*Representative photo used to protect identity. “Every week we wondered ‘What if it’s this week?’ Yet every week, we turned up for church.” Speaking just after her return from the funeral of a 9-year-old, Sally Gatei was in a reflective mood. “I told the team I didn’t need counseling, but I’d not been back to the building for a few days, since it happened. When I did go back to the church, my heart was pounding. You think ‘You’re alright, you’re strong,’ but I am going to get some counseling now.” Gatei was in the room when a grenade exploded at St. Polycarp, of the Anglican Church of Kenya. The explosion killed the boy, and injured eight other children. Sally’s own son had been in there too, only three minutes before. John who himself is recovering from a stroke that has left him wheelchair-bound, is struggling alongside his parents, Jane and Patrick Maina, to come to terms with their loss. “John had celebrated his birthday only the day before. He’d asked for two cakes, one to share with friends after church on Sunday. That never happened. My son wheeled me to the church service, then left for Sunday school,” lamented Patrick. Church leaders were quick to appeal for non-retaliation. “This is a cruel provocation, but I appeal to Christians not to feed violence with violence, either in word or deed, because we are called to overcome evil with good,” said Archbishop Wabukala of the Anglican Church of Kenya. He and Bishop Joel Waweru of the Nairobi Diocese prayed with the children admitted to the Children’s Ward. “This is not a religious war, but is a definite indicator that we do have enemies of the body of Christ,” added Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, a member of the Parliament for Starehe. *Information from WorldWatchMonitor.org
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