The Christian Reformed Church mobilized a special emergency-response team in January to monitor the situation in Kenya and ensure the safety of CRC staff in that country. The emergency-response team decides how the CRC responds to the crisis, including the implementation of evacuation plans, said Andrew Ryskamp, co-director of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee.
“The situation in Kenya remains tense,” he said. “There are reports of sporadic clashes between demonstrators and the police in central Nairobi, and between tribal groups in Western Kenya, but generally a tense calm is prevailing.”
Violence broke out in Kenya after a much-disputed presidential election Dec. 27, which many claim was rigged. Lootings, house burnings, rape, and murder swept across several regions of the country in the days following the election.
CRWRC has five full-time staff members in Kenya. The country is also the base for the CRWRC’s HIV/AIDS coordinator for the East/South African region. Partners Worldwide, a CRC business-development ministry, also has a staff person in Kenya. All of the personnel are safe at this point. Two Christian Reformed World Missions volunteers were safely evacuated.
The Reformed Church of East Africa reported that 10,000 of its members were displaced by the violence, including four pastors, whose homes were burned. The RCEA opened its unfinished conference center in Eldoret as a shelter for some of those who lost their homes.
CRWRC announced plans to provide food and other types of relief to displaced Kenyans in areas hardest hit by the violence.
To donate to this relief response, visit www.crwrc.org. For information on mailing donations, call 1-800-730-3490 in Canada or 1-800-55-CRWRC in the U.S.