Travel situation worsens unrest impact on ministry in Kenya

By January 4, 2008

Kenya
(MNN)– International travel warnings have been issued for Kenya in the wake of
deadly rioting and tribal conflict following the presidential election.

Kenya's
attorney general is now calling for a recount and an investigation into the
country's election process. When the
results were announced, violent protests
erupted, resulting in the death of more than 300.

Reprisal
killings took on the shape of tribal warfare between the Kikuyu and Luo. That led to an accusation of genocide from
incumbent President Mwai Kibaki's
party against Raila Odinga's party.  

Many
residents are hunkering down to wait out the situation. However, with flights being canceled into
the country, that is further spreading the impact.

Words of
Hope's
Lee DeYoung says they may have to postpone a study term involving
ministry trainees later this month. "This came at a time when we were in between study terms, and some
people were home for their holiday celebration with family members. Now, returning to work at our center near the
Kenya/Sudan border is problematic because of the widespread
violence."   

The
Words of Hope facility is in Lokichoggio, a border town near southern
Sudan. Aside from the disruption of
their Kenya work, DeYoung says, "Kenya has been an island of stability
and has been the staging area for much ministry into Somalia as well as into
Sudan. So this current development is
really causing a great deal of concern."

Students come for training to be better prepared to minister back in their
respective areas. The harvest in recent years has been bountiful.  

For example, one trainee in 2007 came from Lecongole, in Sudan's Jonglei
state of the Upper Nile region. He was connected
to pastor James Aleji Zelu. Prior to
2000, no believers in Christ lived anywhere in that area. James said, "The people here were
believing in other gods–worshiping the sun, rivers, and trees. Now when people
hear the Word of God, we pray for them and they receive Christ as God has called
them."

The first church was planted in the Lecongole area in 2000. Since then, four
additional congregations have been planted there with the help of previous
graduates from the Lokichoggio training program. Today, 4,000 believers worship
in five newly-planted congregations every Sunday.

That's why prayer is so essential to this effort. According to James, that's just the
beginning.  "This training needs to
continue because we have more called workers who need to be prepared for
ministry."

Pray for the restoration of peace in Kenya. Pray that the Lord protects those who are training to serve Him. 

 

Leave a Reply