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Following the Dec. 27, 2007 presidential election in Kenya, the country became extremely volatile due to a dispute over the election results. According to Foursquare National Leader Zachariah Shahasi more than 400 people were killed when deadly riots broke out from the capital to the coast, and more than 200,000 people have been displaced.

Ethnic fury started when presidential candidate Raila Odinga (who belongs to the Luo tribe) contested the election results which renamed Mwai Kibaki (who belongs to the Kikuyo tribe) as president and Odinga called for Kibaki to step down. Ethnic fighting between the Kikuyo and Luo tribes ensued, and as a result hundreds were killed.

“People in Nakuru have been chased from their homes, houses burned and shops looted,” Shahasi said. “In the city of Eldoret, 30 people were burned alive while hiding in their church. The issue in the country is a need for reconciliation amongst tribes.”

As was reported by the Associated Press, the election votes were indeed rigged, though the “rigging culprit” has yet to be named. Odinga has called for an end to the protests and mediation is taking place to bring resolution to the issue.

“We are faced with a challenge but we believe all is not lost,” said Shahasi. “We believe that God is giving us an opportunity in the midst of this crisis to reach many with the gospel of peace, love, forgiveness and reconciliation. We know the need is big but will do all we can do to reach out. Our first priority is to the members who have been affected but we will also reach out to all we can.”

“Our Foursquare family in Kenya is responding courageously to the challenge before them,” said Tom Hinton, global response coordinator. “We have sent some relief funds to assist with blankets, water and food.”

Additional funds are needed. If it is possible, please consider sending an offering for the Foursquare response and relief effort. All contributions should be sent to Foursquare Missions International. Make your check out to ICFG, and write “Relief Fund” on the memo line. Mail checks to:

     Foursquare Missions
     ATTN: Paulette McCammon
     P.O. Box 26902
     Los Angeles, CA 90026
If you have any questions, please contact Tom Hinton, global response coordinator, at 213.989.4320.