If you've read me long, you know that my son, Kevin, went to Kenya, Africa to school for one semester. What a life-changing semester that was. He met Sema (her blog name) and she became the love of his life, besides his Swahili tutor!
I have not been to Kenya yet, but I need to go and meet Sema's family. They are wonderful people, and were not able to be here for the wedding. In fact, the American Embassy in Kenya denied their request to come for a visit three years ago at Christmas. (We now know that God was probably in that situation, but it was very hurtful at the time). We hope they can come sometime soon.
But today I want to share with you from Sema's heart. I asked her to write this for me, and I am sending it to everyone I know. There is a request for money at the end, but that is not the main reason I am sending this out. I know many of you are prayer warriors, and the people of Kenya need your prayers. We always hear about Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda - all of these places that have been in the news for years for the atrocities happening there. Kenya, on the other hand, has been more prosperous and stable. If you've kept up with international news lately, you may know that they had an election recently and the current president was re-elected. There are many people who are unhappy about that re-election and are showing it with acts of violence. We are blessed here in America - even if we dislike the president intensely, can't stand the candidates who are running, we do it peacefully.
Mostly you hear about Nairobi in the news stories. Sema's family is from Mombasa, which is on the Indian Ocean. Only recently has she learned how very bad it has become there. I am now going to quote her words:
- Some of you may know the difficult state of the affairs of Kenya has begun to affect my family in Kenya. Riots and violence is the order of the day in Kenya. At first the violence was only in the capital city and parts of central Nairobi, but now my mother and father who reside in Mombasa (until now a relatively peaceful place) have been caught right in the midst of this political mayhem. Food has become scarce and prices on food has skyrocketed due to the unrest and my parents desperately need money so they can afford to buy food. Things that used to cost $7 now cost $20-$30.
In Mombasa, healthcare is deteriorating, and doctors are becoming discriminatory on whom they treat, for fear of their life. Most doctors have received threats and have had to be evacuated to their homeland, for fear of being killed for being one tribe and not the other. Though my parents’ tribe is not among the tribes fighting, it is becoming harder and harder to distinguish which person belongs to which tribe, and killings are increasing and becoming more random. Mobs of unruly citizens are seeking ’kikuyu” shops and burning them, which in turn leaves very few shops open to provide for the entire city of Mombasa.
I am sending this email so that people can have a better and clear understanding of what my country is really going through. Kenyans are really suffering and innocent people have lost their lives because of the Political unrest. This current political crisis has directly affected my family in Kenya. I am in the process of collecting donations from people, so that I can send the money to my parents and hope they can be able to buy food so they do not starve. For all that will feel compelled to contribute towards this course, I thank you in advance and may God Bless you.
She got a message later in the day with some horribly graphic pictures of piles of bodies who had been shot and cut with machetes. The president has ordered the police to shoot to kill if violence erupts. Her brother takes public transportation to school in Nairobi every day, and it is worrisome to Sema, who is so very far away from them.
I know this is not easy or fun to read, and I will go back to posting pictures of the teeny tiny twins, and try to finish the travelogue. But this is what is on my heart today. To put a face on this story, I leave you with this picture of Kevin and his beautiful wife, Sema.
This picture was taken at a Teen Challenge banquet - if you don't know Kev's story, it is on my sidebar under "A Story of Deliverance."
Thank you for your prayers for Sema's family.