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Published on February 13th, 2008 | by tdnimz7S

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Nixon – one man’s story

He stood out from the start. Last September at our week-long seminar in Mumias, we spotted Nixon. What a promising, young pastor! Full of ideas and initiative! Eager to learn! And keen to have us for seminars in his church in Nairobi.

It’s easy, watching TV news, to have our perception swallowed up or dulled by sheer numbers. Over 1,000 dead in Kenya since December 30. Hundreds of thousands homeless. Countless shops and schools destroyed by fire and looting. Crops lying unharvested in the fields. Families separated forever.

But what about the individuals? Like the woman, age 105, burnt to death in a church. Like students, running for their lives, wondering where they can find a new school that has not been reduced to ashes.

And then there is Nixon. His four children had gone home for Christmas, near Kisumu. After December 30, they found they were cut off from their Dad, who was stranded in Nairobi without transportation. Riots, looting and death stood between Nixon and his family. When buses resumed (at a much higher cost to travellers) the children were able to get back to Nairobi a week late. Their bus was in an armed convoy (perhaps it was the same convoy we were supposed to have on January 12, which never materialized). And Nixon’s church? The landlord of the church building is of a different tribe than Nixon, so his congregation has been locked out. (After putting up a building on the landlord’s property!) But Nixon’s congregation shows the way. His leadership is inter-tribal. They are flexible enough to squeeze into Nixon’s house on Sundays, while they seek a new building. They are sensitive enough to distribute the little food, clothing and money that they have, to reach out to the aged, and widows.

Nixon is the kind of bright light that we so appreciate about Kenya. Pray for him – and us!

Ken & Marge MacGowan


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