When the whole situation with the van fire escalated to having an arrest a couple of months ago many of us at the mission exhaled a bit in relief. I wish things were simple enough here that people accepted due process and were willing to let the justice system work. They aren’t though.
Over the past however many months it’s been now since the fire many of our workers have had to put up with harassment from the community, or rather certain people in the community. It’s been very hard for our employees because people here really care about what others think and say about them.
We are taking steps that will allow us to make more progress with our case. We think that those steps have made some people realize that this will not be dropped and that it is being taken seriously by people higher up. It won’t just slide and people won’t just be let go as was anticipated. Because of this the level of harassment has increased.
A couple months ago some of the workers being most affected by this were ready to throw in the towel, to separate themselves from the situation and be of no help, because they thought it would make life easier for them. Chris had many conversations along the lines of needing to present a unified front to send the message that this kind of thing isn’t a healthy or wanted way of going about life. We spent a lot of time praying for our workers, that they would have a change of heart.
Yesterday evening one of them came to our house to talk. Things have escalated again to a point where something should be done, but we can’t make those choices for people. Last night one particular family that has been most affected by this made a decision to pursue a legal process, which you can do here, to make it stop. Chris and I told them they have whatever support we can offer them, that we will help them however we can.
I’m really happy about this. We have known for a while that if there is to be any change on a community level here that it can’t just be us that fight against this. Standing up against threats is a very, very hard thing to do here. The stand that this family is taking is an incredibly important one, but a very scary one for them.
Please be praying for our staff, and for this whole situation. Pray that things will work in their favor, that those that are threatening them will once and for all realize that it needs to stop, pray for the right lawyers and others to be involved, and pray that we all have wisdom around the whole situation. And most of all pray for God’s hand of protection and an overwhelming sense of peace over all of them.