Brad     &    Tammy    Harvey    August   1998

Nairobi Bombing

It has been one week since the tragic bomb attempt in Nairobi.  In the wake of the blast 247 people were killed (some are still unaccounted for) over 5000 people were injured.  Some of the seriously injured are in hospitals in Germany.  This whole event seems like a bad dream and sometime soon I will wake up.  I've just now been able to sleep through the night.  I can't imagine what it is like for people who have been seriously burned or cut up by glass. I think if it wasn't for my experience in Zaire during the Rwandeese crisis's I've would of been on the next plane out of town.  The local news station KBC said, that the biggest need now is for plastic surgeons for over 2000 people.  Monday I went to the U.S. Ambassadors residence for a counseling session with some of the survivors of the bomb blast. It lasted over 4 hours. Today I met with another counselor who was visiting the street kid and clinic work in Nairobi West. He was a crisis counselor that helped those victims of the Oklahoma City Bombing several years ago. He reassured me that what I was feeling is normal and healthy and told me what to expect these next few weeks. He said it would be some time before I would be able   to sleep through the night etc. Anyway, this morning Char, Paris (the boys school teacher) and I went to two hospitals to visit two of the victims of the bombing.

The first lady is a single mother of two who works in the Cooperative building. This is the building right next to the Ufundi house that was totally destroyed.  She and three others dove under a desk when the bomb went  off ... she was nearest to the flying debris. She put up her arm to shield  her face from the debris. her one arm is badly burned and broken and the whole one side of her face and chest are solid burns and cuts. She has one good eye left that she can see out of. We visited her for  about 30 minutes, asked what her needs are and then prayed with her.  She will be letting us know how we can help her.

The next lady was in her 50's ... a grandmother. She has several grown children. Recently her daughter died leaving her 3 children under 8 to care for. She has been the one working to support them and they live with her. Her entire face took the brunt of the explosion. She was the only survivor left  on the Kenya Bus that was directly in front of the Embassy. She is not yet aware of this but both eyes had to be removed during surgery..her son has not yet told her this. She asked for help for food for her grandchildren until she can get back to work .. this won't happen though as she is now blind.

We prayed with her as well and asked her son to let us know some of  the needs of the children asap. There were many others in the wards who are badly injured Somalian girl looked so forlorn ... you could tell she was once beautiful and now she looks like a monster.  The news said that the debris in the blast was traveling at  60 kilometers a second and the heat intensity was 4,000 degrees F. It is still  just unbelievable that I'm alive.  Seeing so much destruction and to walk away from it one simply ask the question, Why?

I don't believe that God caused such an evil act to happen.  It doesn't make sense why such an act was perpetrated but, I do believe that evil men choose to hurt innocent people.  As human beings we can shoose to do good or evil in the course of our lives.  In this act to kill Americans many Kenyan people were victims too... a daughter lost a mother, a father lost a son, a family was completely wiped out making their way to a relative's house, and ect...  Did the killers really intend to bring such ill to innocent people?  It is hard to understand why someone would be filled with so much hate as to kill innocent people.

Next week I'm planning on visiting the people that I took to the hospital.  I'm hoping that the baby, as well as the others have survived.  It is going to take a lot of time and prayer for the people of Kenya to get over this terrible tragedy.  Today, there were 5 separate bomb threats reported in some to the large business downtown.  Apparently a prankster trying to make light of this terrible event.

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