The security situation in Luanza deteriorated rapidly at the beginning of the week. The population from the three neighbouring villages fled to Luanza, as two different rebel groups fought each other and attacked villagers. Our brother Jean-Claude also received another direct threat and left the village.
Sadly, it meant that military intervention was the only remaining option, and I met with senior military for the area. On Wednesday I travelled to Luanza with a large number of soldiers, who are now providing the much needed security for the village.
When we arrived the fear was tangible, people were either hiding or preparing to flee. Jean-Claude was gone and the hospital closed. I went and found him hiding in another village and was able to bring him back. By the time we got back there were injured people lying on the hospital steps who had just been attacked. They would have died on those steps if Jean-Claude hadn’t had the courage to come back and work into the early hours of the morning.
We were too late for some. A family of seven tried to escape by boat and drowned just before we arrived, others were killed in the fighting. The military leader said he can see the village would be empty and the hospital looted if we hadn’t come that day.
We gathered a large number of soldiers and preached the gospel to them, thanked them for coming and asked that they don’t trouble the people in any way. Nearly all of them took gospel literature. The senior military officers spent an hour asking me questions about our faith and doctrine. We also took the opportunity to preach the gospel in the village and to visit our much loved brothers and sisters.
In the midst of so much sorrow, we thank God for the encouragement of souls saved, marriages restored and the grace of God at work in many lives.
That’s all that can be said in a public forum but please pray for our brothers and sisters in Luanza. They are under intense pressure and doing their best to keep going.