No sooner had I posted the last blog (or so it seemed) than I received an update from Edward himself. Please read this to help your praying for the situation.
Another drought……….Another crisis
My big question
The last one month and two weeks of February 2011 have been a very difficult and trying time as we find ourselves in the midst of another severe drought / famine. I have found myself asking God why another drought that has led to another crisis in our Nation as millions find themselves with no food, water and vegetation for their animals?
In the midst of my questions that seemed to have no immediate answers, God clearly and powerfully spoke to me through dear friends from far lands and my own teams. 1st was a long telephone conversation call with our dear brother and friend in Germany, Bob Hatton. We spoke many things about the current situation, as he ended his call, my heart was greatly ministered to by this statement “……Edward, God is with you as He has always been”.
Then on 20th January I received an amazing text from my friend Nigel Ring and this is what the text said “…..my reading this morning from Psalm 46 was 1 ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very pleasant help in trouble; 2. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. 10. Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! 11. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah.’ May He strengthen you all today!
It was also such a blessing being re-assured of much prayers and love by our dear brother and friend R.G.Hardy from Baltimore, USA. Also, a long telephone conversation with Mick from Heathfield was such a great encouragement to me. Despite the fact that we were facing such a major crisis, I found myself struggling so much in whether I should share once again the plight we were facing, especially with our International friends. I kept on thinking that it’s just been too many problems for the last six years, but Mick’s statement to me during the long telephone conversation was such a relief – Mick said the following “………Edward never forget that God’s heart is for the poor” and ended by also telling me that our problem was not man-made and, as such, I should not shy off sharing everything just like it is.
My quick action
Immediately it dawned on me that we were facing another severe drought, I called our emergency / crisis team and some pastors to a time of prayer and planning. We were able to meet on 11th and 12th January 2011 at Kambakia, Meru. In this meeting, we narrowed down to the following urgent and important decision:
(1) That around 650 families in Wamba & Maralal (in Samburu) will require to be supplied with relief supplies for the next 7 months (This represents around 5200 persons altogether)
(2) That around 450 families in / around the Eastern regions of Kenya were in very dire need of relief supplies (This represents around 2700 persons altogether)
(3) We agreed to keep our focus on the 1100 families at the moment because of the very limited resources that are available at our disposal
(4) That the supplies to be issued will include the following:
(iii) Unimix for children under 5 years
(iv) In small quantities sugar and cooking fat(to booster energy)
(v) In Samburu, supply clean drinking water(either by tankers, Jerrycans or Bottled)
(5) All the above to be accompanied by a monthly mobile medical clinic in the affected areas
The situation as I have seen it
We have made extensive trips into Samburu West and East with any available relief supplies we have been able to get. I have been encouraged by the local response from our churches and friends who have either watched our TV programmes showing the conditions of those affected, and others who have heard us sharing in different places about the suffering of the affected.
Within the Mt Kenya region, I have also travelled extensively seeing thousands and thousands of acres of farms full of what would have been a bumper harvest, all dried up. We are already having a number of families in lower Eastern region being sustained by relief food. I am also so shocked that even the places like Western Kenya have also not been spared by this drought – They too have serious food shortages.
In Samburu, we have observed something we haven’t seen even with the last drought/famine: families that have travelled from deep Samburu, camped at our Centre in Wamba for days waiting for the next time there will be relief supplies. It is still in Samburu where I have witnessed hundreds of people who have been trekking for kilometres under the scorching heat, looking for water as all rivers have dried up. It is in the same place where you see all vegetation dried up resulting in hundreds and hundreds of animals dying. The situation in Samburu is so grave!
The situation in the Upper and North Rift Valley is more the same as that in Samburu. The situation remains bleak in some parts of the Coastal and Central Regions. The need in the areas of our outreach is more than we can bare. I have all the same instructed John (Edward’s brother) and his team to concentrate with the 1,100 families that we are currently assisting. Once we have more resources at our disposal, we can then increase on the number of beneficiaries.
Long term solutions:
My team and I are very keen on seeing a few sand dams built in Wamba and Maralal (Samburu). Also a few more water reservoirs built within the lower Eastern region all aimed at harvesting rain water during rainy seasons.
We will also be forced to issue many families with planting seed in the month of March and April when rains are expected, as a way of increasing food security from harvested crops in June / July.
(1) For sufficient resources (our weekly budgets are in hundreds of thousands of shillings)
- nb there are about Ksh 130:£1
(2) For wisdom, strength and grace for my teams and I
(3) The Government to respond and do something about a situation that is becoming worse by each passing day
(4) For sufficient rain in March / April 2011 (Please pray that rains come in end March / April and NOT NOW!)
(5) That the affected communities maintain peace and harmony ( come against inter-tribal conflict for the reason of scarcity)
(6) That the Kingdom of God will expand as people encounter the love of God and churches planted
(7) For our economy that is not good. As I write this email, I have just received a text to once again say that fuels will go up tonight (14th February 2011). This is the third time fuels have gone up in the last one month. Any time fuels go up that affects everything else
(8) For our protection as we get deep in Samburu
I find my heart greatly blessed by reading through Psalm 107:1. When facing a situation like the one we are facing, the best we can do is to sing with David and say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good and His love endures for ever and ever…” He has done great things in the past, and He will do even greater things in the future!
I feel God has yet given us an opportunity to express His love and compassion to the affected, an opportunity of expanding His Kingdom through practical gospel and an opportunity to see many churches planted. Like we have always done together, let us do it together yet again!
God richly bless you all.
With much blessings,