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October / November 2010

My apologies for the failure to get out a report last month. I was faced with two problems. First the printer went south and secondly,   I have had a very difficult time putting this letter into words. Part of this, I am sure, is because of what I have to report.

As I write this, Sunday, October 31st, I am not on a plane traveling to Nigeria to conduct our normal Fall Outreach. No, I am sitting at my desk at home planning next year's outreach and missing not being there now. I was notified by some of the team members in Nigeria several weeks ago that it was too dangerous to travel in Nigeria and especially to the bush. They stated that they themselves were not comfortable going out to the villages at this time. The reason for the unrest? Well, there are several but I have found that the radicals that rule Islam today do not really need an excuse for their agenda of violence and mayhem.

Reasons, Smeasons
The first reason that was offered, back in September when I was first notified, was because of the threatened burning of the Koran by the pastor in Florida. Apparently, had that taken place as scheduled, reprisals were threatened at the Christian community there in Nigeria and of course toward any Americans who might be found. Secondly, there is a radical fringe group in Maiduguri who last year started riots in July/August, targeting police and Christians. Their organization's name means ‘Western Education is Evil' and they had threatened renewed violence on the anniversary of last year's rioting, and of the 9/11 observances. Finally, Nigeria is facing Presidential elections in January. The current President, who was the Vice President, has only been in power a few months after taking office due to the death of his predecessor. He is, however, a Christian and is considering running for reelection to the office to serve his own full term. This however has caused great angst among the Muslims who do not wish to have another Christian President so soon. The President who died was Muslim, but he had only been in office a short time before his death having succeeded a Christian President who had served 2, four year terms. So the Muslims are wreaking havoc around the country hoping to force the Christian President out of the race by showing him that the country would be ungovernable were he to win.

Looking Ahead
As a result of all of this, the unrest in the country is quite high right now. The news that we are able to monitor via the Web also show this to be true. In addition, the reports that our brethren in Nigeria continue to send us confirm the reports from the internet, including the fact that the military has been patrolling the streets of Maiduguri to maintain law and order. The sad truth is that a very volatile condition remains in this country especially along the Jos-Bauchi-Maiduguri corridor through which I must travel in-country to reach our area of work. So with sadness and regret I must postpone this month's trip and set my sights on next year when hopefully the election turmoil will have subsided along with the other unrest and there will be an acceptable calm and freedom to travel once again.

Next Year Rescheduled
Regarding next year's outreach, it appears that I will be traveling there in mid-April rather than mid-February as has been the case these past 15 years. The reason being that I have been informed that the pastor's conference normally scheduled for the first of March has been moved to the end of April. Since we always try to coordinate our spring outreach with the P&M Conference we will adjust our travel plans accordingly. I will have more info as to the exact dates of travel next month as I am able to look closer at the schedule. As always, we welcome your participation on this outreach. Just let us know via the enclosed Prayer Request your desire to go and we will forward the necessary information that you will need.

Our Thanks to You
Speaking on behalf of all of us, Sarah, Robert, Lauren, Kristen and myself, may we ever be thankful for all of God blessings and provisions on our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving

Your Servants In Christ,
            Larry - Sarah