Nairobi mall attack: helping children understand

Jesus never claimed that committing to follow Him would result in a life free from turmoil and pain. In fact, he said the exact opposite: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

Ritchie FamilyAs our missionary and national teammates in Kenya process the aftermath of last week’s deadly Nairobi mall attack, one missionary couple, Jim and Martha Ritchie, who are preparing to go to Kenya, have been helping their children understand what happened. They blogged about how their 12-year-old daughter, Meredith, is growing through this. Here’s an excerpt:

“Meredith is our just-turned-12 daughter.  She is a trooper.  Upbeat, always willing, looking for a way to help in a meaningful way.  Sometimes, she hides her worries.

Night before last, after being tucked into bed, she appeared again at our bedroom door, in tears.  Earlier in the week, she had heard about the terrorist attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.  She knew about the killings and explosions and woundings and all.  And she knows that we will be living in or near Nairobi when we’re in language training, which is scheduled to occur a few months from now.  Hence the worry and the tears.

We talked for quite a while about the dangers of Nairobi and how we will deal with them.  We talked about the earthly issues (Nairobi is a city of 3 million people, and the terrorist attack last week hurt fewer than 300 (we think).  We will be following Embassy warnings and avoiding risky places.  Etc.)

But more importantly, we talked about the heavenly issues.  Jesus has all authority over heaven and earth (Mt 28).  We are told not to worry but to bring our requests to God, with the promise of His peace (Phil 4, Mt 6).

Also, this journey isn’t a vacation.  We’re ‘deploying’ on God’s orders to help some magnificent people.  The mission is important.  And important work is rarely accomplished from the couch, free of risk.”

Read the rest of this story at the Ritchies’ blog, Chegoria Stories.


Pray for God’s holy protection to be on the Ritchie family, and others who are serving the Lord in Kenya. Pray for families who lost loved ones in the attack. Let’s follow Christ’s example and pray also that the terrorists themselves will find the Lord.

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