Across Canada on Wednesday, citizens, regardless of generation, were often heard stating how lucky they are to live in a country like Canada. Two pastors were visiting Millet June 30 who had sobering tales to tell about what life is like for some people in Africa.
Dr. Justus Wanjala, presiding bishop and senior pastor at the Gospel lighthouse Church in Nairobi, Kenya, and Cal Bombay, president of Cal Bombay Ministries of Brantford, Ontario, stopped at the Old Bank to have coffee and lunch with some local friends. Both were on serious missions in this province as they seek help for parts of Africa.
Wanjala said he is in Canada on a two-month tour of many different churches and communities to raise awareness and funds to oppose atrocities in Kenya. He said Kenya is dealing with an Islamic extremist organization called Al Shabaab. He said Al Shabaab is killing Christians and bombing churches. “They claim their religion is the best,” said Wanjala at the Old Bank.
One church was demolished by Al Shabaab, stated Wanjala, because the parishioners were simply speaking the truth. He said Al Shabaab also gets help from politicians.
However, the Christians under attack are not simply giving up. Wanjala said there are plans to rebuild the church large enough to seat 4,000 people in a community called Eldoret, near the Rift Valley.
The pastor noted he ahs not raised any funds toward the church yet, but if anyone is interested in donating, they are certainly welcome. A tax deductible option is available, he noted.
Wanjala’s tour has already hit a number of other communities, including Lloydminster, Slave Lake and many others.
Also in Millet last Tuesday was Bombay, whose ministry is based in Ontario but works around the world, and he specifically wanted to talk about the situation in South Sudan. Bombay is currently on tour in Alberta and into Saskatchewan to raise awareness of a looming humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.
Bombay said South Sudan is facing what could be one of the largest famines in modern history; he said 4,000 to 5,000 people are already dying per day. Several factors are causing the crisis, as political jealousy has degenerated into tribal warfare in South Sudan, which is only four years old. The war has claimed about 50,000 lives since 2013.
To make matters worse, South Sudan is in drought conditions, which devastated the normally lush country. These two factors, stated Bombay, are conspiring to cause horrific famine in South Sudan.
Bombay said his campaign’s goal is to raise $700,000 to purchase large, modern tractors to replace old, smaller ones for South Sudanese farmers. Bombay said importing food to South Sudan costs $6,700 per tonne, while helping farmers grow their own food only costs $500 per tonne. Bombay noted he does have access to 100,000 acres but only has a lease on 20,000 acres, but he does have the blessing of both sides in the conflict.
Those interested in helping Wanjala’s Kenyan church project can call Mel at 780-387-5099. Anyone who would like to help Bombay raise funds to stop famine in South Sudan can contact him at 1-519-753-7380. Bombay stated that tax-deductible receipts are issued at the end of every calendar year.
Looking at both projects, in Kenya and South Sudan, Bombay said he was optimistic Albertans would look at these projects and support them. “How can we not share from our abundance when right now one half of a nation is facing starvation?” Bombay asked.
“How can we walk away from that?”