We all made it through the night safely. Thank you all for your prayers. God heard them!
The women and children spent the night inside the house while the men, who were guests, slept on the veranda. We had five of us (two guards, Kevin , Mindra, and I) outside watching and Carol and Sam were manning things from within. The sighting of a leopard around 2 AM with its baby and, perhaps, a third one, was a big surprise, to say the least. It was a beautiful beast…most of the time we saw just its eyes but there were a few times when we saw its body move…it appeared big and looked to be black. It did not leave even when we all had our lights trained on it. Most likely it had a meal there on our fence line. I have always been told by the locals that leopards (lions too) are no longer here. Perhaps because of there being fewer people here, the leopard took greater courage in leaving its normal habitat in the nearby hills. The village on our east, which was numbered at 242, now has 10 people in it! The Lord sending a leopard to be on our north border fence is a very interesting answer to the many prayers that have been prayed!
A dear friend also informed me yesterday that around 90 men with their bows and arrows had formed a neighborhood (Afoji) community watch force. Also, a few regular members of the Ugandan army were mixed within them with their weapons…just another means by which the Lord answered your prayers! The powerful spotlight which Kevin brought with him was also very effective. We received numerous reports by soldiers/police/others saying that seeing it from far off caused people to fear “this place”. No doubt intruders and those with bad intentions had fear placed in them as well. With the exchange of gun fire at RAU on Friday night, I am sure the word got out that this was not a place to target anymore. We have now had two peaceful nights. We also have been in contact with the American Embassy in Kampala. These are some of the ways the Lord answered your prayers! Thank you!
It is an honor to live and serve our majestic King along with my dear Carol and RAU co-workers Sam and Patrick in this area of His creation! It is so good of the Lord to send our dear friend, Kevin Turner, with StrategicWorld Impact ,to be with us in these very days of turmoil…what a blessing he is! He is another answer to the prayers of those who faithfully pray for my co-workers, Carol, me, the ministry of ReachingAfrica’s Unreached and the people of this region.
There is nothing on this earth that can keep us from proclaiming the good news of Jesus here. We have been told that refusing to leave Afoji and choosing to stay and help is having a strong witness in the community. May Jesus be exalted through this weak flesh (John 3:3)! Carol and I will spend the rest of our days here if the Lord so wills.
Pray for both the Kukus and Ma’dis. Pray that the Lord would bring healing and peace! In the midst of this we are scheduled to fly back to the States for a short break soon. It will have been 10 months since we have been back or had even one break so please also pray that we can get things ready on this end for our visit to our beloved family, friends, and supporters. All the extra guests that have come here for refuge need a safe place until order is restored. We cannot just “kick them out”. We are already actively seeking to support their move and facilitate it if needed. Please pray for this as well. Thank you so very much!
Today we are working on harvesting the maize between the Guesthouse and the Tukalus. The Tukalus are where pastors stay for retreats as well as very special friends, like Kevin. After the harvesting I should be able to shred the area with the tractor, thus clearing the view between the house and tukalus for our night watches. Also, I am pumping water with the generator (which is loud!) for the fourth day in row. With all the guests we have been using a lot water and, besides, the pump is pulling the water very slowly. Ideally, a solar submersible well pump would be best as we would not be dependent on generators which consume a lot fuel . In times like these, fuel is very hard to get. I try to keep a reserve and we have been using it. Solar pump systems run between $6000-$14,000 depending on the type/quality and how fast one wants to pump. We have to pull water up about 140 feet from the water source. We are hoping and praying that we can get a good solar pump system in.
Kevin and I have a lot of little projects planned as well. He is such a servant and a fine representative of King Jesus! We did not think it wise to leave RAU at any time during this conflict.We have a lot of fun together while we work. I think even our loud laughter in the middle of night keeps intruders away! It is a challenge to switch into guard mode at times, especially with Kevin’s funny antics and stories. Thank you all for your precious prayers!
Looking northward at South Sudan with Kevin Turner. The second ridge is South Sudan.
Last night we watched as tukalus around us were burned to the ground. We did have two different groups enter the compound, one group with gunfire that was directed at our house. I am thankful for return gunfire which deterred the encroachers without killing.
We are hoping that the “big whigs” who are supposedly meeting in Moyo Town today will figure out how to bring some semblance of law and order into this escalating “eye for an arm for two legs for a life” mentality which leaves no one the winner and everyone the loser.
The common grace of a society based upon law and justice cannot be taken for granted and is not easy to establish where staking your claim on Power Mountain is the way of life.
The following pictures, (on Facebook) which normally bring me such pleasure on a daily basis, have a new and slightly more sinister beauty in being the directions from which the encroachers came last night and where we saw the devastating orange glow of tukalus burning to the ground and from where anguished screams were heard.”
Direction of attack on RAU
One of the mothers and babies we are keeping here at night
It is good to have Kevin Turner with Strategic World Impact back with us
Many,many people are fleeing their homes on the road by RAU
We had a sad and tension filled day here in Afoji yesterday. What was meant to be a peaceful protest march, from Moyo on the road past us to the Afoji border, turned violent. The border is down the road a couple of kilometers from us. Homes (tukalus), businesses and a grass thatched Anglican (Church of Uganda – COU) church (within walking distance of us) were burned down. Because of this we pushed back to a later date the pastor’s retreat we were going to have here today through Friday. The article from one of Uganda’s national newspaper and TV gives you background behind the turmoil that is happening (Newspaper Article: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/S–Sudanese-attacked-in-Moyo-protest/-/688334/2453732/-/yashoa/-/index.html;http://www.ntvuganda.co.ug/news/local/15/sep/2014/moyo-residents-protest-arrest-district-leaders-south-sudan-soldiers#sthash.LIMT5sl1.dpbs).
No harm was done here at Reaching Africa’s Unreached but one of our faithful workers and friend, Zakeo, who is a native Ma’di had two of the places he rents out in the Afoji market burned down.
Please pray for peace to reign here and for the authorities, most of whom I know, who have a very complicated situation before them. Pray that the violence will not spread. Our part is to minister the hope, love, and lasting peace that can only come through the Lord Jesus Christ!
Our good friend and co-laborer in Christ, Kevin Turner with Strategic World Impact is arriving on Thursday and will be with us a week. He has ministered around the world in this type of situation. His trip was not specifically planned because of this event but the Lord worked it out for him to be here. He and SWI are a grand blessing!
Currently, there is an eerie quiet here at RAU. In Moyo town itself there is rioting and great unrest. We have unconfirmed reports of a village nearby where around 100 homes were burned in retaliation for things done to South Sudanese here. There is now a steady flow of people with their belongs going by RAU to South Sudan. They are primarily leaving out of fear. However, there are rumors also floating that they are leaving to clear the way for the SPLA to come this way from South Sudan. Please be in serious prayer!