January 5, 2008
What do you when the lines reach 300 people in front you and you don’t know if you are going to get into the grocery store? My friend Clive & I had been to several stores and we could not find milk, bread, and many other basic things in any store. The petrol stations where closed for 3 days because there was no fuel. Thieves came to the house next door a few days ago but the guard happen to see them before they broke in and sounded the alarm. Riot police are surrounding the police station a block from our house to protect some of the people inside.
The Bible speaks that there is going to come a day when a man will work all day for a loaf of bread. What do you do when you have money and there is no bread to buy? We have heard of these kind of things happening in other countries of Africa but never before like this in Kenya.
On Wednesday I was able to buy a few hundred dollars worth of maize & flour after begging & pleading that this is for people who do not have anything.
Yesterday, we moved early before the demonstration rally to some areas that people are really hurting. We only had problems on the Malindi Road near Kisanuni when the people started motioning for us to turn around so we did. We found out latter that the people were rioting and police shot and killed one person. We were able to go around the problem through Nyali and on out to Bamburi where we found the pastor on his knees praying in the church. The presbyters were able to get the food to other pastors & friends. They were so thankful for the little we could bring. I have received several SMS's of thanks from Maritini, Bakoli, Likoni. Some do not have anything in the house. Shops have been closed and no bread, milk, cooking oil, kerosene, available. We were able to beg at one petrol station to get enough diesel to keep going.
Today the planned demonstrations failed in Nairobi and Mombasa after the police moved in with tear gas. Again I went to buy what we could this morning and took supplies to the church in Kisauni. Next I went by the house of a Muslim friend and give him some maize. We also took charcoal that had cost three times the normal price.
One Muslim friend who lives across & near the Likoni ferry told me he was up all night protecting his property. There is a bar (owned by a Kikuyu man) next door to his house and the people came to burn it three separate times. They had to be alert because the the fire would spread even to their house.
Two different pastors called me & said it is so good to be alive this morning. We thought we were going to die during the night. Shops were being burnt all around us.
Another pastor has left his family here in Mombasa & traveled up country to Molo. His family has had to leave the area because of the burning of houses.
As we were leaving the house yesterday morning a Baptist pastor came to the gate and said we lost everything last night and we don’t have any food or anything. He said they even stole our mattress. We were glad we had just been able to get some food and clothes to help him a little.
Another man who works for me at times called and said they did not have anything in the house so we were able to help him also. He said that they had organized the men in his area to protect the property with bows and arrows and panga’s. They told the police to please stay out we will not kill the thieves but will bring them to the police station. The night before the looters had broken into many of the shops and took everything. Another Kikuyu friend who had a hardware shop lost everything and all his wielding equipment.
Please pray for peace to return to Kenya.
David & Beckie Smith
Anyone wishing to help with any of the projects could send funds to:
World Missions Assemblies of God
David D.Smith account # 2210979 class 00
1445 Boonville Ave.
Below you will find a few updates from the U.S. Embassy and a few of our friends around Kenya
U.S. Embassy Nairobi
January 3, 2008
This warden message is being issued to alert American citizens in Kenya to an ongoing political rally. The rally is being organized by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and is attracting large crowds and a significant police presence in and around Uhuru Park in central Nairobi. The rally is disrupting transportation and commerce. Currently, the main thoroughfare to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is blocked and not passable. Similar rallies and other large-scale gatherings may also occur in other cities throughout Kenya.
Even events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. American citizens should exercise caution when traveling throughout Kenya, particularly in Nairobi’s city center. American citizens should avoid public rallies and large gatherings, and should carry a mobile phone or other means of communication.
The Consular Section at the US Embassy in Nairobi will be closed to the public on Thursday, January 3. The Embassy will reassess the security situation on Friday, January 4. Updated security information will be available at http://kenya.usembassy.gov and at http://travel.state.gov.
U.S. Embassy Nairobi
January 4, 2008
This Warden Message is being issued to alert American citizens to the security situation following disputed elections in Kenya. U.S. citizens should strongly consider the risks of travel to Kenya at this time. The situation in Kenya continues to be volatile and subject to frequent change. There continues to be incidences of violence, demonstrations, and looting in several neighborhoods of Nairobi and Mombasa and in large parts of the western-most provinces.
Although the security situation is improving, Americans in Kenya can expect interrupted flights, a large police presence in the troubled areas; food shortages; cash shortages at banks and ATMs; and sporadic telephone, cell phone and Internet service. U.S. citizens should monitor U.S. Embassy Nairobi’s website at http://kenya.usembassy.gov for the latest information.
Events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. American citizens should avoid public rallies and large gatherings, and should always carry a mobile phone or other means of communication. American citizens should continue to exercise caution when traveling throughout Kenya, particularly in Nairobi’s city center. Main thoroughfares and alternate routes are subject to closure with little or no warning and travelers must always remain vigilant regarding their personal security situation.
