With your generous gifts and prayers, our partner Pastor Musa and his team at Mchungaji Kundi Moja have carried out widespread relief efforts in their region of eastern Kenya. Here he shares an update to WorldShare's sister organisation in North America, Partners International, on how God has miraculously provided for the relief efforts and how their ministry has gained the respect and appreciation of both Christian and Muslim communities.
In our first round of distribution which occurred at end of July and early weeks of August, we helped more than 2,000 families. The challenges we faced during the first distribution called for adjustments and different preparation. There were more and more people seeking food. The distress people were under was obvious. We gave generous food donations but saw increasing desperation as a result of the drought.
Transportation was a huge challenge. Getting relief items from Thika and Nairobi, we needed a sure means of transport to be effective in the project. During the month we received a generous gift toward the purchase of a lorry to help us with transportation. We are indebted to Partners International Canada for the gift that enabled us to get a nine-ton Mitsubishi lorry. This has not only eased the pressure we have on transport but has also given us speed of service.
In September we provided food to 630 Christian families. Living in the Dadaab relief camp insulated them from contact with the Christian community in Kenya. It was the first time in history for the Christians in the camp to come together. We gave each family rice, beans, sugar, cooking oil, and Unimix for the children. One of the church leaders commented, “This is a true demonstration of how much the Lord cares and thus He has brought you to Dadaab for a divine purpose. We have never seen people with such a great passion and heart for the people.”
On September 19 and in the days following, our team delivered a truckload of food to more than 1,000 needy families, both Christian and non-Christian. For Somalis, the loss of their livestock due to drought has pushed them out of their country, and they are camping along the roads inside Kenya. After this distribution, I received a thank you letter from one of the village chiefs, acknowledging our gift and thanking us for our concern for the needy people in their area.
In one town, before the distribution the village head stood to address the people. After thanking us for the food, he called forward those who had registered their names for assistance. Some people said they wanted nothing to do with “Christian food.” But one by one as people stepped forward, some of the Somali and Orma people who had refused to give their names began pushing for something. We often carry with us an extra portion and this became handy. We gave help to them too.
We have also embarked on assisting with the provision of water that will help both now and in the long run. We have two wells flowing with water again by deepening the wells. One is serving more than 3,000 households. Three new wells are in process. We have also identified several other areas for wells in cooperation with the village chiefs. The total number will be 11 new wells plus new hand pumps.
Nutrition for Children
We have also continued to provide food for 220 children under age five by providing therapeutic and nutrient-rich Unimix. What a scene this is every morning. The program is planned to begin at 10 a.m. but we have had children streaming here at 7 a.m. with their bowls, waiting for porridge which has now become their lifeline. The need here is frightening, but we are prepared to tackle it.
Many of these children missed immunizations and have very acute health challenges. The pilot phase of this project has worked very well, and we are rolling it into five new centers this month.
In all in September 2,717 families received famine relief packs, more than 1,200 children under five received nutrition assistance, and 1,250 children are taking part in our feeding program. By the end of October, we are scheduled to have fed 4,200 families. We will also be distributing Bibles to the Christians and clothes as well.
The project has put a lot of pressure on our staff. On the one hand, the project gave tremendous opportunities for our staff on the field to minister. But, they also served in a very difficult situation. They were as affected by the crisis as the communities they live in. Please keep them in your prayers. Continue to pray that God would provide for the people here and that they would see His love in us. Thank you for your generosity and partnership.
*Photos courtesy of Robin Wyatt