Monday, April 23, 2012

An 8-Year-Old in the House!

We recently celebrated Jono's 8th birthday! 

His friends joined us at a local hotel for a pool party.

 Getting right into blowing out those candles!

The kids trying desperately to pull Ian down!

Caleb, chillin' in the pool.

Caleb and Jakin--the pink life-jacket boys!

The gang!

What a fun time we had!

We're so thankful to God for our first-born---may he walk with the Lord all of his days! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Update on Biwat

Thank you for your prayers and your emails of support!

Here's a brief update on the situation in Biwat Settlement. About 90 people slept at our church on Saturday night (mostly women and children). Many of them returned to their homes in the settlement on Sunday, although a small group of them are still staying at the church. There has not been any further fighting, but the situation is uncertain and tense for them. It's especially difficult for them to sleep at night, not knowing if and when the fighting will begin again. Many of the men are keeping watch for as long as they can.

The tribe who had their houses burnt apparently had a 25-seater busload of people from their village arrive. They are armed and ready to fight...if necessary.

We continue to pray for true reconciliation and peace for the people there! What the community really needs is godly leaders who are filled with the peace and wisdom of Jesus Christ. Then they can ensure that the ongoing fighting between the tribal groups is properly addressed. Many of the residents are carrying anger, hurt and deep resentment from years past--these feelings are just below the surface and bubble over very quickly. And in many ways, it's very understandable. How hard it is to forgive and be reconciled to your neighbours when they have burned your home down; or, seriously injured your daughter by slashing her with a knife; or worse, killed your son?

Only when you know the power of Christ`s forgiveness in your own life are you able to travel the difficult but blessed road of true reconciliation!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Biwat Settlement

A couple hours ago, Jono came running into the house yelling, "Mom, mom, Biwat's on fire!". And sure enough as I ran outside and looked across the road to where the Biwat Settlement is, I could see the billows of black smoke rising up into the sky.

There are 3 main tribal groups living in the Biwat Settlement and because of a murder, two of them have been fighting on and off the past couple weeks. Over the past 5 years or so that we've been involved in this settlement, we have definitely witnessed the people there facing much unrest and uncertainty because of similar situations. This time has been equally unsettling, and the people have not been able to even sleep soundly at night, never knowing when the fighting would begin again. And this time, the weapons were not only bushknives and sticks, but also guns. More than once, the people had to flee their homes for their safety, only to also have many belongings and food stolen while they were finding safety elsewhere. As is also very common, to take revenge houses have been set on fire. And that is what happened today. The majority of our church people come from the tribe that is not directly involved in the fighting, but they still had to flee their homes today again, not knowing how far the fires would spread. They live pretty closely together in there.

Ian and Tim just went to drive a large group of them over to the church to sleep there for the night. They do not know what will happen to their homes while they are away. A very difficult situation for them. But at least they will be safe.

Please pray for these displaced families, but also that the Lord will bring His peace---lasting peace---into the Biwat Community through the power of His Word and Spirit.

Thank you, as always, for your prayers!