Thursday, January 22, 2009

More important than any home deocorating post, ever

Persecution is real. 

It's gut wrenching.

And, it's so convenient to forget about in our very blessed lives of religious freedom where thinking about what we are making for dinner, what we will spray paint next or what celebrity is going off the deep end is what is on our minds. 


We are so foolish. 


This is where this blog post is going to get wordy. 

I know it is easy to just scroll through real quick and move to the next one on your list, please don't. There are no fancy pictures here, no DIY tips, just a call for prayer. 

My friend Melanie works for Samaritan's Purse. They not only have us packing up shoe boxes of gifts every Christmas at church, but the provide aid and relief to third world countries. They do amazing work. 

Melanie's good friend Tim also happens to work for the same ministry, however he is in the front lines working to rebuild churches in Sudan after the crippling civil war there. In Sudan, people are being killed, every day, just because they are Christians. 

This email is hard to understand. 

You will have to read it a few times. 

But it lets you in on the horror that these people are facing everyday. 

Children are having to watch their adult family members be brutally killed, or they are being killed themselves. 

Please read and pray for the ministry that Tim is doing and for those being persecuted. Let this serve as a reminder of how incredibly blessed we are and that God has given us more luxury than we ever deserve, and for a reason... to move us towards worship... to glorify him...and to give us every opportunity to serve those who need help. 

Pray. For Sudan. For Africa. For the persecuted. For those Persecuting. 

Here's the email....
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Subject: URGENT PRAYER NEEDED!

I just received this urgent email from my dear friend Tim in Sudan. He also works for Samaritan's Purse doing Church Reconstruction.

Reading this broke my heart. Hearing a first-hand account of what is happening in Sudan and Uganda helps me to better understand just how bad it is. Thanks for praying for our hurting brothers and sisters.

Blessings,

Melanie

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Friends and Family,


The attached is a e-mail from the Bishop of the ECS church in Mundri. The
area I was working in last year. This is also the area of the LRA attacks.
He gives a more detailed description of some of the horrors that has
happened.

I would like you all to note that these are real places; I have been there
and talked to these people. Christian people just like me and you having to
suffer in a way no one should ever have to.

Please take the time to read his letter and say a prayer.

Thank you.

Tim
------------------------------------------
1. From Bishop Bismark Avokaya, ECS  Diocese of Mundri, sent to church
partners January 15.

Subject: Urgent Prayers Needed for Mundri!!

There is insecurity problem caused by the so called Lord's Resistance
Army (LRA) of Uganda in two of our Archdeaconries which has affected seven Parishes. It has displaced all the villages in those Parishes and we are yet to get the exact number of the people. However, we are aware that people from Tore Wandi (about 85 miles south of Mundri town), Moba (about 70 miles), Bangolo 50 miles, Ledinwa about 38 miles up to Garia (about 30  miles). These distances are measured from Mundri to locations mentioned.

At least about four people were confirmed dead. One of those killed
was  Rina's uncle called Wilson who is our Lay Reader at Moba Parish. What happened was that his last son was abducted together with one of his grandsons. Both were about ten years of age. So Wilson decided to follow the LRA with another young in the hope of securing the release of these boys.  But later after walking with the LRA over 20 miles under arrest, Wilson and  the young man were both tied. Their hands and legs were chopped off while still alive, and were thoroughly beaten on the neck to death in front of the boys and some other new people they abducted. But the LRA decided to leave these boys to go their way, though they could not know where to go.

However as people were running towards Mundri, a Good Samaritan (who was riding on a motorbike) found the boys on the road and decided to carry them to Mundri. They had arrived Mundri only two days and are now with their cousin sister (who already had other displaced people). We had the boys in  our house yesterday for consolation etc. Both are traumatised like many others and we could not believe our ears as they shared the stories with us.

Also we learnt that Rina's other uncle, Rev Sylvester Yona, who is one of our Pastors, had one of his daughters abducted as well. Rev Yona himself had gone to Juba for medical treatment last November and he is still in Juba. And one of the homes that was looted and burnt at Tore Wandi was said to be his home. As these events took place in his absence, we were told he now so much devastated in Juba. So pray forhim too.

