- My father, Abel Ndjerareou, made it to Paris from Madagascar and is currently flying to Douala, Cameroon. From there he will take a flight to another city and then drive to Kousseri and meet up with Reuben.
- Reuben and Pastor Christophe did a head count at the church and there are 786 people currently. This includes 80 families. There are other churches in the area that have people as well and Pastor Christophe is sharing resources with them. Reuben has been taking pictures of the food distribution and will send me pictures when he can. I will post them as soon as I get them.
- Reuben and Pastor Christophe plan on doing another head count tonight as well as trying to count people in other locations.
- When I spoke with Reuben, he was at the border crossing and he said it was packed with people heading back into N'djamena. There are those who can't afford to stay in Kousseri because of the lack of resources. There are those who have decided to go back to assess the situation and have sent their families to the south of Chad or further into Cameroon. Many of the Exxon workers have opted to send their families further into Cameroon while they go back to work.
- The N'djamena cellular networks and banks are still down and because of the bombing of the market (picture above with a man on bicycle) food is difficult to come by. There is also a curfew in N'djamena from dusk until dawn. Dead bodies that litter the streets are being removed. I was listening to some foreign radio coverage and there is now a growing concern of disease. That's all I have for right now and will elaborate more if and when I get some concrete news.
- There is still a large population left in Kousseri. I have been trying to get an estimation of the numbers from either the Red Cross or the U.N. but have been unable to. The consistent number that I had seen in the last few days had been 20,000 people crossed he border into Cameroon when this all started. Not sure what the number is now since there are masses of people moving around. If anybody has heard any estimated numbers of refugees please let me know what it is and the source and I will post it.
- The donations you have sent has been helping out tremendously. A donor sent $500 directly to Pastor Christophe yesterday via Western Union. Thank you so much. I also have been sending money that I have received. Reuben and Christophe have asked me to send it in specific measured amounts so they can adequatley use the money and also so they won't be a target of theft. There is no secure place to store the money. So as the money dwindles they let me know. We are doing ok for our reserves right now. I say that with caution as I don't know what the next few days hold. We have raised with pledges - $4, 321.00. Again thank you. I will be sending a report to those of you who have given money so you have an idea of where your money is, whether it has been sent yet or not. Reuben is working on a report to detail what the money has been spent on or who it has been passed on to. Reuben has given me some details but I will wait until I get a better picture and let Reuben and Christophe do the much needed work on the ground that there is yet to do.
- Reuben was able to recieve a paycheck from Exxon so he has been helping our immediate family with that.
- The political situation is as vague as before. The government is in control of the city as reported by the majority of the foreign press. There are rumors that the rebels have received reinforcements and are regrouping. We will wait and see.
- School has not restarted of course and some are predicting that the school year will be commpletely lost. "Annee Blanche" as it is referred to in French. I remember this well becuase when I was a freshman at the Evangelical High School in N'djamena there was an "Annee Blanche". That's hard to watch as many students have worked very hard up to this point.
Again the situation remains fluid and I will update as much as possible. I cannont thank all of you enough for the help and support especially through prayer. I have been reminded many times this week of when Jesus fed the multitudes and how a little gift of food given by a boy full of faith was multiplied to feed thousands. I am seeing a 21st century example of this and all of you have given in faith and it has had a direct impact!
This has been very humbling and amazing to be a recepient of grace and gifts. I have, over the last few years in my adult life, have been so used to being the one who has given financially and has helped out. Now God has orchestrated life in such a way that the current situation surpasses my abilities and has reminded me who really is in charge and who really owns my life.
A friend of mine shared this passage of scripture with me today and I would like to share it with you. Isaiah 46 (especially verses 1-8).