Wednesday, January 30, 2008

UPR Part 3

We continue with the letters…
Hello again,
We want to thank you so much for your emails, phone calls, and all your prayers. We are so grateful for you standing behind us in what has once again been an emotionally draining day. But despite the difficult - and even dangerous – situations, we have felt strengthened by the prayers and support we have received. This is a longer email. Sorry. But I wanted to share with you some of the details of the challenges we and those around us faced today.
We are so grateful that things appear to have quieted down. We haven't heard many gunshots this evening (none very close). … next door has been filled with the sound of children playing. It gives us the sense that things are settling back to normal. But the day didn't start like that.
I went to … this morning and collected ****** and ******: He was the one who managed to flee from the vigilantes yesterday as they attacked him. When ****** heard that his possessions had been burned, he fell apart. We left him at ****** where he was safe then went to see if there were any things we could rescue which hadn't been destroyed. We did manage to find a little bit though almost everything of value was gone. I ended up putting … a few things into the car alone as the three men watching us were too afraid to show any support. Youths were watching us from the road and they felt any help from them would be construed as support for the "enemy."
While I was away a group of vigilantes came by our place and went to one of our neighbours. The police then appeared and chased them away, but not before the neighbour was shot in the neck. We were shocked that they would attack in the middle of the morning, also shocked that it was a gun attack since most people have been attacked with machetes!
***** was clearly traumatised. He'd hardly slept at night for worry and fear and had not eaten anything all day yesterday. We almost got him to smile from appreciation when we told him we'd go … later to look for his wife.
…. We could hear gunfire and big plumes of smoke were still rising from one part of town. As we passed the police station we could see 100s of people coming from one of the neighbourhoods carrying suitcases, blankets, and mattresses. Everybody seemed to be on the move. Such a tragedy.
As we approached town we saw many people on the road. I considered turning around as I didn't want to get caught up in a riot but then met a friend who informed us that some government officials had just had a large meeting and were trying to convince people that violence wasn't the way. Wow, some politicians showing their face! We were told that they were going to have another rally shortly. Not the best time to be in town!
Town was filled with people. All the shops were shut and there were not many cars on the road. All along the road sides were boulders which people had used earlier to block the roads. There were also many remains of burnt tyres on the road.
The ***** was filled with a few thousand people, all who had fled their homes for fear of their lives. We were driving along when suddenly ******* called out that he'd spotted his wife! That's the first time I saw him smile since this whole thing began. It was wonderful to be able to reunite them.

As we were in ******* we checked up with other friends. We met up with ***** whose husband had returned to their house with an armed escort to see whether they could find anything which the raiders hadn't destroyed the previous day. Others came to see us. Many wondered how we had made it to ********* ("where is your security?") as they wanted armed escorts back to their houses to see if they could save any possessions. Unfortunately it was just too dangerous for us to be able to help them.
Others asked us for something to eat. Most people had arrived yesterday and had not been able to eat for two days! There was just no food available. Even had it been safe for them to leave the prison grounds, they would have found all the shops closed. Not even the children had food.
…. This time I decided to take another route because of the rally. To the left of us was a neighbourhood where the youth were still running wild. You could see smoke billowing into the air in various places and there was quite a lot of gun fire. Down some of the side roads we could see armed policemen on the look-out for trouble.
As we approached ******** I suddenly noticed that road blocks had materialised in front of us on the road. I thought we'd be able to get around them so didn't turn around. In fact, we passed a number of roads which had been completely closed with strewn boulders! The worst part for us was when we had to cross the main road. Just an hour before it had all been clear! There, thanking God for high clearance on the car, we drove over a number of boulders as we tried to avoid the biggest ones. Once we passed that area all was okay again and we arrived home with the couple happy to be reunited.
Later we drove out a couple of other times, once to check on ******* place. He lives in a dangerous part of town where a number of people had been killed the night before so we were grateful that all was quiet there. He was hugely relieved to find his place untouched. Towards evening we then went to collect ….. ******* is of the "right tribe" but is so fearful as there are so many rumours going about of reprisal attacks. ******** had just received word that they were in the process of burning her place down when we collected her. But she was grateful that she'd been able to rescue a few things the previous day.…. we pray God will protect. We are grateful for the peaceful evening and pray that it may continue.
Thanks again for your prayers!

Dear Friends and Family
Well, today started off quite well. We had a calm night and a good night's sleep which was much needed. Things all seemed quiet in town too so *** started talking about going to see if they could find some food in town both for our extended family and for others we know who have taken refuge in the ***** compound. ******** rang me this morning from ******** where she decided to stay with her husband and 3 year old son. They haven't eaten since Sunday and the Red Cross had only given out a very little food this morning (I gather more was delivered later today). I said we would see what we could do. Anyway, Just as ****** was getting ready to go about mid morning, suddenly there was a lot of automatic gun fire near (us). As this was going on two helicopters appeared out of nowhere and whizzed past us. Next thing we heard was heavy and prolonged gunfire from them joining the fighting on the ground. It sounded so close and so loud. The helicopters then whizzed over a number of areas in town where we could see smoke billowing into the air and shot there as well. We heard from ****** that they'd had a lot of screaming around their place as people looked for members of the **** tribe. When the helicopters suddenly began shooting everybody fled.

