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Sarah and three of her children: Rose, Emmanuel and Mary
Photo: The Voice of the Martyrs US

Two Kenyan women, Clarice and Sarah, remain in shock after their husbands were murdered in separate incidents on October 20th. Both murders are believed to be related to the unrest that has been taking place between Christians and Muslims in the Mombasa region. However, at last report, no one had claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Clarice's husband, a pastor at Mombasa's Vikwatani Redeemed Gospel Church, was found slumped in a chair with a Bible still in his lap as church leaders came in to prepare for the Sunday morning worship services. Pastor Charles Matole, 41, had been shot in the head. Clarice told a VOM worker that she believes he was murdered to scare Christians away from the area. In the months prior to his death, there were occasions when people threw rocks at the church building during prayer services. Police also neglected to follow up on death threats made against the pastor's life.

Like Clarice, Sarah is also in mourning for her husband, whose body was found in a brush pile that same morning in Kilifi, about 35 miles north of Mombasa. Pastor Ebrahim Kidata, who started 36 churches in the region and was recently named the new overseer of the church in Malindi County, had been out the day before to check on his cattle and some lumber that was to be used to build new tables for his church. Sarah grew concerned when she could not reach him on his cell phone, and her worst fears were realized when he was found strangled to death. In addition to his grieving widow, Pastor Ebrahim leaves behind seven children. Although two of the children are married, the five younger ones are of school age and still live in the family home. Sarah was shocked by her husband's murder as no threats had been received, and there appears to be little motive for his death.

Pray that the 'Father of the fatherless' and 'Protector of widows' will bring comfort, security and provision for Clarice, Sarah and their families during this difficult time. Ask God to intervene in these two communities of the Mombasa region so that tensions and strife may cease and the peace of Christ may reign. In the midst of both heartbreaking situations, may God have mercy on those who oppose Him and His people. Pray that many more in the Mombasa region will come to faith in Jesus.