My first letter of 2008 speaks to the horror of life in Kenya, a country in east Africa. Tensions have been rising recently and following controversial presidential election results the country is on the verge of civil war.
Media reports from around the world tell the story of recent events following contested elections last Thursday. The charred bodies of up to 50 people, most of whom were women and children, were found lying among the remains of a church blaze that had been ignited this week by a crazed and angry mob. Over 200 people, displaced from their homes, had sought refuge in the Assemblies of God church in Eldoret, which is located around 300 kilometres northwest of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. As these poor people ran from the burning church they were attacked by members of the mob and killed or injured as they were beaten and attacked with machetes. A police spokesperson reported that it is the first time in history that any group has attacked a church.
These are sad events and if you take the time to read and learn what is happening to innocent people around the world like in Kenya you can’t help feeling both blessed to live in Canada and angered that these events go mostly unchallenged by the world powers. The US is questionably deeply involved in Iraq and Canada is questionably deeply involved in Afghanistan. What, if anything, will the US and Canada do to protect innocent civilians in Kenya? How do we decide where to become involved? Why is Afghanistan so important and Kenya apparently is not? Kenyan Canadians must be concerned and distraught.
I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, but I know I am saddened by reports of human suffering around the world. It hurts even more when you realize how powerless you are as an individual to help in any way. The truth is I struggle just to earn the respect of my teenage sons who haven’t a clue how fortunate they are to live in Canada. I am left to pray that God will protect my family and me and will protect those around the world whom are not so fortunate to live in a country like Canada.