I ran back to the house to be with the children. They were standing at the door. ******* was completely fascinated with all the noise but ******* became agitated and said 'I don't like it Mummy, I don't want to hear the guns'. I sat down with them and read them 3 stories. Don't ask me what I read or how I managed to get through those books. I'm afraid that after that I had a meltdown moment. I sat the kids down reading books and locked myself in the bathroom for a while. It was the first time that I really just wanted to leave.
Needless to say, ******* decided that perhaps it wasn't the best time to venture out and look
for food. That could wait.
Since then everything has calmed down again. The army has come to town and a measure of control has been established. I sat down with ******** this afternoon. She was somewhat relieved because she heard from her husband that not all of her things had been burned. Sadly she later told me that because her husband wasn't able to carry all their things the first time he went back (with police escort), when he later returned what was left had been burned. ********* is quite traumatised apparently because she saw people being beaten up and killed outside her house and she can't get it out of her head (not surprisingly). ********** too is very traumatised. It will take them a long time to get over what they have seen and experienced.
There were a couple of things that really lifted our spirits today though. We have some British missionary friends who live in ****** (a town about ½ an hour away from us) that has so far escaped any real violence.
This morning, ****** sent me through some credit for my mobile phone. We can't get out to buy cards to top up our phones, plus all the shops were closed, so this was a real God send. Then late afternoon her husband ******* turned up at the gate with a whole load of food for us and our friends. The shops are still open in ****** so they decided to bring us some supplies. We couldn't believe it, God is taking care of us!
As things were calm this afternoon, ******* ventured out again to town. ******* said there was an eerie sense of normality apart from the fact that they saw a couple of men walking along the road, one with a steel pipe and one with a machete – this was in broad daylight. ******* said they just stared at him. They also saw a soldier standing "guard" beside a burning pile of someone's personal effects. They managed to find one shop which was open where they were able to buy several loaves of bread and some vegetables. These they took into ***** to give to ****** and her family, ******* and his family and some other people that we know well. I'd also made a couple of Thermos of tea which was shared out amongst people. It's a drop in the ocean really, there are so many people who need help, but we do what we can. [It was such a blessing to have been able to do that, to help people out in such a small way. The fact that we had been able to get to ******* without a security escort also showed the friends there that things appear to be calming down. They were SO grateful to see us. As we passed out what food we could a crowd gathered around us, all hoping to receive something. Unfortunately we are able to help so few. But they do appreciate it. The one sad bit of news on the trip was that we saw that one of our friend's shops had been burned out during the day. Everything gone!]
When ***** returned home ****** said to him, "Daddy, tell those bad men to go away…and not to shoot guns from the helicopter."
It's hard to describe the feelings we're going through at the moment. I have a fairly constant feeling of tension which gets deeper of course when I hear the gunfire. Some people have been asking us if we're planning to leave. Well, we're holding on at the moment but do not intend to take unnecessary risks. I have packed a suitcase and gathered our passports and money together in case we need to make a run for it. We will see how things go.

Well, I'll end for now and try and get some sleep. Thanks again for your prayers. Will be in touch tomorrow.

Dear Friends and Family

I thought I'd write the first email of the day while it's still calm outside and while I'm feeling a bit calmer! It was a quiet night and we got some sleep. I'm finding it hard to get to sleep these days and last night was so wound up I wondered if it was safe to get ready for bed in case we had to make a run for it. Anyway, so far this morning it has been quiet. The children came through to our bedroom and the first thing they asked was 'have the angry men gone away now?'

We heard from ******(our friend) that there had been a fire by her business in town was and she didn't know how much was left. Her son ******* had spent the night down there in case of trouble. It turned out that the shops next to theirs were set on fire and ******* had spent most of the night trying to stop it from reaching their place. They have a small timber yard and didn't want to lose that. Fortunately, ******efforts to keep dousing water over everything allowed them to save the place from destruction. After breakfast, ******* went down into town to help them salvage the rest and they're going to move it somewhere safer.

This morning ****** came out and did a bit of work in the garden. ***** really loves ****** and usually spends a lot of time with him in the garden – they are great friends (rafikis). When ****** saw ******, he really wanted to go and be with him, but I saw him hesitating at the side. The last time he had seen his friend he had been crying and he didn't know if ****** wanted him nearby. I said to ******, 'look your rafiki wants to be with you'. ****** looked up and gave a big grin 'come, come' he said, beckoning him 'he is my rafiki' he said proudly. Somehow, I think little children can bring a measure of healing.

****** just had a call from a friend of ours within *********. He is sheltering many people.... They have now run out of food and, as it is still too dangerous for them to leave the security of *******, ***** will go out and get some things for him (assuming that all remains calm).

I've tried to do a few 'normal' things this morning like painting and drawing with the children. They need a bit of unstressed attention!

So we continue to wait and see what the day will bring us. God bless.

We talked to ***** today and they would welcome any help, financially, to help with the hungry and also those close to them that lost all their possessions. I have been asked to put an appeal out for them so...

If you would like to help financially you can by sending a check payable to Soul Sanctuary and mail it to:
Soul Sanctuary
187 Henlow Bay
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3Y 1G4
****Mark on the check KENYA
Or you can use PayPal off our website at
If you use PayPal, please email me ( with the amount so that our accountant will add the gift to "aid in Kenya."
ALL DONATIONS OVER $5 will be issued a tax reciept.

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