Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The orphanage under attack.


The orphanage under attack.

My uncle helped found an orphanage in Kenya on an island in Lake Victoria. There are more than 300 kids, many of which were orphaned by the HIV epidemic. Some of the kids are HIV positive. It is without a doubt the most visceral representation I know of what it means to share God’s love.

And tonight it might be burned down.

With the violent unrest destroying a country that many would say AIDS has already destroyed, the orphanage is in danger. There have been threats. Guards have been posted. The food supply delivered to the island is dwindling.

I have never shared a prayer request on this blog and chances are I might never again, but tonight I am going to. Tonight, instead of writing about some sort of silly connection between pop culture and the Bible, I am going to post the email the director of the orphanage filed from Kenya today:

Thanks to you and to all our fellow-servants who are in USA for lifting us and our bleeding country to the Lord. After receiving perhaps the most direct and serious threats from the mainlands, to the effect that we the only operating school in our region, I decided to call off my trip to Nairobi by the MAF plane which was coming to pick me. I called all staff and told them about the threats of those who were demanding that we close down or be burnt. I then gave each one room to say what in their view we needed to do and only two people were in favor of closure, with everyone else feeling strongly that we cannot release the children to all the dangers awaiting them outside of the orphanage. We will stay with the children.

Deep inside I am reminded once more that this place is the true home many of these precious jewels of the Lord have. I asked myself, 'Should I send them out there in the wild, or should I continue God's work even when it is risky?' I chose the latter and all I ask for is not sympathy but prayer that God would put his arms around these tender lives. This evening our plea to be allowed to continue serving the orphans for the sake of Christ was aired on the radio. Mention was made of us by name that we should be spared the ordeals going on throughout our country by now.

Tonight the men will be working as guards of children, women and property as a response to the night attacks. We have no weapons but wholly rely on the Lord and the guarding angels of light. May the Lord bless and keep you.

Tonight if you pray for strangers,

pray for Kenya.

Pray for the kids at Gethsemane Garden Centre.

Pray for people who are so hurt that they’d want to burn down an orphanage.

Please post a comment. I will email any comments posted to the staff and kids at the orphanage so they know they are not alone in this nightmare.

Update:
1. The orphanage, which is also a school, has a website with more info. Visit www.ggcckenya.com
2. Thanks to the folks that have said they will share this story on their own blogs.

30 comments:

annakristine said...

I will be praying... and sharing this on my blog too.

Ally said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. Powerful reminder of the work our family in Christ is doing.

Anonymous said...

I am praying for the children, as well as the workers at the orphanage in Kenya!

Sandi Queen

121to11201 said...

I am praying, and passing it on to my friends for them to pray as well.

Hope said...

Father God in Heaven, what man tears down you rebuild mightier than before. I pray that your wings of protection are now and in the future a covering to the children, adults and servants of this orphanage. Father, your word promises that your are Lord and your words never return to you void. You said that if we believe, we will receive what we ask for in prayer. I thank you that the people whose will it is to tear down or burn down what glorifies you will stumble in any attempt they endeavour. I pray for their souls, Lord. I pray that the your love that resides in the hearts of the people connected with this orphanage will shine upon them, frustrate their anger and hatred, and reflect Your goodness into their hearts. Thank you, Lord, that You hear and answer. In Jesus name, Amen.

Dionna said...

My husband has been to Kenya twice on missions trips - the last one last April for a month. He has a friend there as well and our hearts and our prayers have indeed been spotlighted on Kenya.

robyn collins said...

praying for kids, leaders, orphans and widows... praying for kenya, praying for lost souls that would be involved with such terror... praying for protection, praying always always for God's will...knowing what Satan means for evil, God will turn to good.

East Side Eats said...

Naphtali is a man I have had the honor of spending some time with, and the dedication to his 'children' is palpable to everyone in the room. Thank you for sharing this Jon, and please join our family in prayer for both safety and widsom.

-Will Acuff

mercedes said...

Jesus, I pray that you protect and preserve your angels in Kenya. Please cover them with your love and please, please, enter the hearts of those people who would tear down your work. I pray that they hear your voice and wake up to the evil that has overcome them. I pray that you stay their hand and turn them away from that evil. God, I also ask for your special protection of your servants protecting the sweet children - please let them know your love and give them strength to face whatever confronts and confounds them. In Jesus' name I pray.

Katie said...

I had tears in my eyes at the thought of all of those children being released into such a hostile environment. It is a blessing to simply know there are people out there who trust so much in the Lord to risk their own lives in order to save the children. Thank you for your faith in the Lord. I will be praying for a peace and reasurrance from the Lord that you are all safe under his wing.

chief320 said...

The bravery of these followers! and to think that so many in the US are afraid to share, in total freedom, our Lord and Savior with others. My prayers go out to them as I am writing this. May our Lord and Savior walk in their midst tonight providing them comfort, protection, and love. I pray that they would feel His presence and know that no matter what happens, that He loves them with a love which we cannot fully comprehend. I pray for their oppressors, that they might see Jesus Christ in this moment and know they He is their King of kings and Lord of lords. In Jesus' name!

Anonymous said...

Prayers are going up even as I write. Our small Christian school raises funds each Feburay (heart month) To help support the Mufu home, also in Kenya. Our family will keep both schools as well as the country of Kenya in our prayers.
Rosa
http://rose-gardendiary.blogspot.com

Maxine said...

