Kenya, the ACK and Anglican Relief and Prayers

The Anglican Church of Kenya posted the following "Situation on the Ground" statement January 10, 2008:

Kenyans continues to appeal to all humanitarian organizations, religious organizations and well wishers to step in and assist many Kenyans who are in dire need of basic necessities such as food, clothing, bedding, medication and sanitation facilities.
♦ Internally Displaced persons (IDP’s) who had been stranded in Eldoret as a result of barricaded roads were given police andmilitary escort and evacuated to Nakuru on Saturday 5th January 2008. However some are still stranded in Eldoret while the need for humanitarian assistance has gone up in Nakuru. The displaced are camped at Nakuru show ground.
♦ In the Coast Province, Internally displaced persons are seeking shelter at MoiInternational Airport football ground in Changamwe and in various areas in Mombasa.
♦ People evicted from their homes in Saboti, constituency, Transmara are starving and need food and other basic commodities. The displaced are camping at Kiungani, Kiminini, Sihendu, Liungani, and Kitale police station.
♦ About 100 people have been camping at Juja Police station since 5th January 2008 after receiving threatening leaflets. Several families from Gitambaya village have been camping at Ruiru Prison.
Estimated 1,500 people have been stranded at Burnt Forest, at the junction to Kapsabet near the GSU post. They are calling for humanitarian assistance.
♦ Over 5,400 Kenyans have fled to Uganda escaping the violence in Western andNyanza provinces. There is an appeal for their safety in Uganda.
♦ Over 150 displaced persons are still stuck at Siaya Police station due to crisis of public transportation.
♦ Lugari DC quoted that a total of 21,000 people are displaced and taking refuge at Lumakanda, Lugari and Turbo areas.

♦ Over 10,000 people have been safely evacuated from Eldoret to Nakuru and other safer places under police and military escort. There are also efforts to rescue people affected in Keiyo, Marakwet and Nandi in North Rift Region.
♦ Community mediators are working on conflict resolution strategies in Uasin Gishu to assist in addressing the situation. A crisis response group has been formed in North Rift (Eldoret) headed by Bishop Cornelius Korir to coordinate humanitarian and safety interventions
♦ In Nairobi, religious leaders have called on all stakeholders to promote peace at this crucial time in the history of Kenya.
♦ Bishop Desmond Tutu visited the country and expressed the need for mediation and reconciliation. He met Hon. Raila Odinga and the President Mwai Kibaki individually between 3rd and 4th December 2008.
♦ Nine media houses issued a joint statement through the Media Council of Kenya and dedicated 1 hour national prayers for the country on Sunday 6th January 2008 which was aired simultaneously by media houses. Different religious leaders interceded for peace and prayed for people suffering physically and emotionally across the country.
♦ The World Food Programme has released 670 tonnes of food as a humanitarian response to the current crisis.
♦ The Kenya Red Cross has since distributed 124 tonnes of food to the displaced in Eldoret.

  • Peace in the nation
  • Peace talks to continue and lasting solutions agreed upon
  • God’s wisdom to leaders and mediators to make the right decisions for the
  • country
  • Healing and reconciliation at the community level i.e. peaceful co- existence
  • Support for the affected to resume normal lives
  • Security in the nation
  • Learning institutions- travel safety for the students, availability of finances for
  • school needs and requirements.
Since then things have gotten worse.
Various agencies of the Church have offered aid: Episcopal Relief and Development. and Anglican Relief and Development Fund (the Network relief arm) are both involved by way of various agencies in Kenya.

I am sure there are agencies in England and elsewhere in the Anglican Communion, and I hope friends will post contact points there. Where ever you are in Anglican Land there is some agency through which you can give for relief.

Bishop David Gitari, Bishop in Kenya now retired gave a fascinating interview strongly criticizing the silence of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops in Kenya. You can read it HERE.

The Moderator of the Network, Bishop Duncan, has weighed in HERE. He says, "The Church of Kenya serves as spiritual home to almost 5 million Anglican Christians spread across nearly all of Kenya’s tribal groups. Because this conflict has a strong tribal component, pray in particular that Kenyan Anglicans can maintain their unity even as their tribes clash. We are encouraged by reports from bishop Bill Atwood, that the church not only consistently speaks out against tribalism, it has passed canon laws to forbid it within the church. "

Bishops Duncan and Atwood seem to have a more positive sense of the role of the Anglican Church of Kenya and its Primate than Bishop Gitari has. I hope the Moderator is right. I have some doubts that canon law forbidding tribalism has any weight on the ground.

I have visited the Church in Kenya in the past and have been very impressed with ACK's work. While aware of the testy nature of the relationship between ACK and the Episcopal Church it is my hope that none of that will interfere with the drive by all parties to give aid to those in need and prayer for peace and restoration of stable democratic process. As usual the situation on the ground is complex and increasingly difficult. We need to take our lead from Kenyans devoted to community reconciliation and peace.


  1. john-julian...I need to be clear. I don't like ARDF because it claims a purity it doesn't have as if its money was better than that from anyone from say, the Episcopal Church the unclean.

    But I mention them in this blog because I believe the money from those who give through ARDF is not made worse or better by the pass- through.

    If in Kenya they will not accept the one source and will accept the other, then the sin is on their heads. Last time I looked, all the money had Caesar's face on it. No one is clean re money. But all of us from what we have need to give.

  2. Boy John-Julian, it sounds as if yours the heart who needs to be purified.

    FIRST off, your view that they need your money and should except it anyway it's offered is very imperialistic -- I thought died out with the fall of empires, I guess I was in error.

    It's the Lord's money and we're only passing through and allowed to handle it on our short time, you need to give it more than Kenya needs to receive it . If you do not like the one vessel, than give to Oxfam or Mercy Corp both of which have taken more a neutral secular stance in order to handle governmental grants.

    I think Mark's willingness to advocate giving to ARDF speaks volumes to his character. I'm familiar with a "border crossing" Anglican group that served in an Episcopal assisted living place. Sometimes to do what is right can be messy and needs prayer to order competing 'goods.'

  3. Kevin and Fr. Mark,

    It troubles me when very intelligent people miss the irony in a well written post. Unlike the mega church types no Julian would ever withold a dime from a suffering person.




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