Some of the injured are now admitted at Mundri health Centre and the rest in Lui Hospital especially those with gun shots. And about eleven people were reported to have been abducted from Tore Wandi and their fate is not known to date.

Because of the shooting in those areas resulting in a lot of fear,
desperation and displacement many people are still trekking towards
Mundri from Friday to date. When we saw those who arrived and learnt that many were on the way trekking to Mundri, last Sunday the Diocese decided to arrange, sent a truck to Ledingwa (about 37 miles) to carry some of the women, children and the elderly people who were struggling to reach Mundri.

However, when the driver reached Garia (about 30 miles) before the
expected destination, they found the attack had reached Garia and was
still going on! Two tractors (which were carrying some of the people
to Mundri) were attacked; one man was shot dead, a baby was shot dead from the back of the mother, another man was injured, and so was Wilson's wife injured. Remember Wilson is Rina's uncle (who was killed
previously and the tractors were set on fire. This made the driver of
the truck we sent to return, but was able to carry some of the women
and the children he found on the way.

As I write this message there is a massive displacement of our people
into Mundri from these affected areas. Some of the displaced people
have been identified by their relatives and are now living with
relatives. For instance, at the home of the former Bishop of Mundri
are 29 people not to mention the people who reside in his family. In
another family, there are 16 people just to mention but a few.

But we are not able to identify all the relatives of these people and
some said they don't have extended family members in Mundri. Hence
they are now living in the Church (Cathedral) Compound. We did arrange to collect sum cash from Christians in Mundri for emergency to cater for those in the Cathedral Compound and some of those with families around. And we raised few Sudanese Pounds for porridge or fast food as they had spent over three days or so without food on the way. Also we (both Church and local authorities) had informed our Community members in other towns (like Juba, Khartoum, Nairobi etc) to collect whatever
they are able to get and sendto Mundri for the same ASAP. For
instance, yesterday we got SDG 4,000 (or $2,000) from Khartoum for this. However, because of the intensity and the number of the people, these are not enough.

Unfortunately it is now time for harvest in Mundri areas. The people had left their crops/ grain in the fields. The LRA had burnt most of the homes in those places including the bush/grass around. Moreover whatever basic utensils people had were taken and should peace return in nearest future and they return to their home places, they had nothing to return as far as I am aware of the situation.

Nevertheless, we are hereby praying and asking you to prayers with us as those of us who are in Mundri are even generally in fear, though we are still trusting God to rescue the situation.

The Government had sent some soldiers to Mundri and on to the affected places to contain the situation. 

But we are counting on your prayers
for God Alone has the last word not the gun.


Yours truly, in the fellowship of the Gospel.

+ Bismark

ECS, Diocese of Mundri  C/O P O Box 127,  Juba Sudan.
Thuraya: +8821621974812

------------------------------------------
Remember, 
There is so much more to life than our little, lucky worlds. 

Come back and see me-
~Kara

8 comments:

Caroline said...

Oh that is so true. Its happening right now. Good christians are being presecuted for their beliefs. (and non christians)
I will pray.

Our family does the shoe box ministry around christmas, it is soo much fun. Packing so many things into a tiny shoe box. Its soo exciting to sen dthem off, and i have always wanted to attach a video camera inside so i could see their faces.

Great post.

Tangee said...

This really hit my heart. We forget sometimes I think how Christians are dealt with in other parts of the world and take our freedom of religion for granted. I reposted the email, I hope you don't mind, to get friends of mine to pray. I will be keeping this in prayer.

Melanie said...

Thanks for posting this Kara! I know that Tim really appreciates all the prayers. The BBC ran a story about this if anyone cares to read about it. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7837526.stm

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

This is unbelievable, and it is so true that we sit here in America and are so safe while others are persecuted all over the world. It seems crazy that it's even possible. Thanks for posting.

And I have to say good luck with your chicken recipe...I hope it gets the results you want! :)
Carrie

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Liz said...

This is unbelievable Kara. It really is almost impossible to wrap my mind around this. I will be praying for him, and for all the persecuted people in Sudan.

Megan said...

I will be praying Kara. This is heart wrenching.

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