Peter, Yashmeet and Anmol were due to head back on the 7th but have postponed to the 15th. Bro Vinogee - their Elder in the Assembly they attend - has already returned with his family and says that they have 4000 police in the area they live in - but that food and supplies are scarce - and very expensive.
The vicious cruelty being meted out is hard to believe. What a broken and messed up world we inhabit. We have our own sets of cruelties of course - and our prayers continue for the unspoken and forgotten people in Orissa who continue to hide in the forests for fear of returning to their burnt homes and churches.
To be safe. To have security. Its what we all want and crave for.
Though we have relative freedom and safety here in Thane / Mumbai - even that is not to be taken for granted. Early in the morning on New Years day a mob of 70 odd men molested two women who had just come out of a swanky hotel with their husbands (click: here). It was only passing press photographers who shot the scenes and called the police that stopped the frenzy. How many other incidents take place without at Hindusthan Times photographer stepping in?
At the most basic level - we have only our Lord.
As a family we pray for safety for Asha and Enoch - and ask God that our home will be an ark of refuge for them and for others. But we know that times of violence are here and will continue to come. Our prayer is that our Asha will see the hope that is there and our Enoch will understand what it means to be dedicated.
To close - an email that our dear friend John Forbes just forwarded to us. This family writes from where over 30 people were burned to death after seeking refuge in a church. Please pray for them and countless others in the great land of Kenya.
From: Tom & Hellen Malande email@example.com
Sent: Wed, 2 Jan 2008 3:29 am
Subject: Update from Tom and Hellen
For many years our country Kenya has celebrated the honour of those who died in the struggle for independence and somehow worked hard for over fourty years to fight what has made it famous around the world namely-ignorance, sickness and poverty!
Today we are ashamed of what is happenning since the election was held on 27th of December 2007. The country is messy as I write. We are at the main gate of Violence and no one seems to know how to deal with difficult situation, meaning that education and civility has been shelved!
Hellen and I together with our Children, an American volunteer couple and five families that make a total of 31 people have been indoors since the election night. Houses are being burnt within a radius of 1 kilometer from where we are and that includes the church in which people were burnt. Men have run away from the area and we cannot move when we see neighbours wives and children crowd our sitting room for protection that only God can give.
One thing we have opted to do is to be still and see the Salvation of the Lord. We study the scriptures and sing gospel praise even though we get tempted to grieve. We have decided to be strong for everyone in the house though our hearts push to sink to the shoe!
We called the U.S. Embassy to alert them of the American couple and we are in touch. The couple is fine and everyone too.
We are asking that you keep praying for us. The story of Elijah is true to us as it was to him. Thousands of youth that torch houses come in three waves and pass my house running to fulfill their mission and terror reigns around. Our electricity is cut and we are in a blackout at night. The food in our deep freezer is getting finished and we have enough for two or so days now but God has given us Himself. We are no longer scared and are waiting for His direction.
We hope that the killings which have spread country wide will stop. God will not allow this to prevail against His chosen people. I am telling all my staff to remain calm wherever they are and pray for peace. Our children are learning great lessons from all this.
We have only one small bag of our documents and the Bible to walk out with in case we are asked to do so! We tell the boys that that is the only possession we have and that everything else God has given us is to bless His people.
They have shared all their clothes with the orphans who are here with us (Six orphans) and they are good friends. Huston is calling all his friends to encourage them and once in a while he goes out to their houses during the day and back.
Keep praying for us,we love you all and the Lord is in control. Nothing shall separate us from the Love of Christ and that sorts it all out for us what a joy!
In His service, Uncle Tom and Hellen Malande.