03 April 2015

It is well with my soul; remembering God's assurance even in the midst of terrorism

Kenya Defense Forces at Garissa, during yesterday's terrorist attack
Since God has assured me, "I'll never let you down, never walk off and leave you," I can boldly quote:
God is there, ready to help; 
I'm fearless no matter what.
Who or what can get to me?
Hebrews 13:5-6 (Message)

I will not be obsessed with apprehension. I will remember God's words of assurance and I will be full of courage. I will not forget to take a deep breath spiritually in order to remove any fear.

I will say to myself: "The Lord is my helper this very moment, even in my present circumstance."

Jesus Christ wants my absolute abandon of devotion to himself. My faith must be built in strong emphatic confidence in him. I create fear when I do not nourish myself in my faith. If I am identified with Jesus Christ, how can I suffer from doubt or fear?

My life should be an absolute hymn of praise resulting from perfect, irrepressible, triumphant belief in him!
~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (personalized paraphrase)

Yesterday's terrorist attack at Garissa University College was perpetrated by Al-Shabaab, a militant group that is affiliated with the radical Islamist organization, Al-Qaeda. The siege left close to 150 dead and over 80 wounded.

Witnesses reported that the five attackers - who were heavily armed with automatic weapons and grenades - demanded that the hostages recite verses of the Koran to avoid being killed.

This tragedy at Garissa is the worst terrorist attack in Kenya since the bombing of the US embassy in 1998, in which over 200 were killed and 4,000 wounded. The style of attack used by the terrorists at Garissa was similar to the 2013 siege at Nairobi's Westgate Mall, in which approximately 70 were killed and over 170 wounded. There have also been numerous other attacks since October 2011, when Africa Union forces (including the Kenya Defense Forces) invaded Somalia.

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The Bible does not teach risk aversion. 
We are called to trust God in the face of uncertainty. 
~ Nate Killoren, missionary in Kenya (blog post about a theology of risk) 

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Radical obedience to Christ is not easy. 
It's not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. 
Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. 
But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. 
And he is more than enough for us.
~ David Platt, Radical

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 The world is looking for Christians who can stand up to 
every crisis, fear, trouble, and difficulty and remain calm and at rest in the midst of it all. 
The world needs to see God’s children trusting wholly in their Lord. 
The world must be able to point to a Christian and say:
There goes one who doesn’t fret or fear or run in times of trouble. 
He isn’t worried about tomorrow! His faith holds at all times!
~ David Wilkerson, American pastor, evangelist, and author

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I hope you'll take a few minutes to listen to this powerful rendition of an old hymn.
A very powerful line in the song - "The waves and wind still know his name."

People sometimes ask if I'm ever afraid in Kenya. My response is that there are many issues and dangers here, not just terrorist attacks. In fact, I have weathered many storms and difficulties during my 13+ years serving the Lord in this nation.

Oswald Chambers says, "If you have had a vision, seeing Jesus as he really is, experiences can come and go, yet you will endure."

"Moses had his eye on the One no eye can see, and kept right on going."
  ~ Hebrews 11:27 (Message)

What I know, without a shadow of a doubt, is that this is where God called me. My eyes are also on the One no eye can see. Likewise, my intention is to persevere, to keep on going in obedience to God's calling on my life.

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"A story that has emerged from Garissa offers us a powerful analogy. One of the students, Hellen Titus, told the Kenyan media how she was able to escape from the tragedy as the shooters hovered over her and her fellow students. She covered herself with someone else’s blood and was thereby mistaken for dead. That is exactly what Jesus has done for us; He invites us to be covered with His blood so that we can live. And when we are thus protected, we may grieve, but we do not grieve like those without hope, and we do not fear those who can only kill the body but cannot touch the soul."
      ~ JM Njoroge, Where Was God During the Garissa University Terrorist Attack? (rzim.org/blog)
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I was in the Garissa area in late 2006.

Click here for several photos that will give you a feel for the area.


Anonymous said...

Deb, I've been thinking of you and praying for you. Thanks for the news updates!

Anonymous said...

I thought of you often when I heard the serious issues that were/are going on. You are a blessing to many around and about. Doing what the Lord calls us to do is all that counts and all we can truly do for Him. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Praying for your safety and God's fulfillment in your daily life. Blessings, Cora

Anonymous said...

Praying for your safety, knowing your security is in Him.

Together on the journey, Pat