Time will judge just how effective the Msafara was in impacting Kenya’s destiny. And off course reports will be written and audits done. However, from my limited perspective and off the top of my head, several results of the Msafara seem evident…
300 Kenyans have had a chance to visit and interact with the situation on the ground firsthand. They were able to see the extent of the country’s devastation for themselves. They learnt to care for the displaced. They were forced to deal with their own prejudices and to relate closely to people of other tribes. Each of these belongs to a faith community and will return to it with a message of unity and hope. Especially powerful because many who came are the leaders of their churches…
There was heartfelt reconciliation and a resulting unity among church leaders in the various towns we visited. Many leaders confessed that by taking sides in the political events, they had reduced their ability to care for all the communities they were responsible to care for. By repenting of this short-sightedness and committing to work with leaders of other tribes, they now model the way for the churches they lead to maintain peace in their areas and to care for those affected by the violence. And for church leaders to conduct themselves differently come the next election. There is great power for good when the church is united. For instance, we were informed after we left of an initiative by church pastors in Naivasha to ensure that the communities evicted from their town could return safely.
Many churches are caring for displaced people who are housed by their members. Because these people don’t live in the camps, they are ‘under the radar’ so to speak, and little support is going to the needy families caring for them. By delivering food and humanitarian supplies to the pastor’s fellowships in the various towns, Msafara opened up new distribution channels that take care and support to many of the most needy. The Red Cross has done a great job, but they can only do so much. We hope these channels will continue to be used by different agencies that are looking for alternative relief distribution channels
The hardest to quantify may be the most significant. In each town, united church leaders were able to engage in prayer together over their communities. The bible teaches us that God answers prayers that are prayed in humility, unity and repentance. In 2Chronicles, God promises,
‘If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, if they seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land’.
I can’t wait to see the healing and turning around of our nation that will happen as God begins to answer the prayers that we prayed together!
P.S. Grateful that all the Nairobi wasafiri arrived safely home this afternoon