By Boniface Ongeri and Adow Jubat
“Normally when the sheep are attacked, the shepherd comes to their rescue and repulses the attackers, but when both are attacked, the scenario is challenging,” says a crestfallen Pastor Mutungu Kaleli, the presiding preacher last Sunday service at the African Inland Church ( AIC) in Garissa.
The pastor had raised up his hands along with the congregation, praying and waiting for the Holy Spirit to enrich them.
At that moment, armed goons stormed the church, hurled grenades at the worshippers, and shot them indiscriminately. When they were done, 17 people were dead and more than 60 sustained injuries. Simultaneously, they attacked the local Catholic Church, too, injuring three.
Pastor Kaleli says instead of the spirit coming upon the believers, the “devil visited the worshipping place”.
“We were supposed to be visited by the Holy Spirit but the evil spirit decided to spread fear. But we shall overcome,” says Kaleli sorrowfully.
“At first we thought some children in the neighbourhood who often hurl stones on the roof of the church when the sermon is going on were at it again,” says the pastor.
But it became clear when the deafening sound became sustained. Then there were screams from outside and the faithful, who had become uneasy, rushed to the windows to see what was happening when three armed and masked men in blue clothes stood at the entrance and started shooting.
“We were only armed with faith, prayers and the Bible against the devil’s bullets. I knew that God would protect us. People were shouting for God’s help and though there were those killed I believe that God protected the rest of us. It could have been worse. We saw the hand of God,” he said.