Tragic news from Africa
It is always a shocking reminder of how different life is in Africa and other parts of the world, when we receive news of a terrible tragedy or horrific act that affects one of our partners there. Sadly this happened once again a few days ago when I was reading a newsy e-mail from Pastor Honoré in Central African Republic and literally in the middle of writing the e-mail they received a phone call telling them of the appalling murder of Clarisse’s elder brother and his family!! There has been more trouble again recently including several killings of both civilians and peacekeepers from other nations. Apparently on Sunday, some Seleka rebels attacked the compound where Clarisse’s brother Anicet lived with his family. Just last year his daughter was bitten by a snake and died, leaving her children orphaned, and so Anicet took them into his home. The rebels came and killed Anicet and his wife, their three children and his wife’s parents – thankfully the orphaned children managed to escape by fleeing into the fields. Obviously Clarisse and the family are devastated, and planned to immediately go to deal with the situation, arrange the funerals and help the orphaned children who are once again left alone. Our hearts and prayers go out to them all as they deal with this terrible tragedy. It is another shocking reminder of how that nation is so very unstable and dangerous, and we continue to pray for the Gospel to spread there to change hearts and bring about a better government.
Pastor Honoré had just sent us photos of a special meal he and Clarisse had given for some local kids and orphans outside their home. In a land where so many have been scarred by violence, such acts of love and kindness are vital to share the Gospel. He also sent this recent photo of Clarisse and their new baby Bryan. Please keep them all especially in your prayers at this time as Honore and Clarisse will probably be taking at least some of their little orphaned relatives to live with them in their home – which will be another stretch of faith. If you feel led to help Pastor Honore and Clarisse, please just add a note to your donation and send it to us at our mailing address or you can send it via the PayPal donate button. Thanks and God bless, from Gerald and Shirley.
Michael in Kenya wrote to tell us that he recently traveled to the town of Ugunja where he met up with an “old” missionary friend who used to live in Rongo where he has ministered for a number of years. This photo shows him with “Mama Jo”, otherwise known as Joetta Smith, who has been literally living with the Kenyan people since she retired. She cares greatly for children and so has invited Mike to return there in the future to do children’s ministry and also train others in the area to do children’s ministry. He also preached the Gospel recently in the Kibingei secondary school, where he plans to follow up with intensive discipleship classes and start bible study groups. He is planning another visit to minister to the Turkana people in Northern Kenya in April with the ministry Childrenworldwide.
Pastor Sika reports that a number of youth from Sika-Kondji have been causing trouble with the mine workers and apparently about two weeks ago they stole barrels of gasoline and engine oil. They were caught and put in Aneho Prison (where Pastor Sika’s team visits and teaches bible studies) but it is another result of the very poor leadership and governing of the village chief. In the new year, Pastor Sika attended a special meeting of most of the villagers in Sika-Kondji who have become increasingly unhappy with the chief (who suffered a severe stroke years ago and has been very irrational and caused a lot of trouble since, especially with the mining authorities). This photo was taken at the meeting, which ended with an outburst of discontent as the people tried to depose the chief. Pastor Sika was asked to take over as chief, but declined as he lives in Lomé about 50 miles away, and he does not want to get embroiled in politics – especially at this turbulent time when Togo is in a political crisis. He believes that the greatest hope for both the village and the nation is for the Gospel to be preached and change lives as people turn from spiritual darkness to serve Jesus Christ. Please pray for godly people to be put into leadership there.