A few days ago the Crossing’s blog, Every Square Inch, posted this letter and I thought it was worth passing along. My thanks to Cami Wheeler, who wrote what follows:
Kenya urgently needs restoration of peace and order as tribal violence sweeps the nation in the wake of last week’s highly contested presidential election. Food and water are scarce in areas blocked off by the violence.
This crisis is of particular concern for The Crossing. For over three years, we have been building ministry partnerships in Kenya , including New City Fellowship-Nairobi, where we provide direct support to Erick and his four orphaned siblings; Pistis School in Nairobi, which is full of kids from all over Africa and beyond; and Pamoja Orphanage in Meru and Racefield School in Mwingi, both of which feed, educate and care for destitute children. So far, we have had no direct contact with these partners. But we have heard through mission friends that the members of New City Fellowship and the children at Pistis School are safe, though quite fearful. Pamoja Orphanage and Racefield School are in rural areas that for now are mostly stable. However, Erick and his siblings are stranded in Western Kenya, one of the worst areas of inter-tribal violence. Erick, a Luo, has repeatedly risked himself to feed and care for his Kikuyu neighbors who are the targets of ethnic hatred. He is doing all he can to live out the love of Christ by helping his neighbors survive.
Our friends in Kenya ask that we plead for God to humble the hearts of their political leaders, as well as for an end to the violence and threat of civil war. Pray also for protection of the innocent, perseverance of the faithful, and that God’s mercy and grace would be poured out, making his glory known. Pray especially for those who are suffering greatly, including those who are elderly, displaced, physically unwell, or have lost a family member. Finally, pray for God to open our eyes and tenderize our hearts, allowing us to respond with humility, compassion, and generosity.
The following summary provides more background information and the links below are included for you to access further news:
Leaders in Africa and The West urge peace, a return to order, and diplomatic solutions while each side accuses the other of promoting violence and tribal hatred. Charges of election fraud and inciting genocide are being hurled between the incumbent President, Mwai Kibaki, and the opposition presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, following the Kenyan presidential election held Dec. 27, 2007. Rioting has raged across the nation, particularly in Nairobi’s impoverished slums, the Coast, and Western Kenya, all strongholds of Odinga support. While the world looks on, police in riot gear turn back angry mobs with water cannons and teargas, men cut each other down with machetes, and hooligans loot and burn slums, shops and churches. The official death toll, now over 300, is said to fall far short of the actual numbers. Many fear escalation to the sort of genocide and civil war seen in Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Congo, and other African states in recent decades. Those who can are leaving, those who can’t cower in their homes or are crowding into churches and other places of refuge hoping for protection and peace.