Monday, January 28, 2008

Stop the Violence (in Kenya) -- Updated

WARNING: If you click on the news links in this blog, be prepared to read some horrific reports and to see some heart-breaking pictures. Google News compilation on Kenya. When I checked, there were at least 18 pages of lists of news articles on Kenya over the last 24 hours. Sample articles:
Ethnic clashes spread in Kenya
Gangs on rampage in Kenyan towns

Things just do not look good in Kenya. The level of violence and hatred and pure evil is rising rapidly. People who were living peacefully as neighbors just 4 weeks ago are now attacking each other. There are reports of threats by one tribal group to retaliate 300%. Sunday, ABC News online quoted one man:
We have moved out to revenge the deaths of our brothers and sisters who have been killed, and nothing will stop us, said Anthony Mwangi, hefting a club threateningly. For every one Kikuyu killed, we shall avenge their killing with three.

It's not just the Kikuyu because earlier, people on the opposite side were quoted as saying they would kill 2 for every one of their tribe killed.

This is madness; this is insane; this must stop. What good can be accomplished in this way? The Standard, one of Kenya's major daily papers, is begging people to stop killing each other and begging the political leaders to actually lead and find a solution to the problems.

The Kenyans who are participating in this bloodshed are not solving anything but only making a bad situation infinitely worse. Forgiveness is often more difficult than revenge but it pays dividends in both the short and long-term that are huge.

There are people who are doing their best to stand firm for Kenya. Many disciples of Jesus are going into the internally displaced persons camps to help with needs as best they can -- many at obvious risk to their own well-being, even their lives. I got a phone report tonight about the members of Parklands and Ridgeways Baptist Churches in Nairobi doing that. I am so thankful for the large number of people -- among them are personal friends -- who are saying No to violence but who are ministering across ethnic lines because they want to be Kenyans and they want to demonstrate Christ's love. My prayer is, Oh God, intervene.

Psalm 46 (New International Version) (the link takes you to a different translation
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

If you are a follower of Jesus, pray for Kenya (and the numerous other countries who are experiencing the same kind of chaos and destruction).

Pray well, y'all,
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