A few days after our April visit to Kakuma refugee camp, the heavens opened over the drought-stricken landscape. Although many had been praying for rain, this downpour was not life-giving. Many mud brick refugee shelters and churches were destroyed.
I received this email today from a brother named Etando who served as my translator during a Sunday worship service in the camp last month...
Hello! I greet you in name of jesus christ. i was your interpreter when you are preaching. i am very happy to write to you as my father and my friend in christ. I would like you to send me some verse of bible because I consider you as my father in faith.
It was on Sunday that floodwater came. many houses crumbled including mine. all furniture, matresses, clothes were covered with mud. we did not rescue any things. we thank God because we were saved.
we are like new arrivals again. we are surviving and sleeping on thin mats.
i am married with 5 children. greet your familly.
when will you be here again? Send me any advice from God's word. God bless you. Amen.
Life is hard in a refugee camp. This is one of the many challenges they face as they patiently wait for a solution to their displacement. Faith and supportive relationships play an important role in helping people survive and recover from the multiple traumas that are part of their journey.
IAFR is committed to stand with refugees, including our brothers and sisters, in Kakuma refugee camp (Kenya), Dzaleka refugee camp (Malawi) as well as in Europe and North America - where the challenges that they face may be different, but can still be overwhelming.
You can help too. Would you take a minute right now and offer a prayer on behalf of our friend, Etando, and others like him who are struggling to recover from this recent tragedy? We can pray with confidence that God hears, God sees and God cares for them.
When a flower is pulled from a garden, its roots are torn out of the soil and are no longer able to sustain the flower. It won't survive long without being replanted in a safe place where it can again put down roots.
When people are uprooted, they are ripped out of both their place and their community - often in ways that are traumatic. Similar to an uprooted flower, forcibly displaced people need a safe place into which they can again put down roots.
This is why it matters greatly when 1 of the world's 30-some-odd countries offering resettlement to refugees decides to reduce it's quota from 110,000 people to 50,000 [see section 6.b). It means that 60,000 people who would have been given a safe place in which to rebuild their lives will now be left uprooted and vulnerable for at least another year - and quite possibly longer. Like flowers with their roots exposed, how long can we expect them to survive?
Let's speak up for those who have no voice. We all have a voice that we can use to inform and influence our friends, family and political representatives in helpful ways. Let's hold refugees in our prayers, lifing them up to Jesus - asking him to hear their cries and to lead them to a city in which they can settle. And although we might not be able to solve their need for a place they can call home, perhaps we can offer welcoming spaces and community to those who carry the story of forced displacement with them as they navigate our streets.
Click here to see a helpful and user-friendly resource designed to give us a well-informed understanding of refugee realities in the world today.