In late December 2008, Kenya held presidential elections. The results were delayed, tension mounted, when one candidate was named the winner in an unusual way, violence started. We were there. We could hear gunshots, see people running in the streets. We hunkered down and waited it out. Hundreds died. People were displaced. Property losses where huge. It took it about 10 days to run its course while we stayed safely locked inside for the most part. Then it was safe again. Read a fuller report here.
We did not expect trouble. Neither did Kenyans who thought their country was a step above the kind of election troubles seen in some other countries in Africa. We were relieved when it ended, but they were disheartened. Their pride in their country had been brought low.
We resumed work shortly after New Years. On the first day, one of my Kenyan colleagues greeted me with a New Year’s greeting I had never heard before: Happy New Year Regardless.
Regardless means “despite the prevailing circumstances”. So, whatever situation, may the Lord be with you in 2014 with his loving and comforting presence. In other words: