Vice-chancellor speaks on mental Health Illness
On Tuesday 12th September, the Vice-chancellor Prof. Laban P. Ayiro addressed the first Chapel service for the new semester and academic year at Daystar Athi Campus.
It was a solemn and somber moment as the Vice-chancellor spoke for the first time following the events of the previous weekend in which the University lost a female first year student under mysterious circumstances.
In a sermon titled: sermon titled Can a Christian Suffer Mental Health?, Prof. Ayiro expressed profound grief over the mysterious death of Mercy Jerono Kwambai which was announced in the early morning hours of Saturday 9th September.
"This loss is not only to her family but to the University and society at large."
Prof. Ayiro commended security, medical and residence services personnel for swift response after the incident was reported, and the University fraternity for conducting themselves with utmost maturity during this difficult time.
"It is a common belief among Christendom that Christians cannot suffer from mental health issues, with more than 50% of evangelicals confessing the same. Mental health issues are therefore viewed as a sickness for non- Christians," he said in his sermon.
The VC went on to say that contrary to this belief, Christians can indeed suffer mental health issues, citing the bishop of a local church who confessed to have faced depression and at some point, contemplated suicide.
In his sermon , Prof. Ayiro presented two hypotheses why Christians can indeed suffer from mental issues.
First, he hypothesised that because Christians are human, with fallen bodies just like the rest of humanity, they are susceptible to mental health challenges.
"Christians are not immune to human frailties and as such, things like sicknesses, anxiety, and worry assail them and can cause them mental stresses just like the rest of humanity," he said.
His second submission was that Christians are a target of the enemy, who will afflict them with troubles intended to destabilize them through mental issues.
For this, he quoted the Genesis 3 story where God declares enmity between the serpent, a symbol of the devil and the woman and her seed, the symbol of humanity. He added that the enemy targets humans with such things illnesses, strife and abuse which trigger a threat response in the body, adding that sustained exposure to these threats causes a build up of chemicals within the human body that ends up affecting people negatively.
Finally, the VC submitted that Christians can suffer from mental illnesses as a result of unconfessed sin.
Quoting Psalms 32 he said: "When we walk with unconfessed sin and open rebellion against God’s commands, then we walk in condemnation, which can result to mental health issues."
In his closing remarks, the Vice Chancellor urged the entire Daystar fraternity to walk in love and truth towards one other, so that they are do not cause one another mental distress.
He also thanked the Daystar family for being a source of support and strength to him especially during tough times.
The sermon ended with the hymn “It is so sweet to trust in Jesus,” a reminder to the Daystar fraternity to keep their trust firmly in Jesus.