Update: Horn of Africa

God has called Eastbrook Church to the Horn of Africa throughout our history. We have grown to build relationships around the region, and one of our deepest relationships is with Rev. Francis and Anne Omondi in Kenya. They run a national led organization that seeks the well being of the people in rural Kenya through education and medical services as well as supporting local churches. They love their neighbors in very tangible ways every day, but the last year has been particularly difficult. Through our member’s generosity to our Mission Fund and Thanksgiving offering we have been able to come alongside the Omondis in greater and greater ways. Please continue to pray for them during this time, and for God’s provision. Here’s their most recent update they asked us to share here:

Relief in Crisis

By Francis Omondi

Thank you for supporting and praying for us through this most trying time. We have also been praying for Milwaukee knowing that this also affects you all.

We were here to support my mum during a medical emergency but got locked down in Nairobi before we could travel back to Garissa. This is the second week we are lockdown in Nairobi. My mum had a successful surgery and is recovering well. Thank you for your prayers.

COVID 19 Pandemic has continued to cause havoc worldwide. Cases in African Countries continue to rise. Kenya Reported its first case on 12 March as at 2nd April 3 deaths have been reported and 4 recovered. Kenya has 110 confirmed cases, Tanzania had 20 and Mozambique 10

The year 2020 has begun with many difficulties that have negatively affected us. Some of the challenges faced include the impact of floods which affected our fields in Tana river in Kenya late 2019. Tana River County faced floods towards the close of the year and people were greatly affected. Crops in the farms were swept away by the floods, people rendered homeless and the cattle lacked pasture and also got exposed to water borne diseases. Schools were inaccessible and education at some point halted. In 2 Tanzanian fields were affected by floods February 2020, families have been left without homes.

Locust just picked up immediately after the floods. They did not reach Garsen but they were in Hola and the inhabitants of Garsen were directed not to plant since the locust had destroyed all crops in Hola. This has affected food supply since the food supplies, we depend on in the farms have been destroyed. For instance, tomatoes used to go for 5/= each but right now it goes for 35 per tomato. Sugar used to be 100/= per kg but right now it is at 145/=, beans used to be 100/= per kg and right now 1kg goes to 150 shillings. Due to lack of food, life has been very hard and this has led to young people looking for jobs in the hotels and others indulge in bad behavior just to be able to have a meal. Some have dropped out of school and this is one of the hardest times we have experienced in Tana River. Due to Corona virus most hotels were closed thus no source of income for those who turned to hotels.

This has affected both the Christians and non-Christians. It has made our witnessing very difficult since no one would want to give attention when they are hungry unless you have to provide for them before you preach to them. Sadly, this may go for the next three to four months since food will be nowhere to be seen.

Terrorist attacks affected our fields in Garissa, Wajir and Mozambique. The latest impact has been in Mozambique as the town which has been our mission base was attacked and taken over by terrorists. At the moment the area is a high-risk red alert place. Due to this we are looking at ways

to relocate our teams in Mozambique to safe region and reorganize our work. Luckily, we had managed to hold a trauma debrief meeting with the team early February before the first case of corona virus was reported in Kenya on 12th March. The Mozambique team grasp of the vision was clear. The team knows what they are doing and are fully committed to it.

The worldwide pandemic of Covid 19 has added to list of challenges we are facing. The Kenyan government has taken measures to seek to curb the spread of the virus. One of the earliest measures taken was to close down the schools early March. At the moment there is a dusk to dawn curfew throughout the land. The Kenyan ministry of health is predicting a scenario that by the end of April Kenya may have 10000 cases of corona Virus. Movement is being restricted and travelling withing counties is being discouraged. The government has announced some TAX relief but this is intervention may not be felt by the small-scale businesses.

The sudden closure of schools put TSM ran schools in a difficult situation. Parents have been facing harsh economic times thus we collect less from school fees. It has been difficult to generate resources to run the schools and pay teachers who are already facing difficult times. The hospital outfit we run in Garissa is also affected as there is need to have medical supplies and protective gear for the staff.

Churches in Kenya are not holding the usual Sunday services. This may affect our ability to raise funds locally. One of the things that was planned for this year for a mission’s conference to help mobilize funds for missions but due to corona virus this I meeting is uncertain. Increased social need may lead to reduced funds available to the church.

The missionaries in the fields are also facing difficulties to get some supplies. However, amidst all these, we have hope that we shall overcome and Christ is still in control. He shall see us through this tough time for His grace is sufficient.

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