Elder Ian S. Ardern, Second Counselor in the Africa Central Area presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, traveled to Kajiado County, Kenya on March 16, 2023 to oversee the distribution of 1000 containers with enough food to sustain families of six for up to four weeks.
This event marked the first step of the Church’s donation of 40,000 containers of food over the next month to 240,000 people living in four drought-stricken counties of Kenya.
The Church donated $1 million dollars to purchase the food, the Red Cross donated transportation and distribution costs, and the Kenyan national government provided local coordination.
At the kickoff event in Kajiado County on Kenya’s southern border with Tanzania, the Kenyan Government was represented by Martin Matine Moshisho, Deputy Governor of Kajiado Province, and Rebecca Miano, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of the East African Community.
Elder Ardern was joined by other Church members engaged in humanitarian projects for east Africa.
Rebecca Miano said, “we are here today because our brothers and sisters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have graciously heeded our calls. We sincerely thank the Church for donating one million U.S. dollars’ worth of food and water to vulnerable Kenyans in four counties under their humanitarian aid program. Indeed, the Bible in the Book of James 2, calls for us to practice faith in action. Caring for vulnerable people and the hungry is one of the ways we can be true to the scriptures.”
Elder Ardern said, “all these donations have come from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But I want us to think for a moment of the people that made the donations. The Church is made of people, and people took from their pocket and put into an envelope funds that allow the purchase of these food products to help so many people. So, I pause for a moment and express my gratitude for faces unseen and hearts that have freely given.”
“I am reminded,” he continued, “of an occasion such as this of the multitude who followed Jesus Christ. And they wanted to listen to him, but Christ wanted to feed them. And he asked if there was any food. A boy comes forth and he has five loaves and two fishes. And it’s blessed and distributed to all the people. Well today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we’re that boy. We’re the boy that has brought the five loaves and the two fishes. And our prayer is this, that all of this will be multiplied and distributed so that there are many, many benefactors that come from the generosity and the kindness of others. Our prayer is that God will bless you. Today we stand as one, unified in a single purpose.”