Friday, February 25, 2011

Tension in the Air

Last weekend I wrote about various events that took place here in the slum where we live and work.

Two innocent males were killed by the police (one being a 17 year old teenager).  Shortly after their deaths, many protests and fights broke out between the police and the people living in the community. People claimed to be angry at the police for killing innocent people and frustrated with the abuse of authority by the police. This was mainly happening in another area of the slum, about a 10 minute walk from the Lighthouse.

This week there has been a strong presence of police in the various regions of the slum.
Below is a photo of some people doing a demonstration against the police.  The banner that they are carrying says, "The police come up the hill to kill innocent people, not to protect the population."
 
During the various demonstrations there have actually been fights, verbally and physically, between the people and the police.  I saw a news report where people were throwing rocks at the police and the police responded by shooting rubber bullets. Needless to say, there has been much tension here this week.

Several demonstrations have happened where people also burned down city buses.  Three city buses were burned down total...

Felipe took this photo from our window of a bus burning in the slum.  This happened about 10:30 last Sunday night.

Because of the attack on the buses, the buses that usually take people through the slum and into the city stopped running for most of the week, effecting everyone in the community who depends on the public transportation system.  Suddenly many people were with out a way to get to work, school, ect.  The bus routes were stopped due to the fear that more buses would be set on fire.  Just today the buses resumed the normal routes through the slum.  

Thankfully, at the moment, things seem to be settling down a bit.  The demonstrations have stopped and helicopters are not circling around the slum as much as they were.  There is still a strong presence of police men in the streets carrying large guns and standing at the bus stops.  This gives the community an overall sense of fear and tension, yet the government says they are doing this to protect the people.

The latest shocking news happened today.  One of the police men, who was involved in the killing of the two innocent citizens, committed suicide early this morning.  This police man was actually in prison (for his crime) and the suicide occurred there in his jail cell...

Please continue to pray with us that God would bring His PEACE into this situation and into the slum. Many of the events that have taken place during the last week are extremely complicated.  There are so many factors which contribute to the mess that has been going on here in the slum, yet our God is greater!

During the week, we have been praying a lot for the community.  Just this morning we had a time of worship outside in the Lighthouse park looking out over the slum.   As we sang about God's never failing love, amazing grace, and victory, we were declaring it over the people in the slum and those in need of Him.

  We welcome God into this community and pray for His Kingdom to Come and for Him to Reign...  My God is mighty to save and nothing is impossible with Him!

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