Friday, November 28, 2008

Violence in Plateau State

Yesterday was the first time that I have not had to work on Thanksgiving Day since I have lived in Nigeria. It's not a holiday here, but it was a 'no movement' day due to elections held on Thursday. No driving is allowed. People are supposed to walk to the polling places and vote.

We had a nice quiet holiday at home (well, we had to be home). I took most of the day to prepare a nice Thanksgiving meal for our family and some family friends who came over. I want our kids to have an understanding of the American Thanksgiving holiday. Interestingly, most (all?) churches in Nigeria hold a Thanksgiving service on a Sunday near the end of November every year. It's an all-out 4 hour service where they truly express their thanks to God for seeing them through another year. We will be attending two Thanksgiving services this Sunday.

As we were preparing for work and school this morning, we started getting all kinds of text messages from Mashiah Foundation staff members in various parts of town. Jos is a city of about 1 million people. There were reports of fighting, gunshots, cars burning, etc. By 8:00 we heard that school was cancelled.

Elections here always come with the possibility of violence. It's too early for me to comment yet on what has provoked this outburst of violence, but it most likely has something to do with election procedures or results.

Sadly, one friend sent me an email that someone was killed just near their compound.

It is common here to live within compound walls. And we're so thankful for it especially at a time like this.

Please pray along with us that peace will soon be restored to Plateau State.


UcheSarah said...

I'm glad you were able to enjoy Thanksgiving. We had a nice dinner with other Americans here in Manila. I'm sorry to hear about the violence there. I hate to hear those kinds of things happening there.

The Walsers said...

Mary Beth, Bayo and boys,
We are saddened by the violence in Jos, but especially glad that you are safe. Please know that you and those around you are in our thoughts and prayers! May the Lord's blessings be fully known to you.
Love - Michele & Jim Walser

Dave Bickel said...

We will be praying for you and the family Mary Beth at this time.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

We can never give Thanks enough and, it seems, the world never gets enough violence to make that go away. Prayers and blessings for you all.

Nancy Morris said...

Mary Beth,
I often pray for you and your family's safety, but especially now. You always seem so brave in your amazing and challenging life. Just remember that God is always with you no matter what.
Nancy Morris