Missionary: School massacre 'just another' of evil acts in Kenya

by Gregory Tomlin, |
A mortuary worker labels coffins for the students killed during an attack by gunmen at the Garissa University College, at the Chiromo Mortuary in Nairobi April 8, 2015. Kenya's Education Principal Secretary Richard Kipsang said the government had started releasing the bodies to their relatives ahead of the burials and that their target was about 20 per day. In the biggest single attack on Kenyan soil since the 1998 U.S. embassy bombing, gunmen from the Islamist militant group al Shabaab stormed Garissa University College and killed 148 people and left dozen others injured on April 2, 2015. | REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

NAIROBI, Kenya (Christian Examiner) – American missionary John Call,* who works in Kenya with a Bible college affiliated with the Africa Inland Church, said the brutality of the massacre at Garissa University is not surprising although it is no less tragic.

"Sadly, I've come to expect this type of violence from Al-Shabaab. Since the Westgate attack in 2013, tension and anticipation of the next act of violence has hung in the air. It's not often spoken, but expats and Kenyans alike are aware that such an act could happen at any moment," Call said.

Call said the recent violence at Garissa University is only different in degree from other acts of violence in the country. Most other attacks only make the news in Kenya, he said.

"I was surprised by the queries from friends and family in the U.S. regarding this incident. The event evidently made headline news but from my perspective it was just another in a series of evil acts in Kenya," Call said.

Christians in Kenya, especially those being trained for ministry, seem to acknowledge the nature of Al-Shabaab and its goal to expand Islam, Call said. They believe God will intercede, but not necessarily by force.

"It's not that they are unaffected but that they believe strongly in Kenya and in the power of the Gospel to overcome such evil," Call said. "While many students will become pastors, others will seek to serve as missionaries in northern areas of Kenya among unreached and under-reached people groups. I am blessed to serve these students.

"We pray not only for an end to evil but also for the perpetrators," he said.

* John Call is a pseudonym. His real name was withheld for security reasons.