be healthy so that their body can be healthy, through the word of, Numbers 14:28, Say unto them, as truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you. All the elders now shook their heads and shouted loudly that there was no more sin left in their hearts. Romans 3:24, "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.", it was like a dream.
Participants listening to the Gospel from Rev. Yohan Kim
The elderly who are no longer old but were young and healthy received the Silver Academy Application Form with enthusiastic hearts. The program will be held every Friday starting March 30th. A total of 219 students submitted their applications to the Silver Academy.
In unison, they raise up their hand to acknowldege that they are righteous!!
After they had lunch together and fellowship, many participants expressed their gratitude to the organizers for preparing these events for the elderly. Through the Silver Academy to be held in the future, all the silver in Kenya will hear the correct gospel and hope to see Jesus, be healthy and happy.
Participants Filling up their application forms
Song Kyungsun Testimony
Song With a friend they met at the silver festival
It was like a dream today as buses came in and people rushed to see the Lord's work. I received grace to be the first to do a Silver Festival in Kenya, and everyone was excited, and I liked it so much. I was too lazy and confined before, but now I am going forward in a new way through the church and the servant of God, to see the Lord and not me, to make me speak as the world’s greatest mind instructor, to expect the Lord to do so, and to live beyond 70 years and happy. Thank you so much.
Joyce Gichuna (age 79, Chairperson for Elderly’s Association)
There are seniors in our nursing homes over 60 to 100 years old. I am so happy to be here today. The program was so beautiful. I would like to work with this Silver Academy as much as I can. We hope that this academy will spread throughout the region and broaden its great work and we will all be together.
Elijah Mwega (age 63, Director of Karica Aging & AIDS Program)
We are delighted to be here, this is the first time to be invited to discuss on issues concerning the elderly and celebrate together. I am planning a partnership with this silver academy. Through this work, I think that the elderly people can get lively. It was impressive to me that this silver academy is equipped with training and education for the elderly.
# Reporter, Esther Kanja