Thursday, March 31, 2011

Civil Unrest in Burkina--

The recent reports out of Burkina are:

  • Military in FadaN'Gourma have shot a rocket into the local courthouse and blocked the city off with tanks.

  • Simon Campaoré, mayor of Ouagadougou, was attacked by military and his home was ransacked. Simon Campaoré is considered third to rule in Burkina (behind the President and the Prime Minister)

  • Blaise Campaoré, President of Burkina Faso, is scheduled to meet with the military tomorrow (Thursday) as he calls for calm. It appears his calls have been ignored. It is suggested Blaise is "between the devil and the deep blue sea" (entre le marteau et l'enclume). This dilemma is rooted in the balance between justice and the desires of the military.

  • The University of Ouagadougou reopened today. The atmosphere appears be calm.

Here in Yako, things are calm. The children went back to school on Monday of this week. They were out of school for 5 weeks due to the unrest. The government has extended the school year and the standardized testing dates by 2 weeks to allow the students a little time to catch up.

Marshal Law was established last night throughout Burkina. This means that no one is to be on the streets from 9 PM until 6 AM.

We were out last night and were returning home at 8:50 and everyone whether on foot, moto, or bike was scurrying to get off the streets by 9.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Teachers Training

While waiting for school to re-open this coming Monday, we were able to arrange a 2-day seminar for our teachers this week. Two friends from SIM in Ouagadougou, Janet Haight and Paul Yalga, came to Yako and for 2 days our teachers went 'back to school'.

The subjects of the seminar were how to prepare Bible lessons, how to make learning fun and interesting for the children, and how to teach Bible verses. There was lecture and demonstration time and also practical application time where our teachers taught Bible lessons and Scripture to Jonas, Biba, and Ferdie who did not have a family to go to during this long break from school.

At the end of the training, everyone was encouraged and inspired to work even harder to reach each one of our children for the Lord. Most of our children come from Muslim and/or Animistic homes. We have a wonderful opportunity each day to touch hearts and impact the lives of our children for the Lord.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Trip to Kimini--

Quite miraculously the Lord opened the door for me to make a trip to Kimini today. I have been trying to contact a friend here in Bobo, named Adama for 3 weeks and had not been able to reach him. But, last Saturday, Adama and I talked on the phone and arranged for this trip today.

Kimini is a tiny village just 15 kilometers from the border of the Ivory Coast where we have been working with the First Baptist Church from California, MO for 3 years now. FBC will be sending a team here in August and I will be going back to Kimini with them at that time.

As a result of years of prayer and tears, the Lord has answered FBC's cries and there are now a few new believers in Kimini. FBC is working through their long-term plan and their commitment to these new believers.

The purpose of the trip today was to meet with the village chief and begin plans to drill a deep well in Kimini, to make arrangements to survey a piece of land that the village has given to FBC for a church and a clinic, and to see about having a latrine built in preparation for the team's visit in August.

We met with the village chief and leaders and they are thrilled with the possibility of a well with pure water coming to the community. We also walked the land in order to get some idea of where to drill the well, with the final word coming from the water experts. And, we talked with a local mason asking the costs of building a latrine.

All in all, an exhausting and at the same time exhilarating day. We will still have some meetings tomorrow morning with associations that are drilling in the area of Kimini and then I will head back to Ouagadougou and continue on to Yako on Thursday.

These pictures are some of the adorable children of Kimini who need to hear about Jesus!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Civil Unrest in Burkina--

Wanted to send out a request for continued prayer. The civil unrest here has intensified. . . . not to the point where I feel that we are in any actual danger. . . but at the same time, things have not calmed down but have in fact greatly intensified.

The brief history is that about 2 1/2 weeks ago a police officer beat and killed a 10th grade boy for involvement in a typical 'love triangle'. The police officer and the girl were not married but were involved romantically and then the boy also became involved with the girl.

Immediately after the event, the government tried to cover up the brutality by saying that the boy died from meningitis. The first week the students went on strike and through violence six people died and 100's were injured. The second week the government closed all of the schools in Burkina hoping to disperse the students and calm things down. But, the violence continued in most of the major cities. Last week, the students demonstrated in Yako and threw bricks through the doors and windows of the courthouse and attempted to enter into the governor's courtyard.

Today was the first day back to school and again the students have been demonstrating all over Burkina often with violence. In Yako this morning, they marched and surrounded the police station and with bricks and whatever else they could find, they completely tore down the wall around the compound, entered and completely burned down the police station. All official documents have been lost, the building was destroyed, motos and bikes which were parked next to the building have been destroyed, etc. A couple of police men were injured but no one was killed.

At the university in Ouaga, students burned down the library!

Tomorrow is a national holiday, the international day of the woman, and the students have already declared a student strike for Wednesday.

Would appreciate your prayer support to calm the high emotions and the violence that is rising on just about every front. Also, please pray that the children can return to school so that this year will not be a complete loss.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Joey and Benny--

After receiving a call on Friday from Social Action, Becky and I hopped in the car and drove to Guircy, 35 kilometers away, to pick up newborn twin boys. The babies had been thrown down a dry well which thankfully was only a little over 2 meters deep. They were covered with dried blood from their birth and were scraped and scratched a bit but do not seem to be seriously hurt.

Some children who were playing nearby heard the babies crying and the villagers called the police to come and rescue the babies.

Becky named them Joseph, on the left, and Benjamin, on the right, because in the Bible, Joseph and Benjamin were both loved by their parents. We want these babies to know that they are loved. Benjamin is really tiny but he is eating well so we are hopeful that he will be okay.

Sarah is visiting again--

Sarah Oeder, from Germany, is visiting again this year. Sarah worked with us for one year last year, returned home to start university, and is here in Burkina for 6 weeks during a break from school.

Sarah has slipped right into daily life with us here. Everyone is very happy to see her, especially our children and workers.

This is a picture of Pastor Samuel and his wife from Doure and Pastor Paul and his wife from Pelatanga, two neighboring villages where Sarah has been working and building relationships. The pastors came by today to bring Sarah a 'welcome gift' of 2 chickens.