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December 2008 / January 2009

Chaos In Jos !!

The news from Nigeria is very bad. Beginning on Thursday, Nov. 27th, the day that we in America celebrate as a day of Thanksgiving, the media is reporting over 400 deaths in Jos from religious killings between Muslim and Christians. The messages I have received from our friends in Jos are very disturbing: "There has been a bad religious killing burnings and looting by Muslims. Churches homes etc burnt. The twins house and car burnt. U know Rayfield is usually ok. Situation is not just bad, it is terrifyingly (sp) unbelievable. Most of my people in rikkos, nasarawa, congo, bauchi rd r in their houses r eith.." and then the message ended. The ‘twins' had to be rescued by the military from a Muslim's home who had given them shelter. This Good Samaritan was himself threatened by the Muslim extremists for sheltering ‘infidels'. It has also been confirmed that over 1500 young Muslim men from neighboring states have been arrested for participating in and inciting the riotous violence. Is it a coincidence that this violence occurred at the same time as the more publicized Mumbai attacks in India?

The following are excerpts, verbatim, from an eyewitness account of the rioting in Jos.

AND ONCE MORE, JOS GOES UP IN FLAMES!

At this moment, it is difficult to say what exactly happened to sparked off this mayhem. That is who started it, meaning who provoked who!! But it is very clear that the destruction started within the Hausa-Moslem community in the heart of the city, just beside the central mosque at about 11pm on Thursday night. The men went on rampage on a presumed election result that is yet awaited and yet anticipated. Even at this moment, no one knows who has won the chairmanship seat. The news of the attack started spreading at about 12 am Friday morning,..by 5 am, at least 20 houses were burning! And a quick assessment showed that the Muslim (Hausa) men were attacking the Christian residents. The police were out on the streets when I got to the Terminus area of the centre of Jos, but it seems they were simply standing at a safe distance, completely unsure of what to do. Meanwhile more and more houses and churches were going up in flames; the fires were spreading more rapidly.

I walked Tina Junction, Bauchi Ring Rd and there followed the trail of a smoke rising in the sky, I then came to a house that was burning. A short distance from the house laid the body of a young man, Friday by name, who had been macheted to death. I spoke to the community head and a young man whose friend was killed. The story of the attacked is consistent all through, the Muslim boys were armed, prepared, and organized in their attack, and from the wave of the attacks it seems they want to over run the Christian community in the area.

The rumour that is fast spreading is that the Muslims outside Jos are preparing another attack because their fellow muslims have reported on the CNN at to other international media that the Christians are wiping out the Muslims in Jos. So they are coming as back up squads and are armed.

The town is beginning to smell, well at least some part of it. The government is working tirelessly to=2 0bring a sense of normalcy. The ministry of housing and environment is tirelessly trying to clear the dead on the streets as well as remove burnt vehicles. Well the local media houses in Jos have entered a code of silence. There was a gross under reporting of the happening as if trying to wish away all the chaos on the streets. BBC and CNN were having a field day reporting, either what they were told or what little they could see from a long distance and the stories are grossly distorted.

As of the time of writing this report, I have seen eight churches burnt down and two pastors reportedly killed. It is still difficult to ascertain the accurate number of people killed generally because there are still a number of people missing, no one knows if they are dead or have simply fled to safety or are in a hospital some where. In the Chwel Nyap area alone I was given a record of 140 houses burnt or destroyed all with the properties and businesses of their owners.

News Via Email

If you would like to read the full account of this eyewitness report as well as links to other accounts of the mayhem in Jos, we invite you to log onto our web site at www.Dorcasmedical.org. Also, if you would like to begin receiving our newsletters via email, just let us know either by email or snail mail and we will gladly add you to our online recipients.

Uneasy Peace

As of my last contact with the brethren in Jos, the 18th of this month, things were returning to an uneasy state of normalcy with people once again venturing out to the markets for food and supplies. However, the markets have been destroyed and many of the merchants are fearful of returning so food is in short supply. There are still over 3000 people, it is reported in the news, in camps that have not been able to return to their homes. One of the pastors that we work with texted me to say that 57 members of his fellowship had lost everything, homes, cars, and businesses to fire during the rioting. There is still a dusk to dawn curfew and the military are patrolling the streets. Please continue to pray with us for the safety of our brothers and sisters and the restoration of peace.

February Outreach?

So what of February you ask? Well, as of this writing, Sarah and I feel that this is not the year for her and the kids to go. In 2006, when we were notified 4 days before our departure that there were riots in Maduguri , we had complete peace about going. Not so this time. So they will not be traveling with me on this outreach. However, I have peace within my heart for my journey so I am still making preparation for our usual medical clinics as well as the continuing follow-up of obtaining the land in Yauiri. There is still $2000 remaining in needed expenses for this trip that we have not either received or been pledged. We ask you to prayerfully consider helping us to meet this need as we continue to fulfill the passion of our calling.

Seasons Greetings
We want to take this opportunity to extend to all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed and Happy New Year.

Larry, Sarah,
Robert, Lauren,
Kristen

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