"Every week we wondered 'What if it's this week?' Yet every week we turned up for church."
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Speaking to Open Doors News just after her Oct. 9 return from the funeral of 9-year-old John Ian Maina, Nairobi Sunday School teacher Sally Gatei was in reflective mood.
"I told the team I didn't need counseling, but I'd not been back to the building for a few days, since it happened," Maina says. "When I did go back to the church, my heart was pounding. You think 'You're alright, you're strong,' but I am going to get some counselling now."
Gatei was in the room when a grenade exploded at about 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 30 at St. Polycarp, of the Anglican Church of Kenya, on the Juja Road in Nairobi. The explosion killed the boy and injured eight other children. Sally's own son had been in there, too, only three minutes before.
"The most amazing thing, though, is that, although we thought we should cancel Sunday school the next Sunday, most children insisted we should meet as usual, even though the room had not yet been repaired!"
This attack came shortly after a Somali member of Al Shabaab had been sentenced to 59 years in prison after he confessed in court to planning attacks on Parliament. At his arrest, together with a second man, the two had, according to the police, confessed to have targeted four Nairobi churches. These were the PCEA St. Andrews Church, St Paul's University Chapel, CITAM in Valley Road and the Holy Family Basilica Church. Had these men been successful, these attacks could have been devastating: the four churches have an estimated 20,000-plus attendees, plus thousands of children attending Sunday Schools.
The police said they still sought eight accomplices to the two men's planned attack, after seizing suicide vests, explosive devices, and large quantities of guns and bullets. The two men had been arrested Sept. 19.
"We are in Eastleigh," the area of Nairobi well-known for its largely Somali population, Gatei says. "Many Christians, including myself, thought that something might happen. Every week we'd wonder 'What if it's this Sunday?' But we'd still go to church."
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SOURCE: Charisma News | Open Doors News