Our family will be praying. Kenya is close to our heart as throughout the years we have been sponsoring children there through World Vision. We have received an email from WV that indicates our child is still safe, but who knows how long?
I'll post a brief prayer request at my blog and link to your post here.

Anonymous said...

I'll be praying for all of them. I hope the children know how many people are thinking of them and care about their safety.

Anonymous said...

We are praying that the gracious hand of our Heavenly Father will protect those children and those caring for them. He knows better than we how to do this. How heartbreaking to hear, but what a great chance for God to get the glory!

Ben said...

typically i'm not one to pray. but when people are unjustfully put in harms way i really do feel for them. i will keep them in my thoughts. i will also post this on my blog. thank you for sharing this with us.

Anonymous said...

To the staff and children of Gethsemene Gardens:

I live in Canada, your teachers can show you on a map how very far away we live from each other.

I'd be very scared.
I was an orphan, and people took care of me. I was scared, and it was a long time before I felt safe.
People told me about Jesus, and He has never left me or forgotten me.

Kenyans who have come to my country Canada are concerned and are working hard to help journalists and aid agencies and government tell us what is happening.
Angels are watching over them too.

They are worried and sad.
They are doing what they can to talk to your leaders, and to try to get food and medicine to you and their friends and relatives they have left to come to this country.

It's not fair.
It's not fair that a safe place - your home - may be destroyed by angry, scared people who have lived without justice.

I wish we could make things safe for you again, lots of people all around the world hearing your story about how hard things are right now helps.
We'll try.

Our weapons aren't fire, or machetes, or walls, or anger or fear, our weapons are the same as yours - words, attention to danger, love, justice and prayer.

Jon will tell us when you are safe again. He has asked lots of us to pray and we are. When your internet is working, tell us your story.

Even though our countries are very far apart, God brings us close. Sometimes He sends people, and sometimes He sends angels, and He is with you.
I don't understand how He does that, but He does, and He loves you very much. He kept me safe when I was an orphan by bringing grownups who knew what to do. I will ask Him to keep you safe too.

To staff: May God grant you wisdom, strength, discernment and courage. I pray all you need will be given.

Bene D

Anonymous said...

I am praying for your protection. Trusting God and His guardian angels will keep you all safe, in Jesus name. Amen

Anonymous said...

May God bless Kenya.

Marie Letourneau said...

I pray, and will continue to pray whole heartedly to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that he protect the innocent children of the orphanage as well as all those who protect and care for them. You have friends in New York always. God save us all.

Beverly said...

Oh - this story gripped my heart. My family will be praying for this situation. My daughter and I already looked at the website and prayed for the children. Thanks for sharing this.

Writeaway said...

We are praying and passing the word. Americans everywhere are uniting in prayer for the precious children of Kenya. God loves you so much and He is your protector! He is your strength, your ever present help in time of need. The very name of Jesus will cause demons to flee, so we speak that name over your home there.

We pray safety, peace and provision over you. In the strong name of Jesus. Amen!

Bill Kinnon said...

Father,
Protect these dear children and the people caring for them.

Anonymous said...

My good friend Jon asked me to post a comment, noting that I'm praying for you. I have not had time to read the post, but I know about the orphanage from prior ProdigalJon posts. My prayer is that you will trust God in the fire. Somewhere in the bible (sarcasm) I believe a story resides about the Son of God being present in the midst of a firey furnace. God bless. I promise to read the post soon.

Anonymous said...

East Africa used to be home for me. So, hearing about the violence that's been taking place in Kenya has been disturbing. I worry about my friends there. God, please do mighty things in this time of chaos.

Tunashukuru Mungu kwa upendo wako na watoto wale Kenya. Baba, hawajui mipango yako, lakini tunaweza kujua WEWE. Ulete upendo wako Gethsemane Center sasa hivi. Tunashukuru katika jina la Yesu. Amen.

sparrow's song said...

Pausing to pray for these concerns. May His hand cover them and may He change the hearts of those who intend harm.

Pastor Nick said...

I have put a link on my blog and asked for people to continue praying. The orphanage is my thoughts and prayers.

ylfnogard said...

Children and workers - my daughter and I are pleading with God to protect you. May angels camp around you and keep you safe. May God be your tower of refuge and strength. We may live in Australia but we pray for you 'without ceasing' and we are sending money for aid. We wish we could do more. My daughter has just turned 11. The night before we heard on the news about the unrest in Kenya she had a dream. We were in a big building with dormitories.It was unsafe to go outside for water or food. Fighting was going on around us, but there was a moment of quiet, of peace when we could go outside for supplies. I have no idea what this dream means, or why she had it, but God has put you on our hearts and we love you and feel for your situation. May God bless you and keep you safe.

Wendy said...

I am crying as I write this. It breaks my heart to think of these children and the violence that evil brings about. My prayers are with them and my faith in God's protection is strong. The angels are there, posted, waiting and watching.

ylfnogard said...

Wendy - I contacted the orphanage and I am now sponsoring a worker. If you want to know more or if you feel led to help - Debbie at GGCC (contactable through the contact us button on the official website)- she is a woman of integrity who will be more than happy to 'speak' with you. Bless you for your tears. Make sure you read the follow up blogs - things are a little better.