Robbing God: gang steals from SDA churches
In the Bible, in Luke 12:15, Jesus solemnly warned us of this sin, which many people are afraid to confess but which they commit with abandon.
Jesus warns the people to “watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of these things you own, no matter how rich you may be.”
Such warnings have not been heeded and there is a new crop of gangsters, who have lost respect for the church as a place of worship, rather where they plot what to steal from the sheep.
In Homa Bay, a number of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) churches have complained after gangsters stole various items. The gangsters mostly target musical instruments, especially the public address system, whisking away audio mixers, microphones and loud speakers. They also steal chairs and clothes covering the alter.
The latest incident occurred at Adiedo Central SDA Church in Komwuoyo Sub Location, Rachuonyo North Sub County, where the thieves broke into the church and stole 36 chairs.
The church elder John Nyakinda said the suspects sneaked in at midnight, broke into the church store and made away with the chairs. They also took three new wheelbarrows and 24 bags of cement, but they dropped these off a few meters from the church fence and disappearing with the chairs.
Assistant chief of Komwuoyo Sub Location Shadrack Ndege confirmed the incident.
The incident followed another one at Rabuor Masawa SDA church in Homa Bay Sub-county. Here, the gang stole the public address system valued at Sh250,000. They broke into the pastor’s office, which is within the church compound, and stole the items. They also took clothes covering the altar.
The Pastor in charge Charles Miugo said the suspects ransacked his office where the items were kept.
“I call upon our security agencies to intervene in this matter and arrest the culprits,” Miugo said.
Prior to the incident, christians at Kuoyo SDA Church in Kaura Sub-location, Rangwe Sub-county were shocked to find musical instruments worth Sh250,000 stolen on Saturday.
The gangsters made away with an audio mixer, three loud speakers, their tripods and two sets of microphones. The items were stored in a cabinet inside the church building.
It was reported that the gangsters gained entry into the church building by cutting through the window grill. They broke the padlock on the cabinet to gain access to the musical instruments before walking away stealthily to avoid being detected by locals.
Church elder Joel Onyango reported the incident to Ngegu Police Post.
“We had a busy morning at the church but we notified our chief and assistant chief and proceeded to report tat the police post,” Onyango said.
The church has failed to trace down the culprits. Onyango expressed concerns saying the vice is conducted by people, who come to church not to worship but plan their sinful act, who don’t fear God.
“It is wrong to steal from a church and God is watching them,” he said. “Theft is against biblical teachings and it is a sin. Let our people embrace good human behaviours, which can earn them blessings instead of curses.”
Kaura Sub-location Assistant Chief John Owino confirmed the matter.
“I have liaised with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations officer, who are probing the matter,” Owino said.
Senior Pastor Lewis Ondiek of Olare SDA church in Rangwe Sub-county said stealing from the church can lead to serious consequences to the thief.
“People see the church as a place,which lacks security but God takes care of the church. Those who steal from the church can die mysteriously,” said Ondiek.
Such an incident was reported in 2017 when a man stole from the house of a pastor at an SDA church in Rachuonyo North Sub-county. After a few days, the thief killed his wife and was lynched by a mob.