On Christmas Eve (one month ago today), all Lutheran Missionaries in the Central African Republic evacuated themselves to Cameroon because of growing security concerns.
In December rebels in the north and east marched toward the capital, Bangui, in an attempt to overthrow the government. The rebels stopped just short of Bangui and negotiated a settlement with the government. The President has named a new Prime Minister. Things have calmed down a bit, but we are waiting to see if the new government can maintain peace throughout the country.
In the meantime, our family spent Christmas and New Year's with fellow Lutheran missionaries in Ngaoundéré, Cameroon. We are presently staying in Yaoundé, Cameroon's capital, where Christa is attending 10th grade at Rain Forest International School.
We appreciate your prayers for us and especially for the people of the CAR, who have suffered nearly constant civil strife ever since their independence in 1960. Political unrest retards development and makes it difficult for the church to do its work as well. Humanitarian agencies can't send workers and supplies, and businesses don't want to invest in an unstable political climate.
We hope this letter finds you in good health and in good spirits in this new year. May God bless you and yours in 2013!
Joe and Deborah Troester
ELCA Missionaries to the Central African Republic
Temporally relocated to Yaoundé, Cameroon
Photo Credit: Six white elephants (SUV's) lined up at Immigration as Lutheran Missionaries leave the Central African Republic. Photo by Tomas Røen.
Joe and Deborah are ELCA missionaries in Baboua, CAR. Joe serves as technical advisor for PASE, which provides safe drinking water and promotes good hygiene and sanitation for villagers. Pastor Deborah teaches at the Theological School in Baboua. Their daughter, Christa, is a sophomore at Rain Forest International School in Yaoundé, Cameroon.