Two Christian Teachers Killed in Kenya School Attack Buried
By Nathan Johnson
01/03/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – After weeks of waiting for DNA tests to confirm the identities of Mr. Philip Masinde Okumu and Daniel Wekesa Wangila, their families finally laid them to rest. The two Christian teachers were killed during an al-Shabaab attack on Arabia Secondary School. The attack took place on the night of October 10, 2018, leaving the two teachers unrecognizable and two other teachers with minor burns.
Mr. Daniel Wekesa was buried in Kakamega, Western Kenya, where he lived with his wife, Harriet Kakai, and three children, Faith, Kevin, and Chantel. Harriet eulogized her husband as a jovial man who diligently took good care of his family, “We have spent six weeks in tears. Daniel loved me and our kids. We shall truly miss him, his kind spirit, and strong sense of humor. He made us see life as a gift from God. We have lost a pillar in our family and nothing shall ever fill the gap he leaves behind.”
Raised in a Christian family and a member of the Redeemed Church Lukiyani, Daniel decided to take up a teaching job in a dangerous region that is dominated by hostile Muslims to take care of his family and parents.
“My son left for Mandera three years ago and although we were worried about this life due to constant attacks of Christians in [the] northeastern [region], we kept hoping that one day he would get a job elsewhere. The news of the attack left us devastated. He has left a very young wife and three young children and we pray that the Lord will strengthen her and bless her with the ability to raise the children,” said Daniel’s father, Mr. Wangila.
“He made us see life as a gift from God. We have lost a pillar in our family and nothing shall ever fill the gap he leaves behind.”
In Katale, Mr. Philip Okumu was buried in his father’s farm in Kwanza during a tear-filled service. His father, Okumu Biketi remembered him as “a young man who worked hard in school and wanted to help students in Arabia Secondary School succeed and advance to university. He was the most disciplined child in my family. I have lost a dear son.”
The service was conducted by the pastor of the local Baptist church that Philip attended. He said, “I urged the believers to keep praying for all brethren that are persecuted for the Gospel. We also challenge the government of Kenya to protect the lives of the citizens that work and live in terror zone areas.”
The murder of the two non-local teachers comes during a trend of violent persecution against Christians in northeastern Kenya where Somali al-Shabaab fighters collaborate with local Muslims to execute followers of Christ. Last year, three non-local Christian teachers of Qarsa Primary School, Wajir East were killed in a similar attack. These continued attacks have caused many Christians to flee from the countries that border Somalia. We must continue to pray for those faithful who are trying to provide for their families or spread the Gospel in these hostile areas. We must also pray for the families of those who have been martyred for their faith in Christ.
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