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Nairobi ministries continue in wake of embassy bombing

NAIROBI, Kenya (BP)–A month to the day after the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, new ministries are under way to victims of the explosions.
Three Southern Baptist counselors from Oklahoma are set to arrive Sept. 21 to train pastors, laymen, seminary students and victims from local churches to handle the trauma that blast victims are experiencing.
“I think most of the counselors were involved in the Oklahoma City bombing, so their input here is invaluable,” said Jon Sapp, leader of Southern Baptist International Mission Board work in eastern Africa.
IMB missionaries living in Kenya also are making a difference. Jim Keene, a physician from Rochester, Minn., had just begun an International Service Corps assignment at the time of the bombings and he’s been in the thick of things ever since.
Keene is working closely with USAID and non-governmental organizations to coordinate the massive relief that continues to pour into Kenya.
While some early media reports emphasized complaints that American victims of the bomb received better emergency attention than Kenyans, NGOs “are working hard together to get relief to those who need it most while they recuperate,” Sapp said.
Keene also is working in cooperation with the Kenya Society for the Blind to provide canes and equipment needed by those who recently lost their sight.
“We know by name 18 victims who are totally blinded and more than 50 with eye damage such as loss of sight in one eye,” Sapp said. “Dr. Keene and Connie Burton, also with the Kenya mission, are working with the society to find ongoing help for these people.”
Another Kenya missionary, Bob Allen, is working with the Nairobi Baptist Association to discover any Baptist church members who are victims or friends of victims of the catastrophe.
Southern Baptists willing to help victims of the bombing may contact the International Mission Board’s eastern Africa office at (804) 219-1730.

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  • Heidi Soderstrom