Thursday, September 15, 2011

Prayer note--September 1

For a few days already violent confrontation has returned to Jos. This time it is connected with celebrations for the end of Ramadan.  On Monday a church was burned, and a pastor killed. A mosque was also burned. Since then tension has escalated, with considerable gunfire in various places in the city, including  the university quarters where we used to live, and a number of market places in that area. There are no clear figures on just how many people have been killed to date.

Just what exactly started the trouble this time is not entirely clear; there are some indications of conflict and division among Muslims themselves on the date to start celebrations.  Unfortunately it appears also that “Christian” youth have ignored the pleas of their elders and determined on retaliation for last December’s disturbance of Christmas celebrations . With modern technology, rumours about an (attempted) attack fly quickly, and most do not bother to check them out before acting on them. 

   We have received the following requests for prayers from our colleague at the University of Jos, Dr. Danny McCain:
1. Safety. As word of deaths gets out, there is often reaction and retaliation. Pray that this will not happen.
2. Pray for wisdom to know what Christian leaders can do to encourage and enhance peace.
3. Pray that pastors and elders are able to bring violent youth under their control. 
4. Pray for the families of both Christians and Muslims who have lost loved ones.

We would add to that there are now rumours circulating of serious attacks by Muslims tomorrow (Friday) after the mosque prayers. Pray that these may be unfounded. Although the military presence has been of considerable support for our friends and colleagues, to protect, and calm things down, they must continually be on their guard, and careful. Pray that those who are trying to build peace will not become too tired and discouraged themselves.

PS, we  have made some attempts to send email prayer requests in a different format, but keep running into various obstacles. A big problem with the present system is that we have no idea whether you are actually receiving these emails, and/or whether they are blocked as spam. 

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Of course, we also appreciate hearing from you, if you’d like us to continue sending these prayer notes.

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