1998 NCC News Archives

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NCC Head Assures CWS Workers in Nairobi are Safe,
Calls for Prayers for People Affected

NEW YORK, August 7, 1998 -- In the aftermath of the bombing of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, National Council of Churches leaders have written to the heads of the NCC’s 34 communions to assure them of the safety of NCC staff and ask for their prayers for the people affected.

The letter was signed by Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, NCC General Secretary and the Rev. Dr. Rodney Page, Executive Director of Church World Service and Witness, the humanitarian response, refugee relief and human development ministry of the NCC.

"NCCC/CWS has a large staff in Nairobi that sometimes work out of the American Embassy," the letter explains. "This is a Joint Voluntary Agency Program (U.S. Department of State) to process refugees from all of Africa under our Immigration and Refugee Program."

"The good news is that word was passed through our Africa Office that all of our staff are safe," the letter continues.

Bill Sage, CWS Director of Overseas Personnel, has been dispatched to Kenya and will meet with staff there to determine the future operation of the Nairobi office.

The letter asks heads of communion to "keep these colleagues in their thoughts and prayers" and to "remember in our prayers the people of Kenya and Tanzania, and the Americans working at both of these embassies and their families."

The full text of the letter follows.

August 7, 1998

TO: Heads of NCC Communions

You have no doubt heard by now of the terrible bombing of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and of the great loss of life.

You may know that NCCC/CWS has a large staff in Nairobi that sometimes work out of the American Embassy. This is the Joint Voluntary Agency Program (U.S. Department of State) to process refugees from all of Africa under our Immigration and Refugee Program.

The good news is that word was passed through our Africa Office and on to Beth Ferris (CWSW Director of IRP) that all of our staff are safe. We have been unable to get through directly to them, but are relieved with the assurance that none of them are injured.

Bill Sage, with CWS, has been dispatched to Kenya and will be meeting with our staff and persons in the Department of State to determine what steps need to be taken in regards to the future operation of that office.

Please keep these colleagues in your thoughts and prayers, as they have lost friends and perhaps relatives, as we have a rather large staff in Kenya many of whom are Kenyans. This is also an uncertain time of shock and fear in the aftermath of such an event. Please remember in our prayers the people of Kenya and Tanzania, and the Americans working at both of these embassies and their families.

Joan Brown Campbell, General Secretary, National Council of Churches
Rodney I. Page, Deputy General Secretary, NCC, and Executive Director, Church World Service

-end-

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