Before I left their city, several of my students and I hiked up a mountain, from which we could see across the border to the town where we lived together from January through May. During the next week, which I spent in the north, I also enjoyed beautiful scenery of mountains and rivers. I ate delicious food at many restaurants, and enjoyed seeing local sights.
More sobering were my visits to two IDP camps. IDP’s, “internally displaced persons”, are similar to refugees, except that they are still within the borders of their own country. I was moved and saddened to see the crowded, primitive conditions under which these IDP’s have been living for years. Please pray that the conflict would soon end, so that they can return to their home villages. Please pray for their health, as tuberculosis is spreading rapidly among them. Please pray for their children’s schooling; many are currently not being educated due to lack of funds and limited opportunities. Please pray for the young adults, who would like to marry but have no jobs and no place to build a home. Please pray that the IDP’s would find employment, which most don’t presently have. One IDP I met is missing a foot due to a terrible motorcycle accident while she was seeking work, and the son of another IDP I met drowned as he was attempting to collect drifting logs to use as firewood. Please pray for the provision of trauma counseling needed by many who are developing significant psychological disturbances after living through such hardship.
In the north, I also visited the denominational headquarters that represents the majority of the tribe I’ve been working with. Almost every day, I taught English and/or singing at their youth training program, which I found quite gratifying. At the denominational seminary, I gave a talk to all the music students, and directed their choir during chapel service. I sang and played piano at a large church on Sunday. I’m now in the capital city, where I have shared my testimony and violin music at a prayer meeting. As I prepare to leave the country, I’m grateful for your continued prayers.