FUM has just (Wednesday morning) sent out this e-mail from Eden Grace. They have left Kisumu and are currently in the Mennonite Guest House in Nairobi.
At dawn this morning, as I listened to the BBC in lieu of sleep, the reports were that Kenya is breaking apart and that civil war looks possible–even likely.
30 January 2008
Greetings to you all, and huge thanks for your messages of support and encouragement. You have truly been sustaining us through these troubling times.
Yesterday, our family left Kisumu on a chartered flight sent by the US Embassy to bring out families with children. The situation in Kisumu (and all of western Kenya) has taken a turn for the worse since the horrible events in Nakuru and Naivasha over the weekend, and it was no longer prudent to stay where we were. For the moment, we are staying at the Mennonite Guest House, and taking things day by day. Eden is continuing to work, and can actually get more done in Nairobi, where there is freedom of movement, than in Kisumu where she was confined to the house. James and the kids are planning to spend their mornings doing some informal homeschooling. We are all grateful to be in a calm and restful environment, and plan to do a lot of sleeping!
This comes, of course, as a shock and disappointment, since it seemed last week like things were starting to improve. Kofi Annan is still here, and there is still some hope for the political mediation process, but at this point, it will be very difficult to quell the violence, even if the politicians reach a settlement. Kenya is in desperate need of your intercessions!
We held a very successful National Kenyan Quaker Peace Conference last weekend in Kakamega — truly the Lord wanted this conference to succeed, since a “window” of peace opened up just for those four days, and we were able to travel and meet together! The Conference emerged with some very strong ideas for immediate action that Friends can take. If you haven’t done so, we encourage you to read the conference documents on Mary Kay’s blog — http://www.updatesonkenya.blogspot.com/.
Our work now is to implement the Plan of Action. Eden was appointed Treasurer of the Coordinating Committee, which means that she will be responsible for overseeing the right use of your contributions toward this work. We really hope that you will be able to partner with us, and encourage you to contribute at www.fum.org. The need is enormous!
Our thanks go out to Ginna, who felt a burden on our behalf to draw your attention to the fact that our family’s livelihood is not covered by the outpouring of emergency relief funds from Friends. We have important work to do now, and we do ask for your contribution toward our ministry account, so that we can continue to play our part in God’s work here. Thanks, Ginna, for helping “toot our horn”! We really do need you at this time.
Please, please continue praying for peace in Kenya. Things have reached a frightening “tipping point”, where we can envision a truly horrible future. But at the same time, we know that God is a miracle-worker, and that He has not abandoned Kenya, so we remain hopeful. Please join us in pleading for His hand of calm to stay the angry hearts, His hand of comfort to bind up the wounded in body and spirit, and His hand of wisdom to guide all of us who seek to do His will today and every day.
In Christian fellowship,
Eden Grace, Field Officer
Friends United Meeting/Africa Ministries