21 Jan 2010

21 01 2010

Today is the fifth day of the latest crisis in Jos.  We are more relaxed today than the previous days and I thought I would try to write about our experience from inside the 8 foot cement walls of our guarded compound.  In other words, we are safe here, but it didn’t change the tension and stress that we felt as it happened around us.

As the news of violence and destruction filtered in, I became very discouraged at how human beings can treat each other.  The news immediately labels these conflicts as Muslim vs. Christian, but it is really more complicated than that, involving issues related to tribes, land, power, poverty and hopelessness.  Most faithful Muslim and Christian people are frustrated and saddened knowing people are using violence in the name of God.  Nigerians will frequently apologize to us for the actions of their people.

There were two days of listening to gunshots that sometimes came too close and too frequently for comfort and also seeing/smelling the black smoke of burning buildings.  It was surreal and stressful, but it gave us an awareness of what people in war zone cities endure day after day.  Even though we are doing nothing all day, we find ourselves exhausted at the end of the day.  Without realizing it, the heightened awareness and stress become exhausting.

Today the 24 hour curfew was eased and people are allowed out from 10 am to 5 pm.  Most Nigerians do not have freezers, refrigerators and regular power, so obtaining food and water is a daily event.  With a 24 hour curfew for the past two days many have to get by with very little. Even with the curfew lifted for a few hours today, most shops are still closed, supplies are limited, and there are very few fresh fruits and vegetables to be found since they have to be transported in from outside of the city.

Gary and a couple of neighbors ventured out to a nearby store to stock up on supplies. It is only about a mile away, but it took 20+ minutes to get there through 2 security check points.  People using taxis, a main source of transportation, had to get out of the car, walk through the check point with their hands up, wait while the taxi was checked out then reload the car.

You may be wondering how our kids our doing?  They seem to be fine.  We play games and watch movies.  However, they are not shielded from all the information coming at them.   As we communicate with our guards and neighbors they hear details.  We see their stress in outbursts and arguments over little things.  Jordan is a worrier, like her mom, and is concerned for the innocent people who are in harm’s way.   So far, we know of two Hillcrest staff have lost homes and possessions from the burning.

We  have had opportunities to pray with our girls, help them through their confusion and anxieties by showing them our hope and trust in God’s sovereignty even during times of trouble. Please continue to pray with us for peace to return to Jos and Plateau State, for comfort and strength for Nigerians facing loss of family, homes and businesses, and for opportunities to reach out in compassion to those around us.

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17 responses

13 12 2010
Rick Kwitkoski

Just found your blog today and have left a few comments on other posts.
It has been almost 30 years since I was in Nigeria. “Muslim – Christian” tensions were always present but never like what has happened in recent years. With my own experiences I attempted to convey to people here that the conflict was only Muslim-Christian in name and was really about tribal and land usage.
Your pics show what western news media do not. Thank you.

11 03 2010
Lisa Dean

Kimberly and family, hope you are doing alright. I’m glad you’re all safe and sound. Please know that many are thinking of you and praying for you. You really should use your facebook more often. I guess being in Nigeria you’re not hearing that it is the thing to do. I’m teasing. But really, if you guys get bored there are lots of free games to play. They can really help get your mind off a stressful situation too. At least with the everyday stressful situations that occur on Camano Island. Hardly the same as what you’re going through! Anyway, we all love you.

24 02 2010
Kelly Schlichtmann

Shout out to Africa. We miss you so much. I hope things are going better there. I am sending you a care package and wanted to know if there is anything you need. I can guess what the girls would like. You are on my heart.

2 02 2010
Erika Callies

Just want you to know you are in our prayers. Keep safe and God bless you all. Miss you and hope to hear more soon.

30 01 2010
Gina

I just realized that I could get to you through Ryan and Jill.
You have been on my heart as I heard about the news in Jos, even before I read your post. I will be praying for your family for safety and that God’s word will not return to you void.

26 01 2010
Kris Kramer

May God be your Protector and a very present help in times of trouble.

25 01 2010
Christy Headrick

What an amazing experience that your family is living through right now! I can’t even imagine the many emotions that must filter through your minds each day, and yet your strength endures. What an awesome and mighty God we serve!! He is with you and within you, and He’s giving you the peace and comfort needed to survive the devastating things you all are hearing and seeing. Thank you so much for keeping us up to date with all that’s happening, it is such an honor and privilege to pray for your family! Love you and miss you!

24 01 2010
Karen McMillan

Praying for your safety. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Your strength is amazing to me. For you to look beyond the strife and know there is a purpose for you there is amazing.
blessings, Karen

23 01 2010
Mona

Thank goodness you all are safe. Unable to go to Eagle Crest this week..details to follow.

23 01 2010
Sandy Solis

Glad to hear you’re doing okay, in spite of all that is going on around you. I cannot imagine the stress this would impose on all of you.

Thanks for keeping us updated.

22 01 2010
buck nunn

Praise the Lord you are all well. Got a note from Salome and one from Jim and they are OK also. Thanks for the updates.

21 01 2010
Judi Seegert

It is so good to get your updates by email and on your blog. Thank you so very much. It helps us as we pray and keeps us connected to you in the process. I have forwarded your emails to all of Jim and Salome’s supporters. Since we haven’t heard from Jim, your news is a great help to us. Love and prayers, Judi

21 01 2010
Amy Perkins

Thank you so much for keeping us updated. Last night for the first time we saw the Nigerian situation reported on TV. I’d been wondering how people would get food with 24 hour curfews. So sorry about the staff who have lost homes. I’ve certainly had your girls in mind and prayers as well as you adults at this stressful time. Amy

21 01 2010
Clem family

Hi there, we’re so thankful to know you’re okay, thanks for keeping us up-to-date. Hugs from the Clems 🙂

21 01 2010
Virginia

We have been praying and will continue to pray, we thank and praise God for his protection for you, we love you and miss you.

21 01 2010
Norma

Gary and family

Praying for your safety as well as the safety of all the peoples, and praying for peace in the region and the world.

21 01 2010
Sara

Thanks for the update, Uncle Gary. I’m glad the family is keeping safe and that things seem to be letting up for now. You are all in my thoughts and I look forward to your continued updates and insights. ❤




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