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Kenya Reports

Report #55
June 21, 2008

Here is the next report from John Muhanji, the Director of Friends United Meetings' African Ministries. A few days ago I sent you a report of the successful return at Mili Nne. Here is a report of another successful return at Jua Kali and then a significant failure at Sugoi. I'll keep you posted on developments as they occur. Again I have edited this slightly so that you can understand the story better.

Peace,
Dave

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Dear Friends,

After a very successful resettlement of IDPs on Monday and Tuesday of 16th and 17th, there was a more than successful resettlement of IDPs at Jua Kali in an area which was very bad when we visited them. The District Commission (DC) and Joshua Lilande called me and told me how the plan they had put in place was unnecessary when the receiving community took them to their houses rather than camping in their neighborhood waiting to rebuild their burnt houses. There was reconciliation sprit in the air as their neighbors received them with joy.

When the Friends Church Peace Team (FCPT) visited the Jua Kali receiving community to listen to them, they were very hostile to them and never wanted to see the Kikuyus back in the area at all. But as they continued to listen to the team they soften although they remain adamant about not receiving them, but when we visited the area with the District Office (DO) they were willing to accept them back. Therefore, on Thursday when Lilande and the DO took the internally displaced people (IDPs) to their place, the community accepted them with jubilation. This was the opposite of what we experienced earlier when we were listening to them. The good news is that the gospel of peace and reconciliation is in the air propagated by the Friends Church.

But hell broke loose when they took the other IDPs to Sugoi from Eldoret Show Ground. Sugoi had been one of the most hostile communities when the FCPT held a listening session with them. The DO called me today and wished that I had been with him. They were almost killed by the community people who never wanted to see the returning community coming back. They asked me if I was available to accompany him but I was not available. He told me the community need the Friends Church Peace Team to be back in the area. The DO had to re-route the returnees to Turbo camp where other IDPs are. But on reaching there, the IDPs at Turbo did not want to accommodate their friends at all. The DO had to return them back to the Eldoret Show Ground for safety. The DO was very frustrated to the point that the DC ran away and never came closer to help the DO. He has organized a meeting with elders and opinion leaders in the area to talk with the them and hear what they need before the IDPs can return to their farms. The community is asking the government to release the youth who were arrested during the violence and especially those who were demonstrating against the rigged election. He is asking me and the Peace Team to be available with him to listen and encourage them to accept their brothers who are innocent return back. Please I am appealing for prayers, because the DO sounded scared because he said they petrol bombed them but nobody was hurt. The community is very hostile to the Kikuyus coming back. As we celebrate the successes, there are also challenges in the whole process.

I am encouraged by the following. So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. There are many things that work to keep us from completing our life-missions. Over the years, I've debated whether the worst enemy is procrastination or discouragement. If Satan can't get us to put off our life missions, then he'll try to get us to quit altogether. The apostle Paul teaches that we need to resist discouragement: "So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up ." (Galatians 6:9). I believe God has a purpose for our ministry here in Kenya.

I am still thinking whether to join the DO tomorrow Saturday with the elders or to send others. Please pray with me.

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