Saturday, September 12, 2009

Violence, bloodshed, eyewitness in Uganda by CMM friends and missionaries

Alissa Cooper was ordained by CMM in early 2008 before launching her vision for an
orphanage in Uganda. She has trained with Heidi Baker in Mozambique
and Michele Perry in the Sudan. She just got married Aug 15th to a wonderful,
native Ugandan, Vincent.  They went to Kampala to buy roofing material and got trapped for
several days in the violence. Read below and pray for safety.
(Latest update at the bottom)
 
Peace in the Midst of Chaos 9-10-09

Today I have really had my invitation to the chaos and instability of
Africa-my first real encounter with a truly negative side of Africa.
Although I was less than 1 ½ miles away from gun shots and even nearer
to angry rioters, I thank God that I was protected and was not
directly in the middle of the violent outbursts.  My newlywed husband
could not say the same, but I am extremely grateful to the Lord for
protecting him and enabling him to reach me safely.
Pastor Victor and I were in Kampala to purchase roofing materials for
the medical clinic we are constructing in Kyenjojo.  We planned on
leaving for Kyenjojo in the afternoon, but our plans were quickly
changed as riots broke out in Kampala (the capital city of Uganda).
The riots were triggered by the government's decision to prevent the
King of the biggest tribe in Uganda from touring a particular area in
Uganda.  The demonstrators exercised violence in various ways,
including burning tires, setting up road barricades, torching a petrol
station, and destroying other buildings.   Shops were closed and
transport was stopped.  Some people were beaten and/or killed.
Children were sent home from schools, and a number of medical
professionals even vacated the hospitals.

I left the capital city just before the rioting increased in severity.
 I only witnessed people running, yelling, and beating drums.  My
husband had remained in town to finalize everything, and we were going
to meet in a couple of hours.  I soon found out that the situation had
become severe and even military police had been sent into the town to
have all of the vehicles removed from the city so that none of them
could be set on fire.  Police were also firing bullets and releasing
tear gas.  I tried to call my husband, but I was unable to reach him
because the network was experiencing difficulties.  I could only pray
and trust that He was in the Lord's hands.  After about four hours, he
contacted me and told me he was hiding in the house of one of his
friends because the situation was very terrible.  He told me he did
not know when he would be able to leave because he had to wait for
things to calm down.  After about four more hours, he contacted me
again telling me he was going to try to walk home because the
situation was worsening.  With the Lord's help, he was able to run
quickly away from that area and safely reach the place where I was
staying.  When he finally reached me, we were both so grateful to see
each other safe and sound.

In spite of all the excitement of the day, I am all the more confident
that God is in control and will watch over my life.  I have found that
sometimes it takes extreme chaos to experience the overwhelming peace
of Jesus.  I have found that you may not know what true courage is
until you experience true fear.  I have found that only in our weakest
moments do we experience our strongest moments in Christ.  Finally, I
continue to be reminded that it is not what we feel on the inside but
what we know in our minds and in our hearts that keeps us steady in a
world of instabilities.  I am so thankful to have the Lord by my side
and his faithful promises in my mind and in my heart.

The riots are still continuing in some areas of Kampala, especially
the suburbs.  Uganda really needs prayer.  Please pray that this
situation is resolved and the rioting ends.  Pray for the safety and
protection of the Ugandan people.  11 innocent people have already
been killed as a result of the violent outbursts conducted today.  The
next couple of days are very crucial because Saturday is the day that
the king is to travel.  I pray that there is a peaceful resolution to
this issue.  Please also pray for Pastor Victor and I's safety.  We
are hoping to travel to Kyenjojo tomorrow.

 From Alissa's Mom, Vicki, early 9-12-09

I just spoke with Alissa, for now things seem to be calmer. They are planning to leave for Kyenjojo in the next hour. They had allowed buses earlier to kyenjojo, then stopped them because they said the situation worsened again, However, now they are allowing them to take buses again. Please pray that Alissa and Victor arrive safely.
They are planning a meeting between the king and the president to try to resolve the situation, Please pray that this will result in a peaceful relationship between these two tribes.
Thank you so much for your prayers, Alissa told me this morning that because Victor was in the area where the riots broke out, he had tear gas in his eyes and they stopped him and almost burnt his motorcycle, but because it did not have a government sticker on it, the rioters left him go. This motorcycle is very important to Alissa and Victor, they do not have money for another one. Thanks again for your prayers, they mean more than we can imagine. Blessings to all of you. Vicki