Kenya travel re-opened for CRC constituents

By February 20, 2008

Kenya (MNN) — Kenya's rival leaders resumed talks Tuesday to seek a way out of the country's political crisis through a power-sharing agreement.

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee's Andrew Ryskamp says the situation in Kenya is now calm enough to re-open travel and allow their team to go to Kenya to help conduct relief efforts. Last week, CRWRC staff members in Kenya resumed "working with the North American constituency to determine which visits are warranted," says Ryskamp.

The team is distributing food and other forms of emergency relief to people in Eldoret. In addition, CRWRC representatives are using funds from a grant from the CRC of Canada to distribute blankets and other forms of aid to people in Nairobi.

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has been the chief negotiator in the talks.  Because he has the rivals talking, the unrest has been calming down. That, in turn, has raised hopes for a long-term stability returning to the country.

Rebuilding what was lost in the weeks of civil unrest will take time, as will the rebuilding of community. That's where the CRC team is able to share what difference the Gospel makes.  Ryskamp explains, "Our partnerships are with churches, and so through health work and agricultural work, and through leadership development in the communities, we want to really integrate that as a message that Christ brings healing to whole parts of our society, starting with the spiritual." 

Christians are focusing on the spiritual warfare that led to the unrest. There's a national calling that will open new doors for the church, shares Ryskamp. "They're calling for a fast from March 1 through March 7, and then just a time of prayer two weeks following. I think that's a powerful way for the churches to call for peace and reconciliation."

The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) has five full-time staff in Kenya. The country is also the base for the CRWRC's HIV/AIDS coordinator for the East/South African region. Partners Worldwide, a CRC business-development ministry, also has a staff person in Kenya. If you can help, click here

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