Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Off to Tennessee!

This weekend, January 25-27, John and Linda will be visiting Lifehouse Church in Franklin, Tennessee. While there John will teach a seminar on healing Saturday morning and speak to the whole church on Sunday. As always, his heart is to be a blessing and an encouragement to them, so please pray that God will give him the right words to build them up.

In the next two months John has two international trips as well as the Equipped for Mission Leadership Conference in St. Louis, all of which require much preparation. Please continue to pray for him, that his times of planning and study will be productive and full of anointing.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Not really going anywhere, but . . .

This weekend, January 18-20, is ClearVision, one of only two national Newfrontiers-USA conferences. While John isn't traveling, since the conference is here in St. Louis, prayers during this preparation time would be much welcomed. The purpose of ClearVision is to encourage and equip 18-29 year olds to press into the purposes of God for their generation.

John will be teaching one of the elective seminars on Saturday morning entitled "The Gift of Leadership." In the afternoon he will be addressing the whole conference, now over 300 attendees.

As you pray for John’s preparation, please continue to intercede for our friends in Kenya as the crisis there continues.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Family in Kenya

We are interrupting the usual format of this blog (up until now only used for travel information) to post a personal write-up from John:

"I'm sure you are aware by now of the violence in Kenya which is having a great effect on Edward Buria and our Newfrontiers churches there. The violence started as a result of questions regarding the election of the president. However the issue is more tribal than political. The inter-ethnic tension that has been under the service was ignited by irregularities in the election of president Kibaki. Kenya had been a beacon of African security and prosperity however at this time it is in danger of the same issues found in Sudan and Rwanda. There is a shortage of essential items, nowhere to buy food, market's are deserted and shops are closed. Various militias have set up roadblocks. On Tuesday thirty Kenyans including many children were burned to death after seeking refuge in a church building. Also, about 400 people were taking refuge in the Kenya Assemblies of God church when it was attacked. Many of the people were beaten and the building set on fire. After torching the church, about 25 children died and several elderly died. At least 70,000 people have been displaced in the Rift Valley. Of course Edward Buria is very much caught up in these difficulties.

"I would ask you to pray for Kenya and the resolution of this crisis. Pray for the protection of Edward. Pray for our churches.

"For more details, this is what I just received from Edward:

Dear John, Linda and the USA Churches.

Its been four very distressful days that has seen hundreds of people loosing their lives, destruction of property in massive scales, and tens of thousands of our people displaced. This includes our own brothers and sisters in Mararal, Naivasha and Nairobi. The most affected areas are in Nyanza (Kisumu), Eldoret, few places in the Western Kenya, Nairobi (i.e. the slums areas of Mathare and Kibera).

Preliminary reasons for the un-rest

1. Claims of Presidential votes rigged
2. Claims of massive doctored results from some constituencies
3. That the Electoral Commission was compromised

What I make up of these claims

(1 ) I do admit there were irregularities especially with how the electoral commission was receiving results from their returning officers - This was mainly a logistic problem that wasn't expected by the commission, who I think underestimated the turn out from previous elections,the turn out this time round was huge!

(2) Its not completely true when ODM claims that there was massive rigging, a position that is confirmed by the fact that over 20 cabinet ministers that include the Vice President lost in the just concluded election

ODM also managed to gather close to 100 parliamentary seats giving them a very strong voice in the 10th parliament. A number of other parties have claims that in Nyanza Province ODM did not allow any voting for other parties except ODM. These parties are saying that since they have evidence to these allegations, they will be going to court to challenge.

Its also now becoming very clear that the crowds protesting are not genuinely protesting for justice to be done on the allegations but its like militia groups out there to kill, destroy property and instil fears.There are also clear expressions of tribal sentiments by the marauding and unruly youths.

Our Course of Action

(1) Much prayer countrywide with our churches all over having chain prayers round the clock

(2) Messages of hope and comfort using the media,telephone conversations,sms, and one to one

(3) Sending of airtime to those affected so as to get in touch with their loved ones

(4) We have dispatched 2 lorries full of foodstuffs, blankets and other required essential to be distributed in Nairobi

(5) Have picked a team of 5 from here to help with the co-ordination and response

Prayer Items

1. Breaking the demonic force that is so evident when you see the passion of those killing and destroying
2. That the elected leaders would come to their senses and put the interest of the Nation first as compared to their interests
3. That all parties quickly accept to reason out as they dialogue
4. That God will console all who have lost their loved ones, property and those that have been displaced
5. That the country i.e. those not affected will unite in sharing with those displaced
6. That the healing, restoration and reconciliation will be quick
7. That God will give us much wisdom in our small way of responding to the current crisis
8. That those coming from outside as mediators do not be partisan in their outreach
9. That those admitted in various hospitals with multiple injuries recover soon
10. That the INTERNATIONAL community will come to our aid by giving us resources to assist
11. That we will have resources to assist us in our small way of assisting our own n others

In conclusion, its very clear that ahead of us we have a big problem of settling all those of us that have been displaced by the violence as they have lost everything including their homes and livelihood.

We thank all those who have gotten in touch with us to let us know of their love and prayers.

God bless,

Edward Buria