As natural disaster hits Kenya, the local church is reaching out to bring a saving message and much-needed supplies to the hardest hit communities.
Famine has hit Sub-Saharan Africa.
In Kenya alone, about one million people are facing starvation. Cattle and other livestock are dropping out on the arid fields where drought and locusts have cleared away all but the thorniest plants.
One woman describes the situation in her village which depends largely on livestock, “There is no grass, and the trees and shrubs are bare. We are staring at a dire situation in the coming days should there be no interventions to have food delivered to the hunger-stricken. We are very thirsty.”
A Land Hit Hard
Sub-Saharan Africa previously suffered from a short rainy season, and now several rural Kenyan villages are also grappling with plagues of locusts that are decimating the already limited crops.
For many people who were living on the brink of survival to begin with, this natural disaster has tipped them over the edge into life-threatening circumstances.
Much World Challenge’s partners’ work in Kenya is first to help churches that are offering relief to communities in dire straits and second to build up locals so that they will have enough resources to better weather future calamities.
On the front lines, support is being sent to churches who are passing out food to the families who are most in need.
These partners and church leaders have targeted the Baringo and Turkana counties—those hardest hit by the famine—and are working tirelessly to assist locals. Malnutrition has made many of these counties’ residents weak and more vulnerable to other diseases, and many of the people who came to the church for help were in danger of losing their lives.
The church has begun asking other churches in less affected areas to give support to those worst affected by the famine.
Donations have poured in from fellow Kenyan believers, most often in form of maize, beans and flour. So far, they have been able to supply 11 centers in Baringo and Turkana with relief food.
Joining Hands With the Church
One of our partners, Asalina, recently visited the coastal region of Kenya. The area is known as Hell’s Kitchen, and villages there not only are predominantly Muslim but also frequently harassed by members of Al Shabab, a terrorist group operating out of Somalia.
In one particular village where they have begun development work, people have banded together to build a school. Even in the middle of all their troubles, parents are still deeply concerned about how they can help their children have a better future.
“Some of these kids want to go to school so much that they used to trek 3-4 miles to attend the nearest primary school located in [a nearby] village,” explained Asalina.
The village’s pastor has also begun working with Asalina to make development lessons for children. Jesus said to not turn the little children away from him, and Paul encouraged Timothy to not let anyone look down on him in the church because he was young. In this spirit, local leaders want to help their children become evangelists and contribute to community growth and health.
“Just being there and interacting with these brothers was so encouraging to them. Their faces were lit up and joyful. No wonder the apostle Paul always saw the need to return to the brothers to follow up with them and bring encouragement,” Asalina stated.
“Your support of World Challenge is making this partnership with the churches in Kenya a reality. These types of visits allow for the Holy Spirit to provide life-giving blessing and encouragement.
“You are making it possible for people in remote areas of Kenya, living in very inhospitable, sometimes hostile and certainly dangerous areas, to serve God and hold on to a hope in Christ.”