Sunday, December 7, 2014

An Opportunity to Pray...and to Give....

Last week's picture with Moffat Weru in the center.
I don't think I write posts like this very often.  I usually try to stay away from requesting donations in my blog, keeping the blog more purely a journal.  But I feel compelled about this one.

Moffat Weru, the pastor that I wrote about just last week, suffered a great loss this week.  As I mentioned last week, Pastor Weru is a student at the Africa Theological Seminary and is the pastor of the Faith Tabernacle International Ministries in Kitale.  He is passionate about Church-based Business as Mission and hopes to start a class in his church soon in cooperation with several other churches.  He and his wife own a motorcycle parts shop in Kitale.  It is his business that allows him to go to school at ATS, put food on his table, and (as is the case with most pastors here who are bi-vocational) allows him to be a pastor. 

On Wednesday evening, at 10 pm, he received a call that the two "hotels" very close to his business had caught fire ("hotels" in this case refer to small cookshops).  Apparently one of them had left something burning in the coal pot, which then started the fire.  As he rushed to his business, he found hundreds and hundreds of motorcycle taxis (boda-bodas) jamming the street in front of the fire.  He heard them calling their friends to come to where the fire was.

The two hotels burned to the ground.
He fought his way through the crowd to get to his business.  Upon arriving, he found the iron door had been broken down and the contents of his shop had been moved into the middle of the big crowd.  The large glass cabinet, which held about $5000 worth of small parts had been moved into the middle of the big crowd with the glass had been broken and contents gone, and the large shipment that had not yet been unpacked, was gone.  The people watching this fire said they broke in to help save the contents.  Yet they skipped the other two businesses that were closer to the fire.  Why is that you might ask?  Well, it seems they wanted the parts and saw an opportunity.  As they "helped" to "save" his supplies, they also helped themselves.  As Moffat went to the back of the building, he found that they had also broken into that side of the building to help themselves to the stock in his storeroom.

Pastor Weru's shop is the one in the corner.
But thankfully, Moffat had done everything right.  He had fire and theft insurance AND the businesses there together had hired a security firm (who is covered by their insurance if there is theft on their watch). BUT Moffat's insurance and the security insurance ruled that because of the large crowd and the nature of them breaking in to "save" his things, that this was "terrorism and political violence" and therefore he was not covered.  When he pushed them on this, that the cause of this was the fire, they said that he should not have removed the items from the store (which he didn't).  He should have left it to burn and then they would cover it.  The total loss of goods totaled about $10,000 US - a large amount for any person anywhere to lose, but particularly devastating in Kitale, Kenya.  I didn't ask Moffat if he had taken the new goods on loan, which is typical - I think I was afraid to hear the answer.
Pastor Weru, his wife, and two daughters.

What makes me angry here is that he had done everything right.  He was a hard worker. He had insurance.  He had security.  He was using his business to bless Kitale, not only in the business but also by allowing it to allow him to pastor a church.  He was pursuing his theological education.  He is passionate about business being a good and holy calling.  And the week after being commissioned as a Marketplace Minister, this happens.  And yet, as you can see by the picture of Moffat, his wife, and two beautiful girls, the smile on his face has not left.  He believes that God can bring good from this and will continue to put one foot in front of another.  He will revive his shop and sell to those who stole from him.

If you are interested in helping Moffat recover from this by making a donation, please go to and select my name.  In the comment section, please note:  "20065M - Pastor Weru" and I will make sure it gets to him.  Or maybe you would like to pay for his next class at ATS, which is $200; if so, write "20065M - Pastor Weru scholarship."  If instead you would like to give Moffat a loan to help him rebuild his shop, please email me at  We offer 5% interest to those who would like to invest money in businesses for a year, so if you invested $1000, at the end of the year we would return your $1000 investment with interest.  Either a gift or a loan would bless him. 

Please pray for him, his family, and his church.  I am thankful for the body of Christ around the world!