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Church marks three years since deadly terror attack

A pastor of a church that was attacked by suspected terrorists, leading to the death of six worshipers in Likoni, now wants the government to reveal findings of its investigations.

On March 23, 2014, gunmen in balaclavas attacked the church at 10.30am. One entered the church through a back door and started shooting indiscriminately while two others, armed with an AK-47 rifle and a pistol, waited outside and shot fleeing worshippers.

Last Thursday marked the third anniversary of the deadly attack where 29 people were injured while worshipping.

Joy in Jesus Church Pastor Willis Omondi said although they had forgiven the attackers, it is important for security chiefs to inform the worshippers, specifically the survivors, what they had unearthed.

By the time the attackers left, blood was splattered on the floor, bodies laid on the ground and survivors were strewn all over the church.

BULLET LODGED IN HEAD

Among those who were killed was Veronica Osinya, who was worshipping with her two sons Satrine and Gift Osinya. She died while shielding her youngest son Satrine from the bullet. The bullet that killed her, lodged in Satrine’s head.

Satrine was later airlifted to Nairobi where a team of specialist doctors removed the bullet in an operation that saw the entire nation hold its collective breath in prayer for the baby’s survival.

The pastor said the attack negatively affected his church as he is left with only 27 worshippers against 350 who used to pray at his church.

“I would wish to see the report. Many people believed we wouldn’t worship here again. They thought it was the end of us but the healing process is ongoing,” he said.

The pastor said there was a time he was deserted by the faithful but it never broke his spirit as he soldiered on.

‘LEFT ALONE’

“I was left alone, my own wife was also scared of coming to worship. I used to preach to the seats but it never broke my spirit. With time they started coming. It is God who knows what happened,” he added.

Speaking on Sunday during a thanksgiving ceremony at the church, Pastor Omondi said about five survivors of the attack still need medical assistance and urged well-wishers to help them.

“Some still need operation. We came to thank God because of how far he has brought us. About 15 people did not turn up today,” he said while preaching to 12 faithful.

He said they will continue worshipping and glorifying God for taking them through trying times.

The two Osinya’s were later adopted by Nairobi senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko. Senator Sonko won many hearts when he adopted the two brothers.

“Life has never been the same again to these two kids as they have become a very big blessing to me and my family. We really thank God for making them be part of my family,” said the senator in his Facebook page in remembrance to the fateful day.

‘PART OF MY FAMILY’

The Nairobi senator said Gift Osinya scored an A Plain in his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and is currently in Form One at Lenana High School.

“It is third anniversary since the suspected Al-shabaab militiamen opened fire and killed six women at the church. Besides the deaths seven others were injured and are now in dire need of reconstructive surgeries,” said Mr Sonko.

The community around the church said they are still traumatised by the attack.

“It seems like yesterday, it is sad. But we thank God for everything. May Kenya never experience the ordeal,” said Martha Nguzo who lives nearby.