Thursday, January 31, 2008

In order to help

On Tuesday, we learned that Julius' brother had been murdered in Kenya. Just when we thought it couldn't get any closer, it has.

Julius left yesterday to fly back to Kenya to help settle his brother's estate and to help find safety for his siblings. And while I am praying for his safety while he is there, I'm seeking another way to help.

Financially, the Were's need money to get out of Kenya. Starting on Saturday, all of my Kenya pictures will be for sale with all the profits going directly to helping the Were family.

Please stop by my flickr page on Saturday to see what you could purchase to help this family get to safety. More details to follow on how to order your pictures.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

And it continues

I had a dream recently, one where I was back in Kenya.  The Kenya I knew and fell in love with over the summer.  I was sitting around with my Kenyan friends, laughing and playing spoons.

And the reality slowly becomes that the Kenya I knew and fell in love with this summer is ripping itself apart.  And I become nervous.  My friends are suffering great losses and from here, I have no idea what to do.

I received news this morning that my dear friend Julius has lost a family member in the midst of this saga.  And my fear as Julius flies back to Nairobi is what is going to happen to him while he is there. 

This is huge trauma to Julius and his family, but also to us as his friends.  I know I've asked it before, but what do you do when a place you love is falling apart at the seams?  Until I figure out an answer, I read articles like this and cry over the loss and the helplessness I feel.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


God is with us.  This is what Emmanuel means, however, Emmanuel also means a beautiful father who cares for his children deeply and who loves people fully.

Emmanuel is Julius' brother, who lives in Kenya with his three children.  We were fortunate to spend quality time with him this summer and I love him...he's amazing.

We recently got this email from Julius regarding his brother:  He has been robbed by policemen who beat him with those big sticks they carry for no apparent reason at all.  He has been robbed at gun point but all in all he will live to see another day.  Right now, I [Julius] am unable to keep in touch with him over the phone because that too was stolen...This is the scary news yet we still pray for peace and common sense to return to Kenya.  He will be okay.  Pray earnestly for peace and calm to return to Kenya.  I am trying to pretend that he is okay...

I'm so angry, so frustrated, so disturbed by this.  I know that there is nothing I can do from all the way over here, but I feel helpless now.  Please continue to pray, please continue to ask questions...I can't see a piece of my heart, my home, my family continue to be ripped apart like this...

Friday, January 04, 2008

An update from Kenya

Josie Mai, the Executive Director of Soulfari, recently sent out this email to update us all on what's happening in Kenya. I wanted to share it with all of you that keep Kenya on your mind:

Do you remember having growing pains as a kid? I remember lying in my bed at night, legs aching so badly I couldn't sleep. The pain never lasted long,but it reminded me that my body was becoming an adult,full, it's whole self.

This is the only way I can view the current violence and aching in Kenya. Relatively, they are still a new country, only recently playing by their own rules, not the colonist's. The rules are set, a few people are not playing by them, and the masses suffer. I won't goon about the details. As of this morning, a secondarily of protest has been stifled by the police and Kibaki is softening toward a recount. Transparency of this recount is the only thing that will ease Kenyans back to their daily lives. The media source I am following is BBC radio and internet. They are actually interviewing Kenyans, not just showing the"slum-dwellers" running amok as Kenya is "convulsed".

I talked for a long time with Julius on the phone last night. He, like the rest of us, is helpless to do anything tangible for our friends and family in Kenya.He spoke with passion about the situation, and I listened and asked my questions like a good sister,like a good executive director. Emmanuel and the kids are OK. They are in Dandora, a predominantly Kikuyu(Kibaki) slum and they are essentially Luo(opposition). Shops are closed, there is no transport,they are staying indoors. Florence is a sister living upcountry, closer to Uganda. There is even police presence there, in the country. She lives in a predominantly Luo area and reports Kikuyu's fleeing into Uganda. Other friends and family members are OK.I am not concerned about the Missionaries of Charity.They have built a fortress of a compound and can lock the 15 foot gate anytime. I am more concerned aboutVilla Teag in Dandora. The kids are safe inside, but I don't know about Zaria and the workers who usually come and go and do not actually live there.

As an organization, Soulfari Kenya will move through this with our Kenyan friends. We are in this for the long haul. None of our work is in vain. Meaningful relationships are never in vain. The trip for July 2008 is still on. We will make a final decision in April when it is time to purchase airfare. One week of political turmoil does not change the personal friendships we have forged with Nelson, Kym, Kwame,Gloria, the kids of Huruma, Emmanuel, Franci, Mary,and Kevin, Helen, Pamela, Salim etc etc.

In this present moment, money won't help. Shops are closed. But there will be some rebuilding to do. We want to be able to help in this process. If you are interested in donating specifically to rebuild the livelihood of our Kenyan partners, let us know. Or donate right now through paypal at our

Meanwhile, you can also purchase a beautiful calendar created for Soulfari, filled with the faces and service that define us. Hang one where you will see it every day, to be reminded of the growing pains of our Kenyan friends, that it will pass, that there is health, hope, and happiness around the corner. You can order it here:

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers and concerns.Continue to be informed, and hopeful.

Josie Mai
Executive Director and Founder
Soulfari Kenya Inc

I couldn't have said it better myself

Ariannna Huffington recently posted this on her site regarding Obama's win in Iowa.  And for right now, this gives me such great hope for what will happen in November.

Yahoo for Obama!!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

take a second

If you've read this blog for 3 years or 3 minutes, you know that I have found a deep place for Kenya in my heart. After experiencing the beauty and wonder this past summer, it breaks my heart to see and hear what is going on in Kenya.

I've been worried about friends back there, curious to know what their perspective is like. Thankfully, my friend Nelson has kept me up-to-date on his side of the story from Kenya.

Today, I received this email from him:

Today there is a planed rally by the opposition In Nairobi and the government has denied them the permit to hold that rally. We are praying that The Government and the opposition would sit down together and sort this mess they have created. Today there are prayers for our country in a church near where I leave and I plan to attend. Take care and God bless you

I'm asking for 2 things this morning:
1) Please read what is happening and educate yourself. This is more than just a bad presidential election, this could be the beginning of something much, much bigger.

2) In however it takes shape for you, please pray for Kenya. This is a piece of my heart, my home, and I have friends there that I love deeply and miss on a regular basis. It's been so long since I've asked for prayer like this, and to be honest, I don't know what to pray for. At this moment, anything will be helpful.

It just scares me and breaks my heart to see this happening to my home...