Kenya (MNN) — The expansion of al-Shabaab, an Islamic terror group based in Somalia, has at least one ministry on-edge. Buckner International is putting an indefinite hold on missions travel to Kenya.
Leaders decided to temporarily halt travel after the U.S. Department of State increased the threat level in Kenya, warning that U.S. citizens traveling to the country “should evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing and recently heightened threats from terrorism and the high rate of violent crime in some areas.”
Al-Shabaab is increasing its threats to neighboring countries Kenya and Uganda because of their involvement in Somalia’s civil war. Last year’s Westgate Mall attack was the worst al-Shabaab raid on Kenyan soil to date.
Translated to English from Somali, al-Shabaab means “The Youth” or “The Youngsters.” The group reportedly has ties to al-Qaeda.
“We need to continue to keep our Kenyan staff’s safety in our prayers as they minister to those we serve across the country, and continue to pray for peace in Kenya,” says Matt Asato, leader of Buckner’s Security Assessment Team.
Though Westerners won’t be making visits to Kenya anytime soon, all of Buckner’s in-country ministry is continuing.
Buckner began operations in Kenya in 2002 and has more than 50 staff members across the country. Their ministry includes two children’s homes, foster care, vocational training, formal education, medical care, and new shoe distributions through Buckner’s Shoes for Orphan Souls.
Will you pray for Buckner and the situation in East Africa today? Pray that terrorism won’t stop the love of Christ in action. Pray that in-country ministry will not be hindered by al-Shabaab.