In the Kuria district of Kenya, the November air is clear and the stars are bright. There is no electricity in the small house where I am staying. I awake at 3 AM, sleepless from jet lag, pull back the mosquito net that surrounds my bed, look out my window on the moonlit lawn and weep.
Earlier tonight, I heard a story that I didn’t want to hear, about a practice that I didn’t want to know existed. I’m having trouble comprehending the horror of what I heard.
Female circumcision…female genital mutilation…girls sometimes as young as 9 or 10…a ritual done in the bush…no anesthesia…one razor blade…families celebrating this “rite of passage”…girls given no choice and told to be brave and told not to cry out.
Girls who submit to this ritual get infections from the unsterile procedure, AIDS from the shared cutting instrument, emotional trauma from the forced mutilation. They receive no further schooling and are soon given by their families in marriage.
I am horrified that this happens, horrified that I did not know of it before and horrified that I feel helpless to do anything about it but weep. I cry myself to sleep with the cool night air of Kuria blowing through my window.
[This is my second visit to Kenya with my WDA Restorative team. We have been teaching discipleship principles as well as emotional healing principles to several churches in this remote area.]
Since that night last November, I have become more educated about the practice of female circumcision. I have read, researched, talked, listened and cried some more.
Since that night last November, I have become aware of and involved with several efforts in Kuria to end this practice. The Komotobo Mission Compound, where I stayed in Kenya, shelters girls during the month of December when the rites are performed. There is an initiative being started right now in Kuria to educate churches and pastors about the Biblical reasons for abolishing this practice, in addition to the health, safety and emotional reasons.
Girls sheltered at Komotobo – Dec. 2010
What can YOU do to help?
- You can make a tax-deductible contribution to GRI, an organization committed to educating people and sheltering girls in Kuria.
- You can learn more about this atrocity and speak out against it.
- And you can pray for the girls in Kuria, some who will escape and some who will not but all who need to know the saving power of a God who loves them dearly.