Hope gets harder as the tour moves west

Today Pastor M on the Msfara tour of hope writes:

Nakuru was quite something. Initially the pastor’s fellowship didn’t want Msafara in their town because the church was so divided ethnically and politically. They didn’t think it would be possible to meet together. It was only by God’s grace that they finally agreed to host us. . .The pastor’s meeting was intense. Against all expectations, a large group of local pastors attended, many of whom I came to learn hadn’t spoken to each other for a long time.

. . . I keep reminding myself we’re not here to ‘fix’ these towns, only to hold out hope. If the church can work together, to care for the hurting and to build and maintain peace, then nothing will be impossible. We’re only a catalyst. The true test of Msafara will be what happens in these places after Msafara is gone. But this is where faith comes in. I have faith that God is using our small contribution as a seed, one that He will water after we’re gone; one that will grow into a beautiful tree that will hold our nation together in peace and justice…

. . . Pastor Ken told me of a young man he met at one of the camps we visited in Nakuru. His wife had been killed by militia the night before (contrary to popular belief, the Anan accord hasn’t ended the tension and killing in all parts of the country). The young man was gathering 100 of his friends from the camp to go on a revenge mission. Ken asked what he thought would happen next. Of course they would also come back and revenge, and the vicious cycle would continue. Someone had to break the cycle of violence. Young man promised to think about it.

[Next Day on the way to Eldoret]

Passing through Eldama Ravine, Timboroa, Burnt Forest… many of these places had IDP camps. People living in tents not far from where they once owned homes and property… We saw many homesteads that had been razed to the ground. You could still see the smoke curling lazily out of some of the ruins. A poignant moment was when one of the pastors sitting near me pointed out the home where her family had lived a little while back, just after we passed the camp where many of her family members, including her sisters, still reside. . .

Pictures are here.

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