Chaos in One of Africa's Most Stable Countries

January 2, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Now a missionary group from the Valley finds itself caught in the violence. At least 300 people have been killed and 70-thousand others have fled their homes because of rioting in Kenya. There are questions about possible corruption in the country's recent presidential election. Kenya's president has been sworn in for another term, but his challenger says the polls were rigged.

Graciela, Joseph and Michelle Correa of Kingsburg landed in Nairobi, Kenya just one day after the violence started. Correa family members back here in the valley say the couple is safe, but they've only heard from them once since they arrived.

These are the sights and sounds of political chaos in Nairobi, Kenya that began with allegations of fixed presidential election results. And these riots are only 30 miles away from Kathy Grove and Ana Correa's son and daughter who are overseas on a missionary trip.

Kathy Grove: "I'm worried of course, but they really felt lead by god to go over there so we're just trusting god is taking care of them."

Joseph and Michelle Correa along with 7 other valley residents joined the "Kenya Hope Project," a missionary group at Selma's First Baptist Church. The purpose of this visit was to aid impoverished orphans--helping with medical needs and shelter.

Since the conflict started, all media has been blacked out by Kenyan government. Cell phone calls and emails have been restricted since Sunday.

Ana Correa says she received one email a day before communication was cut.

Ana Correa: "I've even been getting up at 3 in the morning. And putting on the news station to see what they're saying."

But Correa and Grove don't like the images they're seeing on TV.

Correa says she's seen footage of the churches in Nairobi that have been burned with people inside.

This is where they're staying in religious compounds and that worries me even more.

The Kenya Hope Project has made several trips to the area over the last few years with much success. First Baptist Pastor Peter Anderson says the timing of the group's trip is unfortunate.

Peter Anderson: "Regardless of the conflict that's going on over there, I think their hearts are in the same place. If they knew some of this conflict would have broken out they're still hoping to get the mission they have done. The mission they want to get done-Done."

Joseph, his wife and other members on the mission are staying in a compound with personal security around them at all times.

Church officials have told family everyone on the trip should arrive home as planned on January 11th.


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