Saturday, January 12, 2008

Violence in Kenya

I am sure that most of you have heard of the ongoing violence in Kenya. It truly breaks my heart to see this country descending into chaos. When I see the suffering that is going on, I begin to wish that I was already there, so that I could minister to these people, as he hardest hit areas are the areas that we plan on ministering in: the slums.

There is more to the violence than just the discrepencies in the elections. There are long-standing issues that are involved in this mess, including tribalism and extreme poverty levels. Some of these issues have roots that are very deep in the fabric of Kenyan culture and history.

With all that seems wrong with Kenya right now, I wanted to post a portion of an email I received from Ed Compean. Ed is the pastor of Calvary International Fellowship in Nairobi. He shares a story from this last Sunday:

Dear Friends,

We could share many examples of how God is at work here in Kenya during this time of chaos and violence after our recent elections, but I'll keep it to what happened yesterday afternoon.

After Sunday morning's service at Calvary International Fellowship we had learned one of our regular attendees was housing people that had lost their home from post-election violence. Another family knew of many others that were without food in their house because of the riots and wanted to know how to get some food to them. Sunday afternoons are usually taken up with a meeting for CIF leaders followed by our Sunday afternoon Bible study, but we knew it was time to put James 1:22 into action as we became doers of God's word and not only hearers.

Our little Toyota's suspension creaked as we loaded Lucas, a Kikuyu, Daniel, a Kamba and Lillian a Luo with myself with the lentils, cooking fat, unga, beans and tea leaves in it. CIF's multi-nation, multi-tribe, multi-tongue leadership team bounced down the dirt paths to Stephen's home where we found him housing more than 12 people under his roof. One man had deep gashes from being beaten by another tribe as he walked home and was afraid to return and was staying with the group for safety. A family of children sat on Stephen's couch not knowing what their future held because they had not heard from their parents since the election. We all felt good to know God had supplied for Stephen to feed these people.

Lillian is on of he students from Disciple Support Ministries Bible Institute in Mathare and the only person from that area to make it to CIF this week. She serves within the church and was along with us to help pass out the food. We welcomed her as a great prayer warrior. As we heard the stories in Stephen's house Lillian began sharing about her experiences in Mathare Valley since the election. We all knew Mathare was one of the worst places of violence and wanted to hear more. Everyone in the room had experienced horrible things in the last week, but Lillian stopped us all when she said, "We had some little food, but we could not take it because they were killing people outside our door."

Lillian went on to explain how they had stayed for days inside their house to fearful to go outside. Even after the ran out of food they stayed inside. God preserved her two wonderful children and her husband, but that there was death all around. Many of her neighbors lost everything and are afraid to leave for fear of being killed or looted. Praise God we could send her back with enough food for her family and neighbors.

Ed and Kelli Compean have spend the next few month's ministry budget purchasing food for the members of their church. If you would like to donate to their ministry, please visit Shepherd Staff's web page.

I have also received a report that the Disciple Support Ministry campuses have been spared from the violence. Please pray for DSM as they continue to reach out to the pastors in Kibera and Mathare

Please continue to lift up this nation to the Lord. Please pray for the missionaries on the ground, as well as those that are back in the states right now. Pray that peace would come to this nation, both political peace, and the true peace that only comes from the King of Kings.

In His Name,

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