Kenya (MNN)– Peace is slipping from Somalia's grasp, and the violence there is beginning to impact nearby Kenya. Somalian refugees are pouring into Kenya and setting up camps.
In an effort to bring things under control, Mogadishu's newly-sworn mayor asked residents of Somalia's capital to hand in their weapons and help the country's fragile interim government. Somalia's government cut a peace deal with rival tribal factions and their Ethiopian allies, and Islamist and clan-based insurgents, which ended some of the worst of the violence.
Against that backdrop, Global Advance went ahead with a Frontline Shepherd's Conference last month in a remote part of eastern Kenya. There, GAM's Jonathon Shibley says they encountered a near-desperation level of spiritual hunger from 700 pastors. "There are pastors and networks of leaders who are strategizing for when it becomes safe to go back into Somalia. They are discipling and equipping future church planters there in the refugee camps."
The United Nations Children's Fund estimates that $13.5 million (USD) are urgently needed to help hundreds of thousands of people who've been displaced by the renewed fighting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
But the story isn't all bad. As the hopes for peace build and borders open again, the diaspora-effect on the church will be seen. Shibley says their training will go a long way toward mobilization. "We really want to help raise up Kenyan pastors who have a cross-cultural burden to go into Somalia as missionaries, to plant new churches, to help re-evangelize, and to encourage brothers and sisters in the Lord who have just gone through heartache and destruction."
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