Today (Monday) has been yet another saga in a rather interesting week. It all started last Wednesday afternoon. When Tiffany and I got home from church around 6pm, we discovered that our house had been broken into. We were missing a good number of high price electronic items including Tiffany's computer, MP3 player, and camera, a generator that I had purchased for the clinic, a full-size keyboard that I was babysitting for a missionary on furlough, my cell phone, and a large backpack. One of the national preachers was notified that evening and he gathered the men of the church and some other men with tracking know-how. They spent the night blocking the paths out of the village and searching the neighborhoods for evidence. By morning, they had discovered the culprits and some of the stolen items.
Now for some background information. There are two clans in our village of Kiari. One is KVK and is where the church and mission station are located. The other is Kensa. There is almost constant tension between the two clans. The majority of our church is from KVK, although we have a few families from Kensa. The Kensa group are quick to notice any perceived slights and feel strongly that we favor KVK. KVK feels that we are their missionaries and resent Kensa benefiting from our presence at all.
The thieves were all from Kensa. One of the thieves, probably the ringleader, was a former student at our Christian school. He was angry with us because he was expelled earlier this year. Another thief was a present student. This meant that they were familiar with our house and with our dog. Unfortunately, the whole incident just added fuel to the fire of the KVK versus Kensa battle. Even though all the stolen items were recovered, the village council (like a mayor) wanted to bring police from our province capital to thoroughly deal with the situation. Sounds good, but the council is from KVK and was hoping to get back at Kensa in this way. Confused yet? It's a bit mind-boggling.
Today, a girl came to the clinic with a broken arm. She is from Kensa and was accompanied by a number of her friends and relatives. When KVK realized what was going on, a number of them also showed up at the clinic shouting at the Kensa group and waving their bush knives. They basically thought it was pretty bald-faced of them to break into our home and then expect to get medical care from us. A fight probably would have erupted right in our yard, but Randy Smith, the senior missionary here, sent them all away while I splinted the girl's arm. There was some more shouting and such down in the village, but nothing too serious developed.
At any rate, we are completely safe. We ourselves were never in danger. There is always some danger to our possessions, but no one wishes to hurt us. The big prayer request in all of this is that the Lord will use it for His glory. We have no desire to see the KVK-Kensa dispute further strengthened because of this incident. We keep stressing that we are missionaries to all of Kiari, not one particular clan, but the clan mindset of the people makes it hard for them to understand that. Please also pray for the two teen boys who were involved in the robbery Jeremiah and Jonathan. They have both made professions of faith in the past, but their present actions are certainly calling that into question. Please pray that the Lord will use this to draw them back to Himself.