Monday, December 1, 2008

Prayer request for December 1 (Update on Jos riots)

The latest reports from Jos indicate that the city, under a strict 6 pm to 6 am curfew, has been reduced to a tense kind of quiet through the presence of troops and armored personell carriers. For some days the streets, especially in the northern and central parts, were full of people burning, killing, looting, and expressing deep hatred and anger. It will take many months to sort out who all was killed, and much longer for peace and sanity to be restored to these areas.

Loss of life is estimated in the hundreds. Our friend Dr. Ardill, who works at Evangel Hospital, close to the centre of trouble reported on Saturday that "the hospital is full and overflowing and the staff are tired after seeing over 200 injured in the last 24 hours. Although there were only 5 who died at Evangel, we have heard over 300 have been killed in the fighting." In the heat of the trouble last Friday and Saturday thousands fled their homes and took  shelter where they could, in army barracks, police stations and other public buildings. Some 6,000 people took refuge in a secondary school.

The McCains had about 60 taking refuge with them, while another 40 were able to sleep at our former university house not far from the McCains. A big problem was to feed them, since no one could get out, nor were markets open those first days. They report that university officials managed to get them some rice and garri (a starchy food).

Aside from Emmanuel Baptist church, which had already been burnt down twice before in earlier troubles (see the photo below), other churches near the university -- Trinity Anglican Church, where many faculty and students attend, a COCIN Church, a Deeper Life Church, and many others -- were totally destroyed.

Emmanuel Church after it was burned down the second time -- notice the text on the front wall, "Father, Forgive them, for they know not what they do," by which was meant the Muslims who burned down the church the first time. It has now been burned down for the third time and the blocks of the new building, which was not yet finished, were torn down and carted away. The pastor, who was our student, lost all his books and his thesis on which he had worked for many months.

*Pray for those who have lost loved ones, the hundreds who were injured, for the congregations who have lost their buildings, and for the families who have lost their homes. Pray for all who are troubled. Pray that those who are stirring up trouble will be cast into disarray.
*Pray for Danny, Mary, Katrina, Yoila, Roselyn, and others who are caring for these refugees and feeling the effects of weariness. Pray that they may be able to find enough food to feed the hungry.
*Pray for strength for the doctors and nurses, for those being treated and for those who have not been able to get treatment, those who get to clinics only to find no bandages or medicines are left in the cupboards.
*Pray that a lasting solution may be found to solve this problem and that peace may be restored to Jos, which was known at one time as "The City of Peace."

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