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A Glimpse into the Lives of the Christians who were Killed by Al-Shabaab in Mandera, Kenya 

By Sara Solomon

11/04/2016 Washington, D.C.

David Munene was killed when he was shot in the head and severely burned on the legs. His picture and fresh flowers adorn his burial site. A red plaque engraved in white reads, “David Muenene. Sunrise May 8th, 1977 and Sunset October 6th 2016.” A stark reminder of his young life cut short by Al-Shabaab terrorists in Mandera, Kenya. Indeed, the sun set for his daughters Jacinita and Rosalyn and his wife Eunice when he was killed that fateful night. “Pray for us,” was all Rosalyn could muster shortly after the attack when International Christian Concern (ICC) visited the family. “We will be well, in God’s time,” Jacinita said, her faith unshaken by the cruelty of terrorists who took her father’s life.

ICC visited and delivered aid to the families of victims who were killed on October 6 in Mandera when Al-Shabaab attacked a residential building in Bulla Wazi, killing six people. Many other people were also injured.

Evans Araka died from several shots to the stomach and injuries from grenades that were hurled at the bedrooms where he was sleeping.

Evans was a Christian working for the Islamic Relief Organization. Like many other non-local Christians, he moved there to serve the community which is predominantly Muslim.  His co-worker, Lewis Mwalimu, also died during the attack.  Evans’ wife, Rebecca Araka, was just returning from Evans’ funeral when ICC visited her and the five children she now has to raise on her own. “I feel lonely and empty. My heart is torn apart. Ten days later I am still in shock, but I have to be strong and be a mother and a father to my five children,” she cried. “I have to believe that God will give me strength and that He will provide.”

 

According to Evans’ brother, Enoch Araka, Evans was a kind man who not only supported his wife and children, but also helped him with school. Enoch remembers the last conversation he had with his brother a day before he was killed. “He called me to ask what my balance was so he could pay my school fees for this semester. Evans wasn’t only a brother but also a mentor who [taught] me hard work.”

 

Just in the month of October, Al-Shabaab killed a total of 18 people in Mandera. Shortly after the October 6 attack, 12 more were killed in a guest house on October 25. All were killed during the night, awoken by shots and grenades, and slaughtered just for believing in Jesus Christ.