THE NEWS BLOG OF ADRIAN AND WENDY HELLEMAN, ACADEMIC MISSIONARIES
Welcome to our blog! Feel free to comment on our postings. Enjoy the blog as much as we do.
Who we are
We serve with Christian Studies International (CSI), the Canadian affiliate of International Institute of Christian Studies (IICS). CSI and IICS send Christian professors to teach at public universities overseas. For more about these two related organizations see www.christianstudiesinternational.ca and www.iics.com. You may send financial support through either of these web sites. Please mark: "In support of Adrian and Wendy Helleman."
“From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.” Ps. 3.8
Thanks so much for your prayers for the situation in Jos! The outbreak of violence expected after mosque prayers that Friday a little over a week ago did not materialize, and we recognize God’s mercy in response to the many requests raised in prayer.
In general the situation has calmed down. Even so, we must not relax our prayers. The spiral of violence and revenge killings has not abated, though it is no longer on the same scale as before.
Since the weekend there have been a number of attacks in villages close to Jos, where whole families of nine to fourteen have been massacred. It appears that there are some relatively well organized groups, using army uniforms, who come to the villages after dark every second or third night and attack innocent people, mainly to avenge earlier death.
Just a few days ago there was another bomb attack in the centre of Jos. Praise God that no one was seriously injured, since the first bomb, thrown out of a car window, landed in a gutter, and the second, sent a few minutes later, also caused very little damage. But you can imagine what this does for tensions in the city.
So, the prayer requests posted earlier remain very much relevant:
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.
5. And continue to pray for all involved in the peace process, who attempt to build relationships on a different footing. May their efforts be blessed, as Jesus promised (Matt. 5.9).
PS, a special thanks for those who responded to the last prayer note. Our apologies for those not already on gmail, for the trouble it caused in joining the gmail contact groups. But we do hope that the letters will continue to come through more effectively.
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 wisdomto know what Christian leaders can do to encourage and enhance peace. 3. Pray that pastors and elders are able tobring violent youth under their control. 4. Pray for thefamilies of both Christians and Muslims who have lost loved ones. We would add to that there are nowrumours 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. PSS, As we work on this, we would appreciate hearing from you if would like to have your address removed from these lists. Simply respond with ‘Please unsubscribe’ in subject heading. Of course, we also appreciate hearing from you, if you’d like us to continue sending these prayer notes.