Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Fragile Peace

Jos was quiet today. We thank God.

Bayo was able to return from Abuja to Jos today. He said there was no sign of any destruction as he entered Jos from the south. Most of the destruction was on the north side of town and in the center. Bayo says it's probably for the best that he was stuck in Abuja; had he been here, he would have had to fight the temptation to go out and see what was happening. For me, that's not a temptation! As it was, Bayo knew more about what was happening in Jos than I did! He had kept in constant phone communication with people all over Jos.

I have not heard of any foreign missionaries or expats who were directly affected by the violence. The mental stress and the tension certainly affected us, but we did not suffer loss of life or property.

One of these days I hope to write a post about the 2001 crisis in Jos. That rioting also began on a Friday, but lasted for 6 days. We are very thankful that this one was curtailed in 2 days.

I'm trying to figure out what I've done for the past 4 days. Why are some areas of my house such a mess when I've been here all day? Well, I've been doing lots of cooking. Thankfully Angela has helped me a lot with the clean-up. I've been doing a fair amount of emailing. In 2001, I found that I had a hard time getting things done even for months after the crisis. That was how my mind reacted to stress. I'm feeling a bit of that now, but trust that I'll be able to work through it better this time.

Our hearts go out to the families of those who lost loved ones, both Christian and Muslim. Now begins the process of reaching out to those who were severely affected. I have not heard reports yet on the more than 100 women in our sewing program. So many of them live in the areas that were affected.

We may have peace right now, but it is fragile indeed. When that much blood has been shed, people don't forgive and forget. Continue to pray for God's peace to prevail and for genuine healing of hearts to take place.

1 comment:

iowaboy277 said...

Mary Beth, thanks for keeping us posted on the situation there. It's good to hear your first-hand account along with the news reports. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the people of Jos. --Clint