Scripture Reading: Acts 20:24
With all the terrorism taking place over there aren't you afraid to go?" A question we often hear from friends and loved ones just about every time we are planning a trip to Africa. The unfortunate fact is, there seems to be some type of violence taking place continually. The following are just a few newspaper accounts of terrorism and violence that has taken place in areas we minister.
In June 2010, there was an attack in Nairobi's Uhuru Park that police blamed on followers of Al-Shabaab. Three grenades exploded at a political rally in Uhuru Park killing six people and injuring 30. - we were in Nairobi at the time of the attacks! July 2010 - An al-Qaida-linked Somali militant group claimed responsibility for twin bombings in Uganda that killed 74 people watching the World Cup final on TV, saying the militants would carry out attacks "against our enemy" wherever they are. - we left Nairobi and flew to Uganda, just days after our arrival this attack to place! On April 4, 2012, two people were killed and 30 injured in grenade attacks at a church crusade in Mtwapa, Mombasa which was to be followed by another attack three weeks later which claimed one life and injuring 16 at the God’s House of Miracles International Church in Nairobi’s Ngara area. - we arrived in Nairobi on May 16, 2012! On July 1, 2012, 17 people were killed and 45 wounded in grenade attacks at the Garissa Catholic and AIC churches. May 2013 - The man who hurled grenades that injured six police officers during a 12-hour confrontation in Nairobi’s Githurai Kimbo on Sunday, May 19, 2013 was a wanted terrorist. Al-Shabaab militants killed 67 people in an attack Saturday, September 21, 2013 at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall - we have been to this mall on more than one occasion! And on April 1, 2015, there was an attack on students at Kenya's Garissa University where Al-Shabaab militants killed 147 Christian students.
It would appear our safety would be in jeopardy in such a violent place! However, when posed the question my response is always the same - "If I believe God has called me to go, I am much safer obeying Him and being in the center of His will than I would be if I disobeyed and stayed at home." If I allowed myself, I could certainly become fearful! But I trust what scripture says is true, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Tim. 1:7 Fear is a tactic the enemy uses to render us ineffective for the Kingdom. We have a plaque over a doorway in our home that says, "The will of God will not take you where the grace of God will not protect you". This is a great reminder that God is our Protector and Satan is a liar!
The truth is there is just as much violence here in the United States! It's just not linked to terrorism and therefore not publicized. I am more likely to succumb to a violent attack by one of my fellow countrymen as I walk down the street or sleep in my own bed, than I am to a terroristic act of violence in Africa. I must remind myself that I am under the protection of my Lord, and nothing can happen to me without His consent. Psalm 139:16 says, "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." The length of my life has already been determined by my Creator. I cannot lengthen the number of my days on this earth by worrying about what might happen, or by trying to avoid potential danger at the cost of ministry the Lord has ordained.
I remind myself that Jesus said, "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" Matthew 6:26-27 I am more valuable than they, and so are you! Worrying about what might happen will not change the outcome. Instead, we must trust that Jeremiah 29:11 is true . . . "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Founder and President of Go Ministries, Inc.
Co-Founder and Secretary/Treasurer of Go Ministries, Inc