Kenya in Need
Political unrest erupted in many parts of western Kenya on December 30th, 2007, immediately after the Electoral Commission of Kenya declared incumbent President Mwai Kibaki the winner of the election held on December 27th. Kibaki’s main challenger, Raila Odinga, rejected the result and claimed he won the election, alleging it was rigged in Kibaki’s favor. Ethnic groups perceived to have supported Kibaki have borne the brunt of the violence, mostly in areas of Nyanza and Rift Valley provinces where they are minorities. Residents of those areas voted overwhelmingly for Odinga. The official death toll is reported at about 600.
The results of political unrest have been hard on Kenya. A nation that was working to move beyond its humble tribal beginnings toward a mature society has been set back many years. The struggle for a stable national life is intensified by the fact that most of the people who fled political violence in Kenya’s Rift Valley Province, the country’s breadbasket, are farmers and their displacement has undermined the national food supply. The violence also affected milk delivery to factories, leading to shortages and price hikes. Livestock theft was widespread during the violence and dairy farmers in areas hit by the unrest will need help to resume milk production, according to Augusta Abate, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) assistant representative for Kenya Abate also notes that 75 percent of the estimated 300,000 people displaced from the Rift Valley have become destitute.
Toward a Solution
Teaming with Equipping Pastors International (EPI), I hope to give a series of lectures before a group of national pastors and their spouses in October’09 on how Christian principles can guide Kenya through its long history of political and cultural uncertainty to finally achieve what many there long for: a developed nation which cherishes personal liberty and affords its people a path to stable growth.
Few places in the world provide a better test of the power of a biblical world and life view to transform people and their culture than Kenya. Please remain in prayer for the Kenyan people and also for this important ministry project.