March 1, 2013
Greetings from Kenya where the country is holding it's breath in anticipation of next week's presidential election. The last election, 2007 ended with disputed results and post-election violence that took the lives of more than 1000 people and displaced more than 500,000 people.
Please pray for a peaceful election and post election cooperation here next week as millions of people go to the polls March 4th and on March 6th the results will be announced to this fragile democracy. Political analyst predict that none of the 8 candidates will get the 51% required to declare a winner, which would require another month of stress in preparation for an April 11 run-off between the top 2 candidates. Both of the 2 men most likely to win have long political histories in Kenya. Their fathers were President and Vice President together.
Unfortunately, the violence 5 years ago was primarily tribal and these top 2 candidates are from the 2 largest tribes. The world was surprised by the violent response to the last election, this time
the police, army, thousands of international observers and millions of people of faith, appear to be united for peace. If this election goes well, I believe the future is bright for Kenya. I believe that
international investment will pour in and the natural and people resources of this great country will be mobilized to lead East Africa into a peaceful and prosperous next chapter.
It is interesting to note that next year will be the 50th anniversary of Kenya's independence. This Jubilee year has been a major theme in all the campaigns, that Kenya would repent and turn to God, depending on Him as their true leader. One major party even named itself the "Jubilee" party and the other major party promises to "give back the stolen land" from one tribe to another, to celebrate this jubilee example from the Old Testament. Last Sunday thousand of Christians came together in a prayer rally with all 8 candidates to pray for the country and to ask all the politicians to make a public pledge to peacefully accept the results of next weeks election.
Our family was in South Africa for the first free election there, when Nelson Mandela was elected in 1994. Many predicted violence, even civil war. We thank God for the peaceful election in South Africa and the great governance and leadership provided by Mandela. Unfortunately during that same time, April-June 1994, while South Africa celebrated a peaceful transition, almost one million people were killed in Rwanda, in political and tribal violence. Kenya could go either way.
Please pray that our Sovereign Lord will rule and reign in this country as He does in our lives. We know that "greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world!" I"ll write again soon.
For the Kingdom,
NHC Team Members