Saturday, April 18, 2009

Post-Easter news

We have just celebrated Easter and we rejoice in the truth of our risen Lord! What a hope we have. Our local Mulungwishi Church celebrated with special music and baptisms of three babies, eleven children, and thirteen adults and then received thirty-two into membership.

Lori's aunt died

This Easter was particularly meaningful to us as a family this month. We lost Lori’s Aunt Joan on Palm Sunday. She was Lori’s mother’s younger sister and died at the age of 86. Aunt Joan was like a second mother to Lori, particularly when she was separated from her parents when they were in Congo. All through the years she has been encouraging and always had good counsel. She was a wonderful person and we will surely miss her. On Easter Sunday evening, Lori’s second cousin on her father’s side, Kyle, passed away from cancer. She has been battling this for several years. She was in her 40’s and leaves behind her husband and three children. It has been a hard week for the Family. Truly the resurrection brings us hope in the midst of these losses. As Paul says, “Death where is your victory?”

Internet access is intermittent

We also need to catch you up on several items that we asked you specifically to pray about. We have to explain that even though we now have Internet in our home, it does not always work! Smile! Also, we need the generator running … sometimes we think the Internet runs when the power is not on and stops when we put the power on! So we are not always able to keep up with your emails. Keep praying for patience! Wish we could send our parrot, Isaiah, to tell you about everything because he picks things up and makes comments all the time!

Bandits may be under control

First, our concern with the armed bandits that had come on the station several times and have beaten people and stolen their money. Part of the problem, was one of the local chiefs, who was also the police chief for the area, and has a real alcoholic problem. He had come on to the station, out of his head with all kinds of accusations and didn’t make sense at all. He was angry and threatening to anyone who tried to help him. As he got angrier and he said he was calling for soldiers to come and destroy the station and also he wanted to shoot our Dean Emeritus, Dr. Kajoba! Finally he left. It was that night that the first bandits came on the station. So there was a real sense that his people were behind it. The following day police from outside the area came to make an investigation and we called in all the local chiefs and explained what happened. They were appalled and that evening he was arrested and removed. It put everyone in a state of insecurity as we have not had to deal with people with arms before. The District Commissioner and head of the police came and brought a new police chief. We have two policemen, patrolling with arms, on the station and we also have students patrolling from time to time. Things seem to have quieted down but we remain vigilant. Thank you for your concerns and prayers. We trust these were isolated incidents.

Electricity problems

Our second and more complicated problem is that of electricity. The Train Company remains on strike! As you know, our own newer transformer was blown. Then from time to time we were lent one from the Train Company … paying rent for a lesser one and yet it was their fault that ours blew! Then with poor maintenance the small transformers blew also! We need a new one, with more power, than before, as the University keeps growing! We wrote all this up as a project, as well as construction for new dormitories. This project was presented to the Governor of Katanga in mid-February. He gave the order that we be given $50,000 for the project ($25,000 for the transformer and $25,000 for the construction). Will wonders never cease! However, knowledge of his letter and his gift was kept from us by his staff for several weeks. Finally, we got the message! Yea! Dr. Kasap, the President of the University, went to Lubumbashi to follow up on this and get the money. It took him a month to get it! (Kind of like paperwork in our government! ) The lower echelon of government people were not interested in parting with so much money if they did not get something also! Dr. Kasap held firm and didn’t lose his cool but persistently kept pushing to get the money. They cooked up many hurdles to get through! (Someday, we should write a book!) They finally had the money for him. Praise the Lord for answered prayer and using people we did not expect help from!! In a real concrete way, He is bringing light into our darkness!!! We are now working with engineers and people in South Africa, to order the best transformer that fits our needs. Our guess is that it will take two to three months to get it!! Also, we have to have the Train Company up and running and work with the Electric Company. This will mean more leg work and paperwork and getting the right people to work on installing! Keep praying!

Everyday news

On the everyday home front, we keep teaching classes and answering the hundred needs at the door. With the world financial crisis, people, here, are struggling even more than before, if that is possible! The mining groups have closed most of their places for now, waiting for copper to go back up! Soooo much malnutrition and children hurting for help! Thank you, to all those who keep the nutrition program going.

Prayer request

Again, we want to thank you for your continual prayer support during these difficult times. Indeed, God’s presence in these times and your standing with us is a great comfort to us and to all living at Mulungwishi. We are very much aware of the financial crisis in the States and what you are going through, so it means even more, to have your faithful gifts and support! Keep praying!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Dozens of new photos

At playAs I scan in more printed photos, the online albums are growing. Most of the latest ones are of the Nutrition Clinic, but they also include a new one of Lori in local dress.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Our hope is in the Lord

We want to thank you for your continued prayers for Mulungwishi Station. The tension has subsided somewhat since we wrote last. The local village chiefs have been around to talk and to help. Also the regional administrator and police chief have been to the Station to investigate. The Bishops have also been following the situation closely. We are comforted by their concern. There are just so many people who have been laid off and are desperate. The use of guns is a new thing here. There have been robberies before but never life threatening with weapons. Everything … classes and work are going along normally during the day but then at night it changes. With no electricity it makes any kind of guarding and prevention difficult. We have students patrolling at different times of the night and even some of the chiefs have been helping out. People are being very careful and lock up their houses as soon as the sun goes down. We know that our ultimate security lies in the Lord and continually people are encouraging each other and praying. This is such a new twist for us here, that is seems that it is not even true! Along with the prayers for safety, we are sooooo wanting to have the electricity back! The Train Company is now, back at work after being on strike for almost three months. (because they had had no pay for 36 months!) So we are now trying to work with the top people to get connected to some kind of transformer. There is always careful negotiations with the top because they are hungry too! Then things will have to be set up … rebuilt and reconnected. Thank you for being there with us.