In Kenya, the Africans were rising up against the British government. "The white people have oppressed us long enough," cried the rebels. "It's time to kill them!" The rebels handed together in an organization called the Mau Mau. They demanded that all Kenyans join it and take the Mau Mau oath." If you don't join us," they threatened the Christians, "we'll know you are traitors, and we'll kill you."

The Christians didn't know what to do. They wanted their country to be independent, but they had learned to love, not hate. They had learned that it was wrong to kill.

What should they do? Join the Mau Mau and disobey Christ, or refuse to join and die? It was the night of February 13, 1953. Before going to sleep, Samuel Mukoro prayed to the Lord for his protection.

At two in the morning, Sara Mukoro awakened to hear someone calling, "Samuel, Samuel." Then came a loud knocking at the door, and some Mau Mau men and women burst into their house.

"What do you want?" asked Samuel,

"Give us your money unless you want to die. Give us the keys to your cupboards and chests!"

The couple handed over the keys and money. Some of the Mau Mau dug through the Mukoros' possessions, piling up what they wanted to take along. At the same time, one was slashing Samuel with his machete. Three times he struck him. Blood streamed over Samuel's face and he couldn't see. Then the men took a belt and tied his hands behind his back. Next, they attacked Sara, hitting her over the head and shouting, "Why did you smile?"

"Because I'm not angry at you for what you're doing," she answered. So they beat her even more and broke her little finger.

Samuel and Sara kept trying to explain their work. "We preach the gospel," they said, "We want everyone to know Jesus--blacks and whites."

"Yes, we know your kind," they answered. "You refuse to help us in our fight against the foreigners." They beat Samuel still more and told him, "You must swear the Mau Mau oath." This oath included touching or drinking blood.

"No. The blood of Jesus is enough for me," said Samuel.

They became even more furious. "Swear!" they said, time after time. And each time when Samuel answered, "No," he was struck again. Then they stabbed him in the back.

"Lord!" Samuel cried out.

"Why are you calling to the Lord?" the Mau Mau asked. Samuel did not answer. They suddenly stopped beating him, but took some of his blood and smeared it on his mouth, as if he had sworn the oath. This made him sick to his stomach, and he fell over. They picked him up, laid him on his bed, and cut the belt binding his hands.

Then Samuel's youngest daughter began to cry. The rebels said to Sara, " Do you want her to be killed?"

"No!" said Sara.

"Then make her be quiet!" They were getting ready to leave, taking everything with them. Sara said to them, "Please, leave one cover for our little daughter. It's very cold." They threw one at her.

"And what am I to cover myself with?" asked Samuel. They brought him his cloth, but carried off everything else from the house except some underclothes.

As they left, they said, "We're going now, but don't forget to pray for us."

"We'll pray that the Lord will help you and save you, responded Sara and Samuel.

They did pray. They also praised the Lord, for during that whole time they were being beaten, they had felt neither worry nor despair. They praised him for saving there from death and for protecting their children. The children had seen everything, yet they had remained silent except for the crying of the youngest daughter.

They prayed for someone to come to help them. Their sister-in-law arrived, made them some tea, and bandaged their worst wounds. Not until morning were they sure that the raiding band was gone. Then Samuel and Sara went to the hospital.

Their prayers for those Mau Mau attackers were sincere. Samuel said later, "We meant it. If they had returned and asked us for a cup of tea, we would have done all we could to prepare one for them."

Sara was left with a crooked little finger. Samuel could never walk normally again because of a cut tendon in his ankle. But they were happy the Lord had helped them to be faithful to his way of love.


From: They loved their enemies by Marian Hostetler, pag. 57-59, 1988, Herald Press, Scottdale, Pa, USA.