Widow Gives Birth to Baby Boy Four Months after Husband Martyred
By Nathan Johnson
07/08/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Velma Awour welcomed her bouncing baby boy, Rowen, on June 26. Rowen’s father, Kevin, was very excited to meet his new baby. Since October 2019, Kevin and Velma worked hard to prepare their home for the addition of their new baby boy into their family of four. Then, in March, all of their dreams shattered when Kevin was brutally murdered by al-Shabaab for his faith in Christ.
Speaking to ICC a few days after the birth of Rowen, Velma Awour narrated how the bundle of joy comes amidst the pain of losing her husband. “March 11 is the day that shall remain etched on our heart for the rest of our lives. We received the news of the bus attack in Mandera and that my husband was among the three people that were shot dead by the al-Shabaab fighters. I was shocked because from the time Kevin left for Mandera where he worked, we were in constant touch and his journey was just fine until they reached Jabi-bar area.”
Kevin Owen Onyango was slain in a heinous attack on Christian passengers in northeastern Kenya for refusing to convert to Islam. The Somali-based terrorist group, al-Shabaab, tracks passenger buses moving between Nairobi and Mandera. They then ambush the buses, seperating Christians from Muslims and executing the Christians.
Velma recalled, “That day, more than 20 armed gunmen stopped the bus that Kevin was traveling in and asked Christians to get down. He and another Christian man alighted from the bus, but another Muslim man accompanied them. Both of them declined to recite the shahada, as the Muslim man tried to negotiate with the Somali speaking insurgents. All three were killed on the spot as the bus was waved to accelerate towards Mandera town.”
Before Kevin left his family in western Kenya, he had assured his wife and two young boys that he would return in early June to wait for the arrival of their unborn baby. Velma shared, “We had a moment of prayer a day before he traveled. We asked God to keep us safe and protect Kevin until June when he would return to help me in the last days of my pregnancy. He promised us that we shall see him soon. He had worked in the risky town of Mandera for two years for the love he had for his family. He endangered his life because he wanted to give us the best.”
She added, “He died at a time when we were expecting God to bless us with another child. Rowen will never see or know his father. Kevin did not live to hold his third son. He died an innocent death while holding on to the testimony of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Kevin Owen Onyango is one among many Christians who have lost their lives in the ruthless hands of the Somali extremists in Kenya. The Islamic radical group has been carrying out attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa, Lamu, and the three northeastern counties of Garissa, Mandera, and Wajir. This has left many families broken and without key breadwinners hence sliding into poverty.
Velma is worried about raising three children without the person who provided for them. She aired her fears and explained, “Through well-wishers, we have been able to sustain ourselves until now. As a matter of fact, we have rent and food enough for the next four months. We also received financial assistance to shop for the newborn baby. My worry is about the future of bringing up these three boys. They will need education, medical care, clothing, and shelter. I pray that the Lord would bless us with a monthly source of income to help us sail through.”
With the help of local partners, ICC has been able to aid Velma in raising her boys. We were able to provide some of the items that Velma will need to care for her new son and the rest of her family. Please pray for her as she figures out life without her husband. Also, please pray for these young boys who must grow up without their father. Pray that they would understand why he died and why Christ is more than worth it.