[ACNS Source: CAPA/Justus Waimiri, 2 September 2003]
Gunmen raid All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi
Four gunmen made their way to the All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi, on Monday and snatched Sunday's offering of Ksh 700,000 ($ 9,589) in a daring early morning raid. The gangsters entered the Church, half a kilometre from the city centre, posing as worshippers attending morning devotions and locked up all the workers in a room before ordering them to open the safe. They then emptied the contents of the safe before ransacking the cathedral offices. The worshippers and workers were frisked all their personal belongings including mobile telephones and cash.
The raid comes in the wake of another daring robbery just two months ago at the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) offices along Wood Avenue, Nairobi, in which cash and office equipment was stolen. Although no one was injured in Monday's raid, staff and worshipers were left badly shaken after the ordeal that occurred at 7.30 am and lasted for two hours. The gangsters brandishing pistols escaped in a car that they had parked in the church compound.
All Saints Cathedral Provost, the Rev Peter Karanja, warned fellow clergymen and church workers across the country to be extra watchful, as churches were now a real target for thieves. He urged them to beef up security and surveillance. Local police have launched investigations but no arrests have been made.
Missionaries meet in Nairobi
Over 40 Anglican missionaries from around Africa and the United States met in Nairobi last week to fellowship and share experiences from the mission field. They included 20 medical missionaries who work with various mission hospitals and clinics in Africa. The meeting was organised by the mission office of the Episcopal Church of the United States (ECUSA) to which most of the missionaries are affiliated.
The medical missionaries who comprised of medical doctors, nurses and nutritionists shared latest information on HIV/AIDS, which is a sticking issue in their work. Dr Douglas Huber, who is the HIV/AIDS Advisor to the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), facilitated discussions on the scourge that has affected millions of people in Africa. The missionaries resolved to step up activities especially on prevention and care in their areas of operation.
Earlier, the team visited the Nazareth Hospital in Limuru, a catholic-run mission hospital undertaking activities on Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) and caring for the infected people in the local community. The hospital provided creative strategies in addressing the AIDS epidemic, which could be replicated.
Ms Jenny Coley from ECUSA said the meeting offered "an excellent opportunity to get together, hear stories and learn from each other."
In his address to the participants, Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi said work in the mission field was not easy and encouraged the missionaries not to give up in their service to humanity. He paid glowing tribute to the early missionaries, particularly Dr David Ludwig Krapf and his wife saying they endured hardship "like good soldiers" and now the gospel had spread throughout Africa.
The team was led by the Director of Mission Personnel at ECUSA, the Revd Jane Butterfield.
Kenyan Bishops map out strategy for HIV/AIDS
The Anglican Church of Kenya Bishops and their spouses met in Mombasa last week to strategise on how to ensure a uniform and focused approach in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The meeting whose theme was "Hope in the midst of pain of HIV/AIDS" resolved to step up AIDS activities throughout the Church's 29 Dioceses. The Bishops singled out HIV/AIDS related stigma as requiring urgent and focused attention.
"Our people are not visiting Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) centres for fear of testing, yet testing is the first step of tackling the scourge," said Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi. The Bishops recommended that policies be put in place by the public and private sector to protect those who test positive so as to ensure that they have access to care and support.
The church resolved to offer more opportunities to those living with HIV/AIDS and appealed to other sectors to do the same. HIV/AIDS desks will be set up in the dioceses to help co-ordinate and document activities that are going on in the parishes throughout the country.