U.S. Peace Corps volunteers, who are private U.S. citizens, have temporarily relocated from the Kenyan towns of Busia, Kisumu, Kericho, and Kakamega to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. American citizens residing in Kenya should carefully assess their own safety and security situations to determine whether to remain, or risk travel to alternative sites within or outside Kenya.
The Consular Section at the US Embassy in Nairobi will be closed to the public on Friday, January 4. The Embassy will reassess the security situation on Monday, January 7, but plans to re-open for normal public operation at this time. Updated security information will be available at http://kenya.usembassy.gov and at http://travel.state.gov.
Americans living or traveling in Kenya are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s travel registration website at https://travelregistration
The U.S Embassy is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254) (20) 363-6000; fax (254)(20) 363-6410. In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer may be contacted at (254) (20) 363-6170. The Embassy's international mailing address is P.O. Box 606, Village Market 00621, Nairobi, Kenya. Mail using U.S. domestic postage may be addressed to Unit 64100, APO AE 09831. The Embassy home page is http://kenya.usembassy.gov.
Just got off the phone with Bro. N. He encouraged me to pray immediately for a group of 2000 or more (mostly Kikuyu) who are camping out at the police station in Kapsabet. He told me that the Calengen have surrounded them and have taken roasted meat and they are singing the songs of war and of killing.
Some leaders are trying to mediate but if they are not successful the fear is that many could be killed.
He has been in touch with pastors all over the Western region and there are many stories of people, camping out at police stations, hundreds and thousands of people in various locations. They have not been able to buy food for fear of attacks if they leave the safety of the police stations or areas where security forces are located.
Dear Family and Friends,
No doubt you have seen or read the reports in the news of the tragic events that have followed elections on December 27th here in Kenya. The two top contenders for President have come to a political standoff with the support of their political parties. President Kibaki had himself sworn back into power while the Honorable Odinga claimed a rigged election and is threatening to instate himself as the Peoples President. There is much clouding the whole affair and efforts are being made by the international community to find an equitable solution with which both parties can agree.
This has caused violent clashes and left more than 300 dead, the most horrific being the death of over 40 villagers, near the town of Eldoret (a town 185 miles from Nairobi), who fled to a Kenya Assemblies of God church in an attempt to escape vigilante gangs roaming the streets. The church was torched as they were seeking shelter there and those who died were mainly women and children. Over 70,000 have been driven from their homes since this past weekend.
During our 32 years of serving in Kenya, we have experienced unrest and turmoil from time to time in various cities or areas of this nation, but never have we seen this beloved land gripped nationwide in such ongoing ethnic violence. We believe God has strategically placed Kenya to be a powerful light to the nations in central, east, and southern Africa and the enemy has greatly risen up to diminish that light.
Due to the unrest and insecurity in the city of Nairobi, our congregation was unable to gather last Sunday (Dec. 30th). However, we have been reaching out and ministering to our congregation through the leadership base in our cell group structure, which is once again proving a vital way to care for the needs of those affected by this difficult situation.
As a family, we are safe and we want to thank so many of you who have been in touch with us either by phone or email. It means so much to hear from you and we are deeply grateful. Several have enquired as to what they can do and our greatest need is prayer. We are asking God to have mercy on our land, to turn the tide of evil that has flooded this nation through hatred and tribalism. This coming Monday we begin our annual season of prayer and fasting, as a congregation, and will focus our hearts together in crying out for God to heal our land and bring revival to us as a result. Here are a few Prayer Points in which you can join with us in agreement;
· A ‘Million Man March’ has been reorganized by ODM, the main opposition party, for Tuesday, January 8th in Nairobi. It was to be held today (3rd) and even though declared illegal by the government, thousands tried to turn up and were dispersed by riot police, thus its been postponed now for Tuesday. Pray for divine intervention.
· Pray against the spirit of tribalism that is holding this nation hostage and is being fought out among the nations’ poor and young unemployed.
· Pray for the thousands of displaced peoples who are fleeing to churches, schools, and police stations.
· Pray for the spirit of humility to come to our political leaders; that they will heed both the local and international pleas to reach out one to another in dialogue.
· Pray for justice and truth to prevail in Kenya during this critical season of establishing a new government for the next 5 years.
· Pray for the restoration of daily life, which has put the transport of even the basics such as vegetables, bread, and milk out of reach for many of the common folk, especially in the cities.
· Pray for our economy that has been losing about 2 billion shillings a day (apprx $31 million), for banks to return to normal work.
Again, thank you for standing with us in these most trying of times and we assure you that we feel so privileged to serve alongside our precious Kenyan brothers and sisters. We say Jesus is Lord of this nation and our greatest days are yet ahead!
British Airways have canceled flights into and out of Kenya until further notice.
Many might ask if tribalism has any role in all of this. I suspect that it does. And, this means that those traveling through areas through areas with large concentration of another tribe fear for their own safety---rightly so.
Please read this article from concerning one of our Kenya Assemblies of God Church that was burnt in Eldoret. NY Times: