Kenya (MNN) — As Kenyans continue to seek answers about the more than 60 soldiers killed in the latest al-Shabaab attack at a base in neighboring Somalia, fear grips Nairobi.
At Parklands Baptist Church, armed guards check each vehicle that enters its parking lot. Women’s handbags are searched, and men are screened. As the celebration begins, men rise throughout the congregation who are in some way aligned with the military. The prayers begin for protection from harm and to see God’s hand in the salvation of even the militants who seek to destroy Christianity.
“I beg Your protection over Your people in the name of the Lord, and agree that they will be safe in their going in and safe in their going out.”
Tom Wekesa is an elder at Parklands. A businessman and director of Kenyan programs for Orphan Outreach, he has seen the devastating impact of rebel violence on his country. “For sure, the impact is great across the board, to those directly affected and to the country at large.” Wekesa shares. “Kenya is one big family, regardless of religion, tribe or race. At this moment, the country is bleeding because of an incident of insecurity.”
Wekesa says the latest violence is particularly painful because it occurred while Kenyan troops were in Somalia in an effort to help stabilize the country so that refugees might be able to return to their homeland. “We were trying to help Somalia get on its feet.”
Still, there is hope. And Wekesa believes it is founded in Scripture. “Psalms 127 says, ‘Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.’ So we are confident that that foundation of Kenya is founded on Christ Jesus, and God is the one watching over our country. And we are sure to be victorious at the end. This is a trial for us, and after the trial we’ll have a triumph as a country.”
Wekesa encourages all Kenyans–and others around the world–to pray, “to raise the altar of Christ, to raise God above everything else because He is the author of everything and He is the perfecter of our faith. We have lost our brothers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice as soldiers. But nothing can separate us from the love of God. I encourage everybody to focus on Jesus, focus on God because He is the one who will give us victory of this insecurity.”