Thursday, April 7, 2011

It is NOT over yet

In the last update I said that former Pres. G. had signed a cease fire --that has not happened. Also the victory shooting was a bit premature. It is true that Pres. A has control of all the country and Abidjan and Pres. G. is holed up in a bunker in the basement of his house. Pres. A. wants Pres. G. to sign a statement and be held to stand trial for war crimes. Pres. G. wants free passage out of here and no trial. It seems that the TV crew for Pres. G. was manipulating the news.

So, at present, they have located specifically where Pres. G. is holed up and have been firing against him. All his troops have fled. If Pres. G. is killed it would not be good for the country - he would become like a martyr figure. The goal is to capture him. His goal is to try to get out of here without standing trial.

Keep praying for the country and for us to have boldness in witnessing ----I think we have boldness, we just need to take the time ---lots of time, all the time. It is tiring - walking in a hot sun, so much to do at home on my mind; but always to come home praising God. God calls people to repentance. Without repentance you will all likewise perish. God is not saving you from drugs, heartache, broken pieces. Yes, He CAN put your life back together, but He is saving you from sin - sin unto death. Like you are sick unto death --that is the case of the unsaved; lost in sin unto death. "Sinners in the hands of an angry God" - what a message. And God through Jesus is inviting you to come to Him.

Bye for now. The more you tell The Story, the more exciting it becomes.
Love in Christ,
Joan and Dan

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

country update

A lot has happened in the country this week. Last week they were at a stalemate in Abidjan. This week ---the then "rebels," --now called the "new leaders" took over many cities, including San Pedro. There has been a minimum of fighting and it has been contained between the soldiers. We have seen no dead bodies ---there were probably a few, and it is over. We have been waiting to see which president would win in Abidjan. Today the former president signed a cease-fire and declared Ouattara the winner. Since the international community is backing him, things should go back to normal very quickly ---as in: trucks should again be moving, embargoes lifted, banks opened, people happy. Already the markets are open, some stores, all the little shops, bread bakeries, and - last, but not least - the kids are out looking for bullet casings. Today, since it is "over" the soldiers were shooting it up a bit - celebration shots I guess. It was like a small 4th of July. I told the kids they should be able to find a lot of bullets tomorrow.
Thanks for all your prayers. People have been scared. We have been witnessing a lot and passing out lots of tracts. There are lots of people walking or just sitting about "visiting." Our neighbor, who is never usually at home, talked with Dan for a couple of hours today. He is Catholic. They are so close and yet so far away. His wife, who I witnessed to a lot last term who was very closed, left him.
Pray that the country continues to settle down and that businesses will reopen and people go back to work. Pray for the spiritual growth of those in our churches and for new people to get saved.
Love in the Lord,
Joan and Dan

Friday, April 1, 2011

Life in the Situation

Dear All you praying friends,
If you have been following the news in Ivory Coast, you might think it doesn't look good. Actually, things are going along super. We are not politically inclined, of course, we have our opinions; but we are here to see who wins. The whole "war" is over the presidency --not tribal or against foreigners. We had heard that when the "rebels" took over a village, they shoot into the air and get the guards to lay down their guns and surrender ---if not, they fight. It has not been against civilians at all, so we have felt safe to stay ---just stay in your house and you will be okay. It is better than staying in a stalemate.
They did come to our city - San Pedro and have taken it over. All that means is that there are different black guys with curly hair at the check points. Seth has been out to pass out tracts to the new group and they have those stuck to their cars. People are still in a "stay at home" mode and the markets are closed. We have enough food to go on and enjoy life for a while. It is great that the take-over is past and we are praying for things to calm down soon ---get the markets back open.
Before any of this happened, Andy and Becky had sprayed inside their house with a chemical that kills mosquitoes. Andy has been having a reaction to the smell and has had migraine level headaches. So, they had moved in with us so that they could scrub down their walls, screens, etc. to get the smell out. In some places, the smell won't be gone and they are having to paint. Doesn't that sound so nice? - a clean, house make-over? Anyway, they have been living with us all this time. The kids have loved it ---as have we enjoyed having these days together. Andy has been feeling better - he was taking very strong pain medicine around the clock.
In the situation the soldiers want cars ---it is not wise to go out in cars or with cell phones - might get stolen. In God's timing, both of our cars have problems ---battery and starter problems. When they came to try to get our cars they wouldn't start - smile. It was funny really. They guy jumped to go over the gate --there was Dan to meet him. "Why didn't you knock? Do you think you need to jump over the gate?" Anyway, they came twice, but the cars wouldn't start so off they went. They did take our neighbors' two cars. The first one they dented before they even got it out the gate. They dented the gate as well. If they don't die in the war, they might die from not knowing how to drive.
I am very calm. Yes, we have heard gun fire. I'd say, "for some reason," but we know it is God who gave me this personality; I have not felt the least bit of fear or anxiety and absolutely no desire to be out of here. In fact, when Becky and Andy first came up we had been without water for 4 days already ---getting a bit nasty. The water has come back on in full force which means; lots of drinking water, laundry is done, house is clean, life has gotten better. Nadege came to work this morning - the new girl that is working for me. She said the soldiers asked her business and told her, "We are not here to loot or do bad, we are here to save you. Don't be afraid. We want people to carry on as normal."
Thanks for all your prayers. Pray for things to calm down quickly. Pray for Abidjan where they are still fighting. Pray that the former president will be allowed to leave safely. Pray that God will use this unrest to bring even more people to Him.
School continues as normal and it is time for me to go.
Love in Christ,
Joan and Dan