Kenya’s troubles hits children’s ministry

By January 9, 2008

Kenya (MNN) — Kenya's opposition is rejecting talks with President Mwai Kibaki. The situation may undermine attempts to end the political standoff that has cost over 500 lives.

Buckner International's vice president of global initiatives Randy Daniels says the Eldoret violence was about 45 kilometers away from their Seeds of Hope orphanage in Kitale, but none of the children were in immediate danger. 

However, "The crisis probably more directly affected our foster care program in the Kitale area. Certainly, they don't have food on a regular basis like most of us. Our foster homes–we have 20 of them in the Kitale area–faced a more immediate crisis. Our staff directed some of the supplies from Seeds of Hope to our foster homes." 

Buckner delayed two mission trips there. However, the agency established a fund to respond to the recent political crisis and violence in Kenya. Buckner International President Kenneth Hall says Buckner Kenya Crisis Relief "will be used to answer the needs of food, clothing, supplies, health care, housing repairs and construction for both the children in our care and the neighborhoods where we provide ministry."

Buckner has an extensive ministry in Kenya. Its Baptist Children's Center in Nairobi and Seeds of Hope Children's Home in Kitale care for a total of 115 orphans, and schools there serve an additional 75 children.

Buckner also oversees 43 foster homes in the country, which care for 80 children. In addition, preschools and community ministries in two slum locations provide education and support for 180 children and at-risk families.

Daniels urges prayer. "Pray that God will provide, and that any further crisis will be avoided. This is an opportunity to stand up and to share the Gospel, but I think we're going to have to do it in very real ways. It's going to have to be helping people restart their lives and in the process of that, telling them about Jesus, telling them about the Good News." 

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