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Missions in Kenya

January 28, 2008

The following letter is from a Robert Mickey, Jr., graduate of Fairhaven Baptist College that our church supports in Nakuru, Kenya.  Until recently, Nakuru was not affected by the riots in that country.  This is no longer true.  This letter is not about philosophy or money; it may give you a glimpse of life (albeit not normal) on a mission field.  I have removed some specifics. Updates will be posted on my personal blog, You Think Too Much.

It is difficult to put into words the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis that we are facing here in Nakuru.  We have spent the last two days trying to locate our people and then assess the needs that they have. We have found about 250 of our people in the various official and unofficial displacement camps that have been set up.  We have found others that are taking refuge in various homes in areas that are a bit safer.   For the last two days we have been feeding them and trying to get them basic necessities such as blankets, etc.  In all of the displacement camps the people are sleeping outside with no shelter from the elements.  The biggest of the camps houses almost 10,000 people and their situation is incomprehensible.  We could not even think of caring for all of them but feel a great responsibility to those members of our churches.  They are innocent in this conflict and their only crime is their tribal origin. Yesterday morning the remaining members of the Grace Bible Baptist Church voted to use the money they have been saving for the last three and a half years to put a ceiling in their auditorium to help buy food for our people who are suffering.  The amount they have saved in American dollars is nearly $2,500.  None of this money has come from the U.S. but only through their giving.  The people unanimously said we do not need the luxury of a ceiling in our building when our fellow members are suffering and dying.   Unfortunately this money will only last a few days and the need will undoubtedly last much, much longer.

I apologize for not updating everyone sooner concerning the situation in Kenya, but we have had a real problem trying to send out email.  I will quickly summarize what has happened but will not get into great detail at this time because I do not want to take away from the intention of this message which is the humanitarian crisis and help we need from you to help our people. I do intend to soon send out a more detailed explanation of the events.  I regret that some of what will be written below is very disturbing.

Early Friday morning, an outlaw sect called the Mungiki who are made up of people from the president’s tribe simultaneously raided different parts of Nakuru seeking revenge for election violence that has taken place in other parts of Kenya against the president’s tribe (Kikuyu).  They selectively burned down the houses belonging to people of the Kalenjin and Luo tribes. Unfortunately, they did not care to wake or warn those who were sound asleep in their houses.  One of the houses burned is only half a kilometer from our house and less than that from the Grace Bible Baptist Church.  The house belonged to a family who has their two sweet daughters in our Christian school.  They were beautiful girls and the parents were kind.  Since the fire, they have not been heard from and I fear they perished in the flames that night.

Friday was a crazy day as the violence began to escalate all over town. In our area, the Kikuyu made up of the outlawed Mungiki began to rile the local Kikuyu people to join them in their acts of revenge.  To our great disappointment, many who acted as our friends and neighbors began to join them.  They began to hunt specifically for the people of the Luo and Kalenjin tribes. When found they were killed.  We have many Luo people in our church, and they began to flock to our building for protection along with some from the community.  The police did little to stop the violence.  Whenever there seemed to be a lull in the violence, I would venture out of the house and help those who were in great danger for their life to get to safety.  One such call came from a family on the other side of town who had been burned out of their house and the mob was after them.  We were able to reach them and began the journey back when we came upon a road block one of the gangs had put up.  The police were there clearing the way.  While we were waiting for them to finish we watched three men go to a vehicle in front of us and pull out a man from the Luo tribe.  They picked up big rocks and began beating him in the head until he died not more than five feet from our vehicle.  The police who all had guns watched it happen and turned their backs and allowed it to happen.  Words cannot describe the feeling running through me at this time.

Friday night a curfew was called and the Kenyan military was deployed to enforce the curfew.  The military did a great job and there was no trouble at all.  Saturday morning the military went back to their barracks and the police were supposed to take over.  Not more then 30 minutes after daybreak I got a call from Pastor Oloo who was at the church building with those taking refuge that the building was under siege.  Men carrying all kinds of weapons (no guns) were at the building demanding to have the ones who sought refuge from us.  Some of our men who are of the same tribe as the attackers left the protection of the building and pleaded with the mob.  They stood like a wall in front of the building praying, quoting scripture and trying to reason with the mob.  Because they were of the same tribe as the attackers it bought us some time to try and get some help.  The attackers finally said they would give us 30 minutes to give up the people and if not they would kill everyone. During this time I was frantically on the phone calling anyone that I though could get us some help.  I spoke to the Nakuru police and they showed little concern.  Finally, we spoke to a police officer whose children attend our Christian school but who is stationed in a far away town.  He called some people and a few minutes later we received word that help was on the way.  Ten minutes later the Kenyan military showed up and evacuated all of those in our building.  God was good and all of our people seeking our refuge were saved.  Unfortunately not all those in our churches in Nakuru can say the same thing.

