Saturday, September 12, 2009
The Riots in Kampala
It doesn't take much of a spark to ignite years of discontent simmering just below the surface. The King of the Buganda people was prevented from visiting part of his territory by the Ugandan government...the Buganda people got mad...next thing you know, cars are burning,
shops are looted,
people are dying.
Our newest YWAM staff members...the Fielders, a family from Coventry, UK...had just arrived in Uganda with their 3 teenage kids. They were in the base vehicle with Yolam, a YWAM Arua staff member, and had stopped in Kampala to pick up some supplies before heading up to Arua.
Without warning, the vehicles in front of them started turning around and driving back the way they'd come from. A crowd of people started fleeing after the vehicles and before they knew it, the vehicle was surrounded by people running and shouting.
Someone stopped next to their car and jabbed the air next to the window, shouting, "You whites! Go back to your country. We don't want you here!"
This family just spent the last 18 months reorganizing their lives in the UK to be able to uproot and transplant themselves here in Uganda. They gave up their home, their car, their possessions...the last thing they needed to hear on jet-lagged arrival was "Go home."
But people are not themselves at times like these. Some demonic kind of mob mentality takes over and people do and say crazy things.
Apparently rioters stopped women, and those wearing skirts were let go, and those wearing trousers were stripped of their clothes. What exactly does wearing trousers have to do with the Kabaka not being allowed to visit Kayunga district?
Some missionary friends of ours from Arua drove to Kampala yesterday morning to take their son to the orthodontist. They didn't realize the gravity of the situation in Kampala until they came into town and drove along the empty, rubble-strewn streets. They counted 35 burning tires that they had to maneuver around. Thankfully they got to their guest house safely and hunkered down to wait.
Please pray for the situation in Kampala, and for the love of Jesus to transform these lives.
Please pray for the Fielders (who reached Arua safely!) as they settle in to the YWAM base and begin adjusting to life in Uganda. Their heart is to start a ministry to the deaf...see www.deafconnections.blogspot.com
Please pray for our missionary friends who are planning to drive back up to Arua tomorrow.
(Photos taken from Associated Press pics posted on the Guardian link above.)