Kenya’s Resilient Church: Surviving the Flames of Hatred
By Katie Lynn
06/09/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – In January 2021, five churches were burned down, and three Christian homes set ablaze during a shocking act of terrorism in western Kenya. Eight young men, brainwashed by extreme Islamic ideology, attacked the Christian-majority area with intentionality, hoping to break believers’ spirits and stifle the worship of Jesus.
“At first, believers feared to come to church,” Pastor Charles Mayore of Worldwide Gospel church told International Christian Concern (ICC) after the incident. “It was difficult on Sundays when it rained, for the water would flood the earthen floor. The few donations we received from well-wishers were only enough to replace a few plastic chairs.” The church had suffered major structural damage and lost much of its possessions, including chairs and the pulpit to fire damage.
The Nyangeni SDA Church was also one of the churches struck by the assault, losing furniture, church literature, hymn books, and several other important items in the flames.
“We were alerted that fire was gutting down the church and we immediately went to rescue the situation,” the church’s senior elder Mr. Melchizedek Nyambane told ICC, “Our church office was on fire, but it was so fiery that we did not save anything.”
“We began praying and asking God for directions,” he added.
After hearing of the magnitude of loss among the affected churches, ICC embarked on a mission to assist in the reconstruction efforts.
“In a few days, we were visited by ICC and they took stock of what was damaged,” said Nyambane, confessing that they were not expecting much after the visit, “To our surprise, a month later we received funds from them to assist the church.”
The churches used these funds to rebuild damaged walls and roofs, replace burned items, and even expand to provide restrooms to the public.
“As a way of showing our gratitude to God for you, we shall open one room for the residents here to use as they go on their daily duties, and families that do not have latrines,” said Nyambane.
Additionally, pastors feel that rebuilding efforts have made church structures even more secure than before the fires and are better equipped if faced with another attack.
“On behalf of the church, I would like to deeply appreciate your financial support,” said Pastor Mayore, “We cannot be able to repay what you have done for us. May the Lord bless you abundantly.”