Just two Sundays ago, two armed men walked into the African Inland Church in Garissa, Kenya. They tossed three grenades into the small sanctuary and started shooting with automatic weapons. Then they ran, leaving behind 17 dead and 80 wounded saints, which included many women and children.
Garissa is not far from Kenya’s border with Somalia, and its population of 65,000 is mostly Somali Muslim. A Somalia-based group, Al Shabaab, took responsibility for the attacks, citing revenge for Kenyan Defense Force incursions into Somalia, where an Islamic insurgency and famine have uprooted hundreds of thousands of Somalians. Just 50 miles from Garissa, the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, is a hellish home for 500,000 people who have fled from Somalia’s 20-year civil war.
Garissa has always been a difficult place for Christians to live, as they find themselves a tiny minority. They are not permitted to own residential or business property. Pastors who rent homes are forbidden by their Muslim landlords to receive visitors, lest they host a prayer meeting. Average Christians find themselves facing similar restrictions, so house churches cannot exist. Now Christians in Garissa have found that they are not safe even inside their few church buildings.
One of our Kenyan partners was just in Garissa for five days, and we’ve been corresponding through email. He’d already been scheduled to train pastors in Garissa in Muslim evangelism, and he decided to make the journey in spite of the recent massacre. He ended up attending a mass funeral service, visiting the wounded in a local hospital, encouraging the saints, holding a revival, and doing his training on Muslim evangelism.
His training is based on a method that has been found to be very successful in reaching Muslims by showing them how the Koran reveals Jesus to be the Messiah. He said that most Muslims in Garissa naturally feel terrible about the massacre, and they are showing unusual kindness towards Christians in an attempt to demonstrate that they were not complicit with the attackers. He said that he found that it easy to talk with Muslim government leaders and Imams right in their mosques.
Personally, I’d like to make the devil regret the slaughter of God’s children on July 1 in Garissa, and I’ve been thinking thoughts of “holy revenge.” You’ve probably heard Tertullian’s quote, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” We have a window of opportunity to advance God’s kingdom in Garissa through both deeds and words.
Wouldn’t it be great for Muslims in Garissa to witness how Christians love and care for each other, as we meet the pressing needs of Christian families who have lost loved ones and assist wounded survivors? We can take care of their medical bills, provide food (their region is still suffering famine), and replace shrapnel-shattered church windows and punctured tin roofing sheets. Most importantly, we can print well-written booklets for Muslims that will show them Jesus in the Koran.
If you’d like to help Heaven’s Family in this outreach to Garissa, you can easily contribute in just seconds from any place in the world by clicking here. To contribute by check, see the instructions below. 100% of your gift to our Persecuted Christians Fund will be sent to Kenya to assist Garissa believers and to reach out to Muslims there with the gospel. All administrative costs will be paid from Heaven’s Family’s general fund.
Forwarding this email with your recommendation of Heaven’s Family to your compassionate friends can result in additional blessing for the “least of these.”
Thanks for helping us “get revenge” in northeastern Kenya, a region where Satan has been feverishly working for decades to kill, steal and destroy. And thanks for helping Heaven’s Family shine God’s light in the terrible darkness.
Contributions by check should be mailed to: Heaven’s Family, P.O. Box 12854, Pittsburgh, PA 15241. Please write “Persecuted Christians Fund” in the memo of your check. Heaven’s Family is a 501C3 non-profit organization recognized by the I.R.S., and all contributions are fully tax-deductible.
In the U.K. send your cheque to: Heaven’s Family, P.O. Box 7402, Bournemouth, U.K. BH11 0EJ. Please write “Persecuted Christians Fund” in the memo of your cheque. Heaven’s Family is a registered charity in the U.K., and most gifts qualify for Gift Aid, significantly increasing the size of your gift.
For more information, please visit our website: HeavensFamily.org.