African Update: December 16, 2013,
Dear Pastor Ed, Family, Friends, and Prayer Partners,
WAWA! West Africa Wins Again. This poor little country of Guinea Bissau seems to be imploding rapidly. Your prayers are urgently needed. Only God can straighten this mess out. It is all quite humorous if one can only stand back a bit from the situation. Lots of crazy things are going on. I often say “Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.” Hopefully this is the case here. Some of what I am reporting may not be 100 % accurate due to rumor and translation difficulties.
Hummm, where to start? The country has become the main pipeline for cocaine from S. America to Europe. Now the news is saying that it is a pipeline for human trafficking too. Poor parents here send many of their children into slavery in surrounding countries under the false promises of a “Koranic Education”. Much money is made off them by their teachers/ handlers. Last week over 70 Syrian refuges with fake passports were placed on a TAP Air Portugal plane and the crew was forced, at gun point, to fly them to Portugal. As is to be expected, Tap Air Portugal is now refusing to fly into Guinea Bissau. Rumor has it that over $350,000. exchanged hands over the deal. http://www.theportugalnews.com/news/tap-suspends-flights-to-guinea-bissau-following-serious-breach-in-security/30130
Apparently the interim government has been collecting taxes and fees and making sure that the money gets into the bank instead of into various government officials pockets. (This is a good thing.) However, the bank is refusing to pay the money back out to the government due to numerous past loans which have remained unpaid. So the government does not have the money to pay it’s employees. Now all the public employees are on strike because they haven’t been paid in three months. All public transport is on strike in support of the government workers. Most everything is closed including the hospitals. post offices, and businesses. People can’t get to work even if they wanted to.
On a personal level, our return plane ticket is with TAP Air Portugal. Getting home may be “interesting”. One of my favorite church ladies and member of the Women’s Sewing Group by the name of Tia Guida, was in the hospital up until today when it closed. John can’t mail his reports to our book keeper back in the States, And, of course, the license for the radio station cannot be issued as the government offices are closed. Our internet is over the cell phone system which has it’s offices in Bissau, the capital city. who knows how long they can remain operational.
So there is a lot to pray for. Remember “We war not against flesh and blood…Ephesians 6: 12.” Your prayers are greatly needed and deeply appreciated.
Your Sister in Christ Jesus,