4th Update from Connie
I can tell you before I start this email that it is not possible for me to adequately describe the situation in Kenya. There really are not words to convey to you the trauma people have experienced.
There was violence today but police responded swiftly and gave everyone 30 minutes to be out of Nairobi. There were estimated 7 deaths throughout Kenya. We are in Navasha and saw no violence.
This morning Kennedy picked us up at the apartment and we headed to the first internally displaced people camp (IDP). Before we left today though we asked the team members to share was the family members directly effected so we could pray for them and lift them up for God to protect while they were away. As they shared the stories of their family members homes burned, families members hurt many cried as the pain of the violence is so close to them. Our first we stop was in MaiMahui at Beat the Drum where we met the new little boy 4 year old Immenuel. He is a boy Bishop David rescued when he was training at the last ILI training. He is infected with HIV/AIDs. And we got to see Erupe – how good she looks! All the other children were in school. Pastor John later suprised us and after school brought them to see us at the camp. And for those of you who know Rebecca I am thrilled to tell two more sores are now just little scabs! There really is only one sore left. All the children looked healthly and happy!
There were some 350 men, women and children at the camp at MaiMahui. It is located at an AIC church. Pastor John is the GOA pastor helping with this camp. The GOA/Parters for Care team quickly set up a medical camp, VCT and the social workers set groups up for counselling. SN soon had a large group of men he counselled and shared the gospel with while others played games with the children – so many children. We met with the people responsible for the camp – pastors and a young women named Stacey. The camp was a community with areas for cooking, serving food, etc. The local Christian hospital had built six toliets and they were getting water from a tap from the hospital. However as our team of nurses told us most people they saw had diarrhea. When checking what happened to the water after it came to the camp we found the water contaminated by the method they were distributing it. They did have the proper water dispensers but they were dirty and not in use. After learning how many people were sick and why the camp “managers” began the process of cleaning and preparing to use the proper dispensers. Christian gathered the people at the camp for singing and prayer before we left. We left blankets, rice and SN left 2 soccer balls with GOA/Partner for Care PEACE printed on them. 24 were tested for HIV with 2 positive. 89 treated and given medications.
We drove to Navasha where we met Pastor Paul and Martha. Pastor Paul is the GOA Pastor helping with the Navasha response. Navasha has responded to displaced people differently here. The whole community has responded to help. There is a central site downtown where displaced families arrive everday. 300 families have been placed with families in Navasha. On Wednesday the Red Cross comes to distribute food to the famlies who have taken in a displaced family. The families are receiving medical care at the hospital but do not have money for the medications. The Red Cross asked if we could see some people that were sick. We left Paul and two others to provide medical help and then drove to the area near Tumiani. Paul treated 49 people.
The third area we went to is where Bishop David is from. Some of his own relatives have been displaced. GOA has purchasd an acre of land and is building temporary housing for some of the displaced families. They are building these houses in less than a week. The first two will be ready by early next week. They can build ten houses on the acre of land they bought. The costs is approximately $1500.00 US dollars per house to build and furnish. Pastor Stephen Kimiti is the GOA pastor respoñsible here. He is the principle of the local school for 1000 children. The school was built for 300. He has placed 60 children in homes who are seperated from their families! I cannot even imagine what it must be like for a child who is seperated from their parents in the mist of fleeing from their homes that have beed burnt. Pastor Stephen rides his bike to school every morning. Next week he plans to hold a big meeting bringing together parents who are misssing children and the children so they can be reunited. We were able to go by and see the children at Tumiani before travelling back to Navasha to get Paul and the others.
Some of the stories we heard:
Woman told us she fled with her six children only to be seperated from all of them. She has been told two of the children were burned and found dead.
People who said they owned homes, had grain stored and have lost everything. Now they stand in a cue line waiting for food.
People who fled riding in the back of a lowry truck fearing for their lives.
People in these camps look stunned Post-tramatic stress is apparent for so many. The Red Cross woman – Grace- in charge at Navasha embraced me when we said good-bye and cried just from the sheer magnitude of what has happened.
Glory Outreach Assemby with the help of the first-immediate donors from the US have responded in a way that I know is making Jesus pleased. The GOA pastors/Partners For Care staff are helping where they can. They took the money sent by the US donors and have bought food, blankets, sanitary pads and medications and the PEACE soccer balls. Praise God for the Beth Casey/RUMC lowry and George who FEARLESSY drives this truck loaded with needed items to those who need it.
One thing I want to share is how respected the GOA pastors are in the communities where we have been. And everyone in the communities knows them and they know everyone. It has been a privedge to work under their leadership as we are passed from GOA pastor to GOA pastor as we travel through Kenya. It seems except for the financial resources GOA was uniquely prepared for this task with pillars for the Homeless and Hurting and Peace and Reconcilation already in place.
When feeling discouraged and overwhelmed by the needs a message came in from Bishop David –
We shall continue doing our small part, that everyvbody will do their part . Thank you for your messages of encouragement, prayers and love. I read them to the team. Pray for peace, Connie