Last week I (Andre) visited our work in the Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya. Our focus is primarily among Sudanese, South Sudanese, and Ethiopians. Refugee camps are sad and depressing for obvious reasons. However, what is often missed is the reality of the lives of those who live life in a place very much foreign to them. I wasn’t mentally prepared to meet people with scars from machetes on their arms, legs, backs and even their faces. Lingering scars from survival and escape hard for me to imagine.
I also didn’t consider that the population of the camp was growing internally. Some mothers have been in the camp for more than two years have babies less than one-year old.
After sharing with some of the churches that have been started by some of our church planters and even after we led more than twenty people to the Lord, I had to ask our leader in the camp a question, “How do you share the gospel about an all loving and all powerful God with people, when Christ didn’t save you from this sad situation?”
He responded this way, “ The first thing you need to consider is that these people, (me included) are to a large extent, traumatized by what we have experienced. What gives the gospel credibility is the peace that is seen in my life and others in spite of that trauma. People often come to visit me and are surprised that my life is not very different from theirs except for how I face it. Today we offered them the truth, hope, and peace. Many will resist or find it hard to accept Christ because of the trauma, but some will respond to the hope that God is planting in their hearts.”
Today we offered them the truth, hope, and peace. Many will resist or find it hard to accept Christ because of the trauma, but some will respond to the hope that God is planting in their hearts.”
This statement encouraged me. While they are still in the camp, they are no longer spiritual refugees. Thank you for continuing to being a part of this amazing work of God. The churches we visited were able to welcome us with welcoming smiles and warm hearts. True to their African culture, most refused to allow us to leave before giving us something to eat or drink, no matter how humble. Indeed I found God’s hope and peace in their gracious welcome.
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