Dear Brothers and friends,
You are so many that have shown concern for the latest events that are striking Kenya and you are demonstrating a lot of love when you remember us and our Kenyan Brothers in your prayers.
We love you so much and we appreciate very much your good spirit.
We want to remind you that in this moment we are well and we don’t have any danger inside the Missionary Home.
The fact that we are neutral to the politic affairs of the world has been once again a real blessing for the Brothers.
The actual situation is that the Kenyans are angry and frustrated because today they wanted to attend a big manifestation, but the police suffocate every attempt to have it.
Each of the two political leaders blames the other part as the cause of the many deaths that have been until now. As a result, riots started again today in several areas, also in Mombasa, just few hundreds meters from our Missionary Home, so the emergency continues.
The opposition party decided that they’ll try again to have the big manifestation on Tuesday January 8 th at 10 AM. This means that at least until then there is some danger and we might not be able to leave the Missionary Home, unless the tension chill down and could allow us to se personally the Brothers so that we can provide them economical and spiritual support.
Until Monday afternoon we were four in the Missionary Home, but we have been in contact with a young English couple (Ben and Victoria) that lived in our Bamburi Territory and are relatives of another couple of Missionaries who live in our same home.
The youth were quite scared and they did not sleep on Sunday night because of the shootings and the screaming in the streets.
A English Brother who live about 3 Km. from our Missionary Home succeeded in getting them out of Bamburi using a secondary road. Although the young couple lived only 4 Km. from our Missionary Home, the Brother had to drive about 20 Km. to get them out using secondary roads cause the normal road was impassable. He succeeded and now Ben and Victoria stay with us in the Missionary Home.
The Missionary couple related to Ben and Victoria is in the travelling work and until that moment was visiting a congregation in the country side.
On the Tuesday morning they tried to visit the congregation in Ukunda (Diani) but when they saw the situation on the streets they decided it was safer to come back home.
They found some road blocks in Likoni areas, fire and chaos everywhere with a mob of 150 angry men ahead.
They prayed and with the heart beating fast they where able to overtake the group. They arrived safely in the Missionary Home, Tuesday at around 10 AM.
In the evening we received the phone call from another travelling overseer who is a Kenyan and both he and his wife are Kikuyus (the tribe most in danger). Groups of mobs sent messages in the villages saying that Tuesday night they would have gone door to door in the village where the Brother was with his wife, and that they would have killed all the Kikuyus.
We invited them to run as fast as possible and take refuge in the Missionary Home and so they are with us, since they arrived on Tuesday night.
At arrival the Kikuyu sister was visibly shake because while they were coming to our place they saw the fires, the mobs and heard the gun shots, but once she arrived here, the sisters have surrounded her with affection and she is fine now.
Wednesday came the famous “calm after the storm”.
Until then we had been in contact with the Brothers and we encouraged them day and night by telephone but unable to see them face to face. We had to call on some of them several times even in the middle of the night while the mobs were destroying the homes of their neighbours, shootings with guns and screaming.
In those situations we tried to encourage the Brothers reminding them how Jehovah is able to protect his loyal ones.
In many areas the Brothers have been without electricity, food and other supply for some days, so yesterday we wanted to see if the situation in the streets were calmer hoping to be able to go out and see the Brothers face to face.
With our surprise in the morning they started to sell again petrol (I filled up the tank right away). After that I saw that the road was safe, but still first I phoned several Brothers in our congregation to check if it was safe to go in Bamburi and all confirmed that, so I decided to go and see how things were in our territory.
Every 20 to 50 meters in the streets there were the remaining of burned tires and the signs of the violence of these last days.
In a place there were literally hundreds of kilos of broken glasses, most probably smashed from cars that had tried to pass by the night before.
But it seemed also that the Kenyans are willing to get back to live like before and the majority is tired of the nights of terror, so in some places people were already cleaning the streets.
At that point I needed to see the Brothers face to face. Already we talked much by telephone and we agreed to have the meetings in the mornings, so I knew that they could be in a meeting place.
I knew that today would have been a difficult day and that if things would have gone wrong, I could have lost a good window of opportunity to see the Brothers for some time, so having good chances I went to check on our book study and many of the Brothers were there.
They were studying the Revelation Book.
The study on the book of Revelation of this week has been really “food at a proper time” because has encouraged the Brothers not to compromise and has enforced their determination to remain loyal to Jehovah, no matter what political turmoil may happen.
Several of them did not eat fro some days, but on the way there I noticed that in some “half destroyed” kiosks they started to sell again some food (at double or triple the normal price of course).
I left some money to one of the Brothers so that as book study group they could all have some food to eat at least for few days.
After this I went to see the other areas to understand the level of the damaged of the riots.
Of course, in the night, with hundreds of fires, gun shots, the screaming, some women raped, the houses looted one by one and then destroyed with people left outside with nothing, all of this creates big panic and terror.
However, under sun light, the things didn’t seem so bad at least in Bamburi. With the fires that were set off, without the screaming, without mobs and with the streets getting cleaned, I had almost the feeling that the damage is not that big as it seems. Only in certain areas maybe where the things have been worst.
Just at that point, I got a message from one of the missionary at home, telling me that Nakumatt (a big shop close to our home) was reopened and that they let in people in groups under armed police surveillance.
I run home and together with him we went to buy over 300 Euros of food for the 10 of us living in the Missionary Home. This food will sustain us for at least three good weeks.
It took over three hours to get out of there because there were interminable cues, but now we can be OK with the food in case the situation gets worst.
In the first two years we lived in Kenya, we have served in the congregation of Mishomoroni (about 6 Km. from our home) and we were very much concerned about our dear Brothers there.
We could communicate with them only by phone and we knew that Monday, because of the mobs in Mishomoroni there were at least three deaths and hundreds of injured.
Getting inside Mishomoroni has been different then going to Bamburi…