Reflection on the Garissa University College attack
By Phyllis Byrd
Holy Thursday morning, the breaking news came on the television that there was a terrorist’s attack on one of Kenya’s Universities. I stayed glued to the television flipping from channel to channel trying to get more information. I was afraid that I would be late for the Holy Thursday ecumenical worship service which I was leading at the All Africa Conference of Churches. Yet, my mind was totally focused on the news reports.Read more
The World Council of Churches (WCC) has strongly condemned the terror attack yesterday on the campus of Garissa University in North East Kenya. A statement issued on 3 April from the WCC headquarters in Geneva has expressed grave concern over the recent reports from Kenya with nearly 150 people massacred – including the guards protecting the campus – and almost 80 others left wounded by al-Shabaab extremists, who reportedly explicitly targeted Christian students on the basis of their faith.Read more
The Programme for Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa (PROCMURA) stands in prayerful solidarity with all Christians, Muslims and indeed all people of Nigeria at this very significant moment of democratic sustainability of your beloved country.Read more
Can a Phoenix really rise out of the ashes? When circumstances in life look hopeless, it is difficult to comprehend how a Phoenix can rise out of fire, renewed and reborn.Read more
Huriya is a student at Ainsworth Primary School in Nairobi, Kenya’s volatile Eastleigh neighborhood. She and her family fled their nearby country of Somalia when Al Shabaab extremists gained power and began forcing them to follow their radical sect of Islam. Along with 90% of the girls at Ainsworth, she wears her school uniform accessorized with a flowing white Muslim headscarf.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Exodus 33:12–23
Prayers for Kenya:
God, thanks for revealing your glory to us in all goodness. May we continue to appreciate your goodness and pay it forward to everyone in this world, especially those who are far away, so that we may be mutually strengthened. Some of those whom great distance separates are Kenyans and others East Africans. Please encourage us to distribute your goodness to those suffering from drought in Northwest Kenya, the internally displaced in Northeast Kenya, the gay citizens of Uganda, those affected by extremism in Somalia, the extremists themselves, girls subject to mutilation and forced into early marriage across East Africa, the mistreated mentally handicapped, those without access to enough food and safe water, and those students who cannot afford to go to high school, let alone college. God, be with community leaders and international partners and give them the courage and wisdom to address these many challenges as they share God's abundant life. Please force our attention upon the plight of others, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us, so that we may walk in solidarity with them—amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Kenya:
Many people have shared their heart wrenching stories with me this last year. I met one resilient woman in Tanzania named Nipaeli Waioto, who suffered successive floods and droughts that devastated her small farm. In Kenya, I met a passionate school principal named Sasi Kabaka who, when he first arrived at his elementary school, was appalled by its condemned state. I also met a majestic young lady in Rwanda named Margaret. During the genocide, eight-year-old Margaret and her mother were raped and both parents were killed. Margaret contracted HIV during this horrifying experience. These heroes and countless others are now thriving due to their own resilience, supportive communities, and encouragement from local and international partners, such as Global Ministries, Week of Compassion and One Great Hour of Sharing. Nipaeli was given emergency food and aid to help her in restoring her farm, which enabled her to meet the challenges of the disasters. Sasi’s school received desks, new classrooms, and training for parents and teachers. Margaret joined a psychosocial/entrepreneurial support group and now owns a barbershop. There are few government safety nets in East Africa. Many people are impoverished with little to insure their fragile survival. Your donations and the support of local ministries are saving the lives of sweet, sincere, hardworking people who have the determination required to succeed more independently. It has been a tremendous experience to witness the fruits of your humble sacrifices and the lives they have nurtured.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Joel Cooper)
Mission Partners in Kenya:
- All Africa Conference of Churches
- National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK)
- Presbyterian Church of East Africa
- Programme for Christian Muslim Relations in Africa
- St Paul’s United Theological College
More information on Kenya:
Global Ministries Missionary in Kenya:
Joel Cooper, member of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Bloomington, Indiana, serves as a Global Mission Intern with Church World Service East Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. His appointment is supported by Week of Compasssion, Our Churches Wider Mission, Disciples Mission Fund and your special gifts.
Church World Service Africa’s Giving Hope methodology was developed and implemented across Rwanda and other East African countries beginning in 2004 during the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. Countless hours were spent testing different strategies to improve the lives of orphans and vulnerable children with CWS’s partner, YWCA Rwanda. A few initial recipients were Venutte Dusabu, Francoise Niyonsaba, and Liberathe Ayinkamiye from Mbuye, Ruhango in the South-central area of the country. Now, 10 years after they joined the program and 20 years after the end of the Rwandan Genocide, here is how Giving Hope has affected their lives.Read more
There is a saying in Uganda pertaining to the Northeast region of the country, known as Karamoja: “We shall never wait for Karamoja to develop.” Here, CWS Africa, along with the other members of Together Coalition, attempt what many consider impossible.Read more