Guns are drawn and bullets fly
Students awake only to sleep in death
A place of learning transformed in a day
To a land of sorrows
Where friends lost classmates
Mothers grieve for sons and daughters
Brothers and sisters bury siblings in tears
A bleak landscape where no light shines
But a new day dawns
When young people are remembered
For courageous acts of love and kindness
Where Muslim women grieve the loss of Christian neighbors
And Imams and Pastors meet to speak peace
The faithful around the globe remember the fallen
And shower the land with prayers
God has not forsaken them!
This we testify as we hold them in our hearts
Only days later churches are filled
With worshipers of the crucified Lord
Who died in injustice
And rose to life in righteousness
This JESUS is the hope of the hour
When death threatens the last word
But resurrection life eclipses
And triumphs with the slain in glory
I wrote the above poem in mourning and honor for those who lost their lives and those who were left behind in the April 2 massacre at Garissa University College in north-eastern Kenya. 148 were killed, mostly students. The first to be killed were the 22 IFES students at their early morning prayer meeting. I feel like we lost family. (IFES, International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, is the parent organization for a network of global evangelical campus organizations of which I am a part in InterVarsity/USA). I also sponsor a girl through Compassion International who lives a 5 hour drive away from Garissa. Sometimes an event directly across the globe hits very “close to home.”
Read an encouraging TIME article, written by a missionary kid from Kenya, turned ambassador. I appreciate how he focuses on the beauty of a nation that is rallying together in the midst of this tragedy. Send an encouraging note to the members of IFES Kenya on their facebook group FOCUS Kenya. Give financial assistance through the IFES website by choosing the “FOCUS Kenya massacre response” in the drop down menu. Pray for our brothers and sisters who are in mourning.
Revelation 6:9-10 reads, 9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”
One day, those of us aligned with Christ, will meet them in the clouds.
2 thoughts on “Remembering Garissa”
Neat idea to begin with more of a poem. I also like how you linked it with Resurrection Day. Wow, heavy stuff. Just listened to a podcast from Columbia International University (Samuel’s Weimer Institute of Muslim studies). One of the questions asked in the forum was whether the terrorists are representative of all of the followers of Islam. The speaker pointed out that 700 years ago in Oxford some believers and also later some Catholics were killed because “Christian followers” were trying to find their way and maybe thought purification was necessary. Islam is trying to find their way and figure out what they believe and how to walk out their “faith”. God doesn’t love senseless killing, but he does love the murderers deeply.
Mom, thank you for the reminder that God loves the murderers just as he loves the murdered. It in our pain and sorrow it is difficult to acknowledge this but Jesus forgave those who crucified him as he was being hung on the cross! What an example. What a King!