On Christmas Eve, all Lutheran Missionaries in the Central African Republic evacuated to Cameroon because of growing security concerns. We returned in March.
Exactly, three months later, on Palm Sunday (March 24), all Lutheran Missionaries in the Central African Republic evacuated themselves to Cameroon. As "Yogi" Berra said, "Déjà vu, all over again." That evening, rebels entered the capitol as President Bozizé fled. The next day, Michel Djotodia, a rebel leader, declared himself CAR President. If you want more details, Google the news on the internet for the Central African Republic.
Christa, Deborah, and I are with the other ELCA Missionaries in Ngaoundéré. In a few days, we will take Christa back to Yaoundé, where she is attending 10th grade at Rain Forest International School. Although we have been personally inconvenienced, we have not been in any real danger. Our thoughts are with our friends and colleagues back in the Central African Republic, especially those in areas where there was fighting, such as in the capital city of Bangui.
In spite of the difficulties, the programs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Central African Republic (EELRCA) continue. People remain concerned about the future, but the new government is trying to restore order.
Please continue to pray and support the EELRCA and 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.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. May you continue to have a Blessed Easter Season!
Joe and Deborah Troester
ELCA Missionaries to the Central African Republic
Temporally relocated to Ngaoundéré, Cameroon
Photo Credit: The logos of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and our partner church the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Central African Republic.
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.