Westgate Mall terrorist attack in Nairobi:
Over 30 Rosslyn students, staff and some close friends of ours were inside Westgate Mall on September 21 when it was attacked by terrorists. Within a few minutes of the attack, Robin got text messages from our friend, saying there was shooting in the mall & that she and her 5 children were hiding. We prayed fervently for God to hide them and shield them… and God answered with miracles! The Waltons shared their story on the Today show & Dateline NBC — their rescue was truly a series of miracles!
While most made it out unharmed, 2 Rosslyn students were seriously injured, and both of them lost a parent in the attack. An 8th grade girl has had over 7 surgeries for bullet wounds (and had to leave the country for treatment), and a 7th grade boy has had several surgeries for bullet wounds, shrapnel wounds and grenade burns.
Several students in Robin’s middle school classes were in the mall, meeting up for a birthday party. Thank God with us that over 180 high school students were safely at a retreat that weekend, or we would surely have had more students involved. While the siege was still ongoing, the black plume of smoke was clearly visible from our house and the school (Westgate is about 15 minutes from our house). Please continue to pray for students and families affected by the attack, especially the 2 students who each lost a parent. Healing from trauma is a long-term process.
Academic year update:
We are well into 2nd semester, and it’s going well. Robin has a new group of 30 students in Middle School French. Kevin continues planning & speaking in chapel services and meeting with students. Kevin organized another High School Cultural Field Studies which took place in late January. It was a safe, successful venture of 240+ students & staff at 14 different sites across Kenya. We are thankful for safe journeys and work sites for each group— orphanages, church & local school building projects, & community events.
Kevin led a Junior-Senior guys integrity campout retreat in February, and then led the senior transition seminar in mid- March for 50+ seniors while Robin held down the home fort and taught her classes. The new balcony has been completed in the school auditorium, so now the whole student body can meet together for all-school assemblies! With the additional space in the school auditorium, International Christian Fellowship is back down to one service on Sunday mornings, a huge help to all the volunteers! Kevin has been able to take a needed break from the regular preaching load this year, only filling in occasionally.
Summer furlough / itineration:
We are beginning to plan for our time stateside this summer—seeing family and supporters, attending mission meetings & trusting God to bring in budget needs required by our headquarters. We need to be back in Kenya early August.
Our family life:
Thank you for praying for our Christmas dreams (and orthodontic needs)!! God provided some gifts for both needs, so we were able to fly to Liberia for Christmas with family. We got to see Kevin’s parents and Robin’s brother & family! We were so very grateful to be with them for Christmas, for our kids to meet the rest of their cousins, and for our kids to see where Robin was born & raised (it was Robin’s first time back home in almost 24 years!). We are looking forward to seeing Kevin’s sister & family, and both sets of grandparents this summer!