Politics and Missions: Kenya

Michael and Jillian Wills, Mark and Carolyn Kinzer, and Russ and Betty White are missionaries in Kenya and connected with GBC.  The Wills and Kinzers work at Rift Valley Academy (RVA), a boarding school for Christian missionaries in Africa, and the Whites live in Bomet where Russ is a surgeon at Tenwek Hospital.  

Kenya recently reelected President Uhuru Kenyatta.  The opposition leader, Raila Odinga, has alleged the election was rigged, despite international election observers saying the vote was credible.  At least two dozen people have died and dozens more have been injured in post-election violence.  The opposition has alleged post-election police abuses, particularly in the large slums of Kibera and Mathare in Nairobi.

One reason for the current violence is that the major candidates have played to their own ethic heritage, not the country as a whole, causing rising fears of increased instability.  Many Kenyans have fled Nairobi and other major cities, heightening these concerns.

For our friends in Africa, the unrest means that travel is much more difficult and dangerous.  RVA is about an hour and a half drive from Nairobi, the nation’s capital, a transportation hub, and the epi-center of much of the violence.

Many of the RVA family have been traveling from all parts of Kenya and Africa through Nairobi, returning for the current school term.  Also, Nairobi is the nearest shopping center for supplying the students and families.  While the unrest doesn’t seem to be directed towards ex-pats, violence is dangerous for everyone in its path.

We can pray for the safety of our friends in Kenya and pray that the ministry of RVA and Tenwek Hospital will not be thwarted by this political disruption.  And, we can pray for the people of Kenya as they endure this current round of political instability.