A Response from Amani ya Juu in Nairobi

kinnon —  January 7, 2008 — 9 Comments

I have not been doing a lot of blogging of late as I’ve struggled to understand the lack of response in much of the Christian blogosphere to the crisis in Kenya. It would seem more important to argue over a particular blogger’s new book, who has a better understanding of the Sovereignty of God or the elevation of the latest denomination president – than it would to ask for and offer prayers for weaker brothers and sisters who are in danger of experiencing another Rwanda. God help us all.

UPDATE: Amani has PayPal set up on their blog – which helps those of us to support their work who don’t live in the U.S. You can also view this brilliant photo essay from The Walrus Magazine on the situation in Nairobi. The Kibera slum, where many of Imbi’s and my students live, is shown dramatically during the violence.

Here’s a note from Imbi’s and my friend, Becky Chinchen, the Director of Amani ja Juu,

First we want to thank you for your overwhelming, generous response to the needs of the Amani women during this post election crisis in Kenya! The women are extremely grateful for their Amani friends around the world who have shared with them during their time of need.

Over the weekend we were able to complete a full round of food distribution to 68 families in various parts of the city of Nairobi.

We will begin with another distribution on Wednesday if possible. Country wide rallies are being called by the opposition party on Tuesday which could turn violent. If there is calm on Wednesday the food distribution program will continue until the women can get back on their feet again and return to work at Amani.

The contents of the food package to each family:

* 4 bananas

* 2 head of cabbage

* 4 oranges

* 2 kg of potatoes

* 1 pack of salt

* 1 kg of sugar

* 1 pack of tea

* 8 onions

* 1 kg of beans (for protein)

* 3 tins of charcoal (for cooking)

* 1 bar of soap

* 8 tomatoes

* 8 carrots

* cooking oil

* 2 packs of corn flour (to make ugali)

* 1 kg of rice

The core values of Amani are to live in peace and reconciliation. This is the training the women have received while at Amani.

Below is the letter that was put in each food packet to encourage the women to live out love and peace in their volatile communities.

Dear _______________,

Greetings of grace and peace in the New Year. We are so saddened by what is happening in Kenya. Our hearts are heavy with news of people being killed, displaced and property destroyed. May the Amani ya Juu in our hearts prompt us to reach out in love, peace and forgiveness to those around us. May we remember all the resources we have in Christ – love, grace, peace, forgiveness and prayer – helping us to stand firm in our faith and give us the stability we need during these difficult times. May we rise above the evil that is gripping the hearts of those involved in the violence so we can be a light of God’s peace during this dark hour of Kenya’s history. This gift of food was provided by our Amani friends from around the world. They are also praying for us. We thank God for His provision during such a time of need as this. Our love and prayers to you and your family.

Thank you, on behalf of all the women of Amani.

Becky Chinchen

Director, Amani ya Juu



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

9 responses to A Response from Amani ya Juu in Nairobi

  1. Bill, thanks for keeping us informed and for pricking our conscience. I’m especially grateful to you for passing on the Amani website, which gave my wife and I an opportunity to give financially (which, besides our prayers, is the most immediate thing we are able to do) to some folks who we can trust will get much needed help to those who require it. Not knowing anyone in Kenya, yet wanting to do something, it was very helpful. Thanks.

  2. Bill, thanks for your love for Kenya and her people! Phyllis and I spend many years there and lived through several political “bad times” in the past. (We were in Nairobi during “Rwanda” and “Somolia.”) The greatest “head-warper” is that many sources will say that Kenya is as high as 80% evangelical Christian. There’s a church on every corner (especially in the slums) and a preacher in every park. But the message is not about righteousness and justice, but about – well, you know. I’m praying with you…

  3. Thanks for posting on this, Bill. I don’t post on it, mostly because I don’t know what to say, but I’m praying. One of my friend’s family is in Kenya, and he just heard from his mother today. She is safe, but what a mess.

  4. I also find it interesting that there is more on Britney’s latest meltdown in the news than there is on what is going on in Kenya! I did a little post on this story, but I find myself almost numb, (not numb to feeling, but numb by shock), by the thought that something like this can happen, and the world just goes on, life as usual.

  5. Bill

    I found this great article explaining the roots of the violence in Kenya and thought I would pass it along: link to opendemocracy.net


  6. I appreciate your post. Here is another Jesus-following blogger interrupting his own routine to help readers understand and respond to the crises in Kenya:

    link to jrwoodward.net

  7. Bill, I share your frustration brother…and thanks for the heads up about the Amani site.

  8. I was in Nairobi in 2000 also. Thanks for the kick in the pants. Shame on me for needing it.

  9. What, nothing on your blog about Britney Spears…I am totally shocked…neah not really. Thanx for keeping it real and sharing some “kick in the pants” with us.

    By the way, Lori and I are having Kinnon withdrawls…we miss you guys.


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