Edna just sent me an email, and when I read the subject line, "Really bad news from Kenya," I braced myself, and opened the email.
Earlier, I had read this news report - click here - describing an assasination in Kenya, really just one more act of violence among many, I thought then.
Edna's email relayed the terrible news that Julius's brother Melitus had been shot and killed in Kenya. (Last week, I posted an email from Julius regarding his brother Emmanuel - click here.) Melitus was the founder of an orphanage where she had been this summer, and as her email mentioned, had recently been elected to parliament.
Suddenly, the news story I had read earlier took on new significance. Amazing how things change when a generic news story suddenly gets personal, isn't it?
Julius and his wife Sarah were here in North KC in worship on Sunday morning. Now, two days later, his brother is killed, the rest of his family are in fear for their lives, and they are confronted with enormous decisions that will have to be made under extreme pressure. He wants to be there with his family; they are terrified of what could happen if (when?) he goes; the rest of his family is in danger and he wants to protect them; there is a great risk to his own well-being if he goes; Kenya is his home and great violence is being done to it - I cannot even begin to imagine what they must be going through.
I told both Edna and Sarah today via email that my prayers this morning when I read the news were not very pleasant. How much richer would our Christian liturgy be if we could cuss? This morning, I did my best to find out. Please pause and say a prayer for Kenya as you read this.
For Julius, Sarah, Emmanuel, Juliana, and for all the rest ...
How long, O Lord?
I cry for help ... nothing.
I see violence, blood, death ... and still nothing.
How long, O Lord?
(borrowed from Habakkuk 1)