A student prays to heal violence in Kenya

ON THE DAY OF THE BOMBING of the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in 1998, I was visiting relatives in Mombasa, Kenya's main coastal town. We heard that the embassy in Nairobi had been destroyed. Only a few of the surrounding buildings escaped total destruction. As I watched the news reports, I felt overwhelmed with sorrow, anger, and fear. The loss of mothers and fathers, children and youth, had cast the people of Kenya into mourning. And I was grieving, too. Shortly after the bombing, I flew back to the United States to begin college—with an aching heart.

Despite my prayers to lift my thoughts above the violence and loss, my mind could not let go of the images of the dying and disabled. My sorrow was deep, and it stifled my capacity to bring healing to the situation. I wanted and needed to stop being just an observer of events and to start being a witness to God's power to help.

April 28, 2003
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