Taken to court

Beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning!  Isaiah 61:3

Our God is an awesome God, he can turn tears of sorrow into tears of joy.  I had made a simple reference in our August newsletter to “tough times with authorities” and now have the final report to share with you about those “tough times”.  If you noticed that phrase and took it to heart to pray, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  The Lord worked a miracle today (Friday) in the office of the sub-governor (whom I will call SP from now on) of the region across the river, in the town I visit each week.  What happened basically was this; a couple of weeks ago I was asked by the Turks, dear friends and missionary colleagues at Gamboula, if I could help them out by picking up the projector equipment for the Jesus film project that they have been helping out with for years, across the border there.  They needed to get the equipment to a safe storage place, as Past. B, who was in charge of showing the film and guarding the projector etc. when not in use, had just passed away.   He had a group of men who would travel with him and show the film, having been given permission for huge group gatherings by the Cameroon government under the umbrella of Campus/CRU Cameroon, but there was no leader chosen to take his place.  When 2 of the group members, one being Past. B’s son, B, heard that I had taken the equipment back across the border, they presented a ” letter of complaint” (basically suing me to force the return of the equipment) to the SP, who is the highest authority in that town.  After a couple of sessions with the SP’s secretary (with lots of ugly details I won’t go into here), once on my own and once with Leanne Turk, we finally ended up today, once again at the office, but this time with the actual SP himself.  We had brought along other members of the group who were upset with the suit, and we were all given a chance to testify.  I was the first one to speak, after the SP, reading from the complaint, asked where the “mean white woman who defied the SP’s demand for her to appear before him after having entered a private residence to steal film equipment from recently orphaned children still mourning their father’s death”.  I had to raise my hand and say, “I’m here”.  I was then given a chance to speak, and only by God’s grace did I get through it with my faulty French.  There were plenty of good words shared, including Past. B’s 16 year old son sharing his father’s deathbed request to get the equipment to safety with the Turks, and Leanne Turk’s request that we focus on sharing God’s word rather than fighting over a piece of metal. We were worried about the outcome, as experience with officialdom in Africa has not always been just or pleasant.  But God worked a miracle and the SP heard our testimonies and judged totally in favor of us.  He actually told the men suing us that they were fools to turn against their donors and supporters, people who loved them, and they should actually be ashamed for showing no respect and suing us and should instead be kneeling in front of us asking for forgiveness and thanking us for all the help over the years.  There were plenty of tears as two of Past. B’s sons (not at all involved but taking on the guilt of their brother who was) actually did kneel and ask forgiveness for the family, thanking me and Leanne profusely.  The meeting ended with the SP saying that the equipment needed to go where it would continue to be used to show the Jesus film, ie back to the Turks, (again with lots of protest from the two accusing us) and as we all stood and the SP made the rounds shaking our hands, he actually did the hand over the arm sign of respect with the handshake with me, and asked me to forgive the government’s involvement in what happened to me/us and added “God bless you”.  It was an amazing ending to a frightening experience.  Please pray for Past B’s son, B, who never came near us as we came out and left the meeting without greeting anyone as all the rest of did.  He was found beating up his two sisters back at his house, taking out his wrath on them.  We only can hope and pray that God will touch his heart for he is a lost and hurting soul right now.

So thankful for Past. B’s life and his sons who stood up for what is right, in opposition to one brother and in the presence of overwhelming authority

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About danforth

As Covenant missionaries, we are working with all the tribal groups of the Central African Republic (CAR) but are trying to give special attention to the Fulani, a Musxlim, cattle herding, and semi-nomadic people group. We live on an experimental/training farm, near a mission station which has a hospital plus bible and nursing schools. We are establishing relationships with the local people groups through compassion ministries; Roy through agriculture and Aleta through public health and visitation, in order, ultimately, to share the good news of Jesus the Messiah with them. CAR is one of the least developed countries in the world and is currently in continual crisis (since the coup in March 2013), so reaching out in compassion is key to reaching their hearts. Due to the ongoing conflict and resultant ethnic cleansing in CAR, we are crossing the border to interact with our Fulani contacts.
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