Thursday, September 24, 2009
Victims of the LRA attacks have said that they will often attack on Sunday mornings, as the villagers are gathering to churches like the Roman Catholic one below (I took the photo in South Sudan while staffing there; it was during this time that the LRA had crossed into Sudan for the first time then)
In an article entitled "Fear level rises as LRA rebels return", the public once again becomes aware of one of the longest and most gruesome ongoing conflicts in the world. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8259039.stm]
It is so sad to receive news (which is very often quite late in this part of the world) once again of the notoriously scattered and decentralized Lord's Resistance Army now regathering its forces in the Central African Republic, terrorizing rural villages all the way from its original headquarters in north Uganda.
Let us keep in prayer to halt this spiritual carnage of the enemy that has manifested itself in the physical for many generations now. I believe a major part in getting to the roots of Africa's conflicts has to do with addressing the false worldview and culture of fear/submission the majority of peoples grow up in. It is well known that Joseph Kony and his field commanders in the LRA and other 'rebels without a cause' receive power to allude national armies and continue in their destructive agenda from demons and forces of darkness. There is a covenant they knowingly make with the demonic world which enables the devil to use them to "steal, kill and destroy" in exchange for access to supernatural powers. People, including Christians, still live in fear of these demonic powers to this day, despite being preached to about Jesus overcoming the power of the evil one. These terrible conflicts continue to rage on in large part because Christians in rural Africa largely are not aware of their authority in Christ Jesus. How else can you explain church services being repeatedly broken up and many believers being killed without knowing why? As believers, all over the world, we must know we are daily in an intense spiritual battle, and yet the Spirit is always waiting, willing to show His power as the Lord of Hosts leading on His angelic infantry...
Let us intercede on behalf of these defenseless ones who have only received a partial Gospel, boldly approaching the throne of grace, uniting our prayers with the Great Intercessor, Jesus Himself. For there is no power greater on the face of this earth than the living out of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 John 4:4). Let us pray for light of this Truth to be shed in the darkness of these regions, for wherever true light shines, the darkness must flee...Let us pray for the Lord's warriors to rise up in their authority in Christ Jesus, the Victorious One, to cut at the root the schemes of the evil one.
More reflections on this later...
Friday, September 11, 2009
Two days ago I came across this online article that gives a great history of the ongoing civil conflict in what the outside world knows as Somalia since its disintegration in 1991. It is entitled "Somalia: Who is Fighting Whom"
As you can see from the basic map above, in recent years Somalia, though just as ethnically united as ever, has split up along ideological lines into three fairly distinct regions. Without a doubt, the remaining Somalia of the south is still the most chaotic and violent, with a continued outflow of refugees over the border into neighboring Kenya. It is in this region of NE Kenya that the UNHCR has seen it necessary to set up a network of camps to meet the basic needs of the increasing refugees. It is also this region that Thandeka and I are praying about taking a portion of the next DTS to in December of this year. While 90% of the refugees are Somali nationals, there are also a number of Ethiopians and Sudanese mixed in who I know meet together for fellowship and Bible study on a regular basis.
This is an exciting possibility for us as a new couple, especially since it is on the doorstep of our long-term vision of discipling southern Sudanese to reach the unreached specifically in the Horn of Africa region. We are expecting 30 students, including 2 married couples and a Kenyan brother, which will be one of the largest YWAM Muizenberg has had in many years! We are full of expectation for what God has in store for us as a Body and through individual revelation of WHo He is.