As word of the terrorist attack in the Riverside community of Nairobi reached us yesterday afternoon, we began to check in with family, friends, and staff members in the city.
Many here in Nairobi have had an unsettling feeling that another terror attack was coming. The tension has been there -- quiet, raw, and strained. The El Shabab network has been active in Somalia, we've heard story after story of the terror and conflict that have continued to boil in our neighboring country. The rhetoric of vengeance and death has not stopped.
I was up early this morning reading and praying in the quiet of our home. You can hear helicopters and low flying planes circle the city. People are alert.
The attack in Riverside is not yet over. Families are still desperate for news of loved ones still inside. People are giving blood, praying, and standing watch.
I am thankful for the beauty of Africa, for the resilient faith and kind-hearted people whom we have come to know and love. And the more I think about friends whom we have come to know and serve within Kenya and throughout this region, the more I am reminded that their hopes and aspirations are not unlike my own. They are tired of conflict, they are weary from violence, and they yearn for peace.
And yet here we are once again. Another attack. Another senseless loss of lives. More black smoke staining the sky above us.
As we live in the brokenness of this world, the good news of our faith is not that we get to escape the suffering and unrest. The good news is that God enters the brokenness to bring redemption, life, and hope. These unsettling feelings are a sign that the world is not yet as it should be. That we were created for a life that in Christ is now and not yet.
Our friend Sam Chaise shared a wonderful article this morning that quoted author and pastor Erwin McManus who expresses this idea in a profound way:
"Why is it that we long for a world without violence? We have never known a world without it. Why do we yearn for a world where there is no hunger? We have never known such a world, Why are we desperate for a world with no death and suffering? We have only ever known pain. Our ideals are the phantom pain of the soul."
Please join us in praying for Kenya. For the first responders, the security forces, the doctors, the nurses, and the countless families who did not sleep last night for the concern for loved ones. We pray for peace that comes from Christ alone.