Pastor ______  _____ who pastors the Habari Njema Baptist Church on the other side of town has confirmed that at least three of his members have been killed. We were at the Nakuru mortuary earlier today and saw the most gruesome sights imaginable.  Amongst the over 100 bodies in the mortuary of people who have been killed were three bodies of his church members.  One a faithful, serving youth of 17 years of age had his head completely cut off his body. There are a number of members of this church that we have not yet found.

All of our people who fled for their lives have had their houses burned and/or their belongings piled in the street and burned. They have nothing left but the clothes they are wearing.  There are six Baptist Churches in Nakuru and all of them are affected.  We are trying to help the members of each church.  Brother Scott Hall is on furlough and some of the members of his church are still locked in their house trying to find a way to safety.  We are trying everything we can to reach them but it is just not anywhere near safe to venture near where they live.

I could go on and on with examples of the destitution around us but at this time I must blatantly and openly ask for your help. Our people are dying.  Some are already dead and hundreds of others are in the process.  We fed people today who have had nothing to eat since Friday and if we do not help them I don’t know who will.  We had people fall into our arms today, both friends and strangers and beg us for help, children grabbing us not wanting to let us go, not wanting us to leave them because they are in a helpless, hopeless situation.

We have determined to help the people God has brought to us.  We have given them the gospel and watched God change them from vile wretched sinners into some of his choicest servants.  We cannot turn our back on them.  We will use every dollar we have, we will max our credit cards to the limit and if we must we will sell our belongings to get food and shelter to our people.  But no matter what we do ourselves it will not be enough.  We need the help of God’s churches and God’s people everywhere.  We need your help.  We beg you for your help.

Our lives will never be the same.  I can never forget the depravity of sin that I have witnessed the last few days.  We have no more problems because we have seen how petty our problems are compared to what our people our facing.  This situation will get worse before it gets better. We need your help. We beg you for you help.

If you can help, we ask you to please send money for this desperate situation to our home church or mission agency.

Cleveland Baptist Church
4431 Tiedeman Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44144
216-671-2822

FBWWM
P.O. Box 341356
Memphis, TN 38184
901-873-2146

His for Kenya,
Robert Mickey Jr. and family

Sent from:
Cleveland Baptist Church
Pastor Kevin Folger

P.S.
We have no plans to leave Kenya because of the trouble.  I want to stress that the family is safe and in no real danger.  We are not targeted and would only be in real trouble if caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.  We are trying to be careful.  We need to be here and our people need us and we need them.  We would not hesitate to leave if the family was in real danger.  I would also consider going somewhere if the trouble was affecting the kids in a bad way.  They have remained relatively calm in spite of the situation around us.

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  1. January 29, 2008 at 12:07 am

    Thanks for the letter, Jeff. It is a good example of the kind of dangers missionaries face in these countries. We have a Kenyan family in our school and I’ve talked to him about the situation there. It is surprising in light of what I would expect from what has most often been a very stable country. He compared it to something like what happened in New Orleans, except without quite the stability that we still had there relatively.

  2. January 29, 2008 at 5:56 am

    I’m a missionary who was illegally deported from Kenya in September, 2007 for the crime of being a friend and the spiritual adviser of Raila Odinga. We came to Jerusalem, and are beginning to work with all who we meet here — mostly, a group of Palestinians, who have been extremely kind to us. (I’m a Jewish Christian and an Israeli citizen, as well as an American one). I’d like somebody’s bank account number so I can wire money to Robert Mickey.

    Faithfully,

    Dr. Mitch Medina

  3. January 29, 2008 at 8:56 am

    The only contacts I have for Robert are the ones included in the letter. You would need to call them. Or possibly, do a search and find an email address for his church or mission agency.

  4. January 29, 2008 at 10:33 am

    His church’s web is http://clevelan3.ipower.com/.

  1. January 28, 2008 at 11:45 pm
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