Africa in Crisis: Kenyan Native Missionaries Rush Emergency Aid to Starving Refugees
Note Nov. 1: Since we published this story in August, the need has intensified and is as urgent today as ever.
August 23, 2011
Every day, more than 1000 refugees from Somalia flood across the unguarded border into Kenya, adding more hungry mouths to the 1 million starving refugees already there. Over five million Africans are suffering the ravages of drought and starvation as famine stalks three countries in the northeastern “horn” of Africa.
Native missionaries prepare food provided through Christian Aid for distribution to famine victims in Kenya's Turkana Desert.
“One of the most extreme situations we are now facing is in Kenya,” says Dr. Bob Finley, Chairman and CEO of Christian Aid Mission based in Charlottesville, Virginia. “Christian ministries in Kenya can use your gifts to purchase food and transport it to feed some of the starving masses. I pray that God will touch your heart to help meet these critical needs.”
Christian Aid has established an emergency relief fund to help Kenya native missionaries deal with the crisis (Gift Code 500DIS).
A million Kenyans have joined the five million Somalis in the “triangle of death” starvation belt where there has been no rain for more than a year. Christian Aid is increasing its appeals for help in the United States according to staff workers in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Living on the Turkana Desert
Rae Burnett, Christian Aid’s Director for Africa, explains, “What Christian Aid does in Africa is in the name of the Lord Jesus, especially in areas where there are not yet any believers. Christian Aid is focused on helping indigenous Kenyan ministries alleviate suffering from this terrible disaster both among Kenyans and also among Somalis who have taken refuge there. Evangelism among Somalis is dangerous. Details are kept secret for security reasons, but they are being ministered to with food aid and the gospel.”
Native missionaries working among the forgotten Turkana and Pokot tribes of Kenya sent the following report to Rae Burnett:
“Dear Sister Rae,
“Grace and greetings from the Turkana Desert.
“First, I want to appreciate Christian Aid’s immediate response that enabled us to rush emergency food and water to the famine and drought-ravaged Turkana and Pokot tribes.
This Turkana woman has seen decades of suffering. Missionaries want her to know the hope of the gospel.
“We have seen with our own eyes the terrible sufferings of these forgotten people.
“Many are dying. Just on this trip, I personally witnessed two children die from hunger. The squalid conditions in which most of these nomadic tribals normally live are dehumanizing. My dear Sister Rae, I know you understand. You have been here and seen it yourself. In these famine conditions there is lack of food, water is dirty and scarce, and there is no proper sanitation for the makeshift dwellings.
“As we distributed the food and water to those villages, we told them of the love of Christ. We are so encouraged that through our distributions of food supplies for famine relief that those unreached tribal groups can be opened up for the gospel and church planting. As we shared the love of Christ with them, 20 women and 10 men gave their lives to Christ.
“Our ministry is committed to opening up this vast region to the good news of salvation through providing holistic care programs for these desperately poor Turkana and Pokot people.
“We are praying for the funds to provide a well of clean water for one of the areas where we ministered, as villagers must now walk for 15 kilometers to get any water at all.
Famine victims receive the gospel message as well as food aid and clean water. Many responded and are waiting for followup.
“What I saw during this trip, and as the drought and famine persist, my heart is breaking, and it keeps me awake at night. I must plead this case again for the sake of the Savior who has seen the sufferings of the Turkana and Pokot people. Without a further immediate assistance many hundreds will suffer from hunger, malnutrition and even more deaths by starvation. In our prayers we ask that the Lord will touch many in America to help us rush food to these suffering people. I am praying for another trip in the next three weeks as follow up.
“We love you and appreciate you for your love and continued support and prayers. Thank you for standing with us to build the kingdom of God.
“Your Brother Elijah.”