Greetings from Koro,
February was short but full of many ups and downs.
This February was characterized by the prohibition of riding motorbikes and pickups in many areas in Mali including Koro. Thank you for your prayers that I know for sure has changed much of it.
The restriction was unbearable until they did some exceptions for the towns. The corrected version goes like: It is forbidden to drive motorbikes and pickups in the town before 6 AM and after 6 PM, but permanently outside the town. Anyone who needs exception has to get a written authorization from the army otherwise will be treated as military target. We assisted many who were fleeing to the city of Koro while the jihadists were slaughtering dozens of civilians, burning mayor’s offices, and closing schools about 40 Km from Koro.
We witnessed Fulanies and Dogons from those places running into Koro from the civil war. The dominant luggage of most of them is bundles of long grass straw to provide shade wherever they go as they can not afford housing.
I used to see all this on TV or in newspapers but now I am seeing it live and daily.
This month the civil war has increased and ethnic group killing has reached a very bloody level. None can really say how many were killed. It is just absurd that the army is imposing such a hard measure and dispositions over peaceful citizens while those who kill and close schools remain unperturbed.
All the NGOs are confined to the corners of their offices and most of their personnel have to walk or ride bike to work. It slowed down things to idling level.
We are determined to keep up with the education till we can't do it anymore. For safety our only hope remains the Lord Jesus Christ. Please keep up praying for us.
At Grace School our program is not affected because we teach only in daytime, in fact our courses are being intensified as many of our new students need extra teaching to catch up.
We are thankful to God for sending us Mathieu Togo, one of my former students in high school. Mathieu is very devoted and loving, I call him "Le charismatique" (the Charismatic). Indeed when he was a student in the public high school he was leading the local Student Bible study group in Koro. He is now in charge of accelerated teaching of reading and Math to the challenged students.
A few days ago a student from the high school died from a truck accident while he was entering his school. The student union decided that the whole country will observe four days to display their upset about the frequent construction trucks passing by the front doors of schools and victims among the students. They want the government to deviate construction trucks away from school sites when school is on.
It is a wise and feasible demand but at Grace we decided to observe just one day sympathizing to the families with lost kids on the school road. We are grateful for the understanding of the local Student Union.
Please thank God for the group of three Geometers (governmental mandated agents of domain and land) who came to place a physical border for the proposed land for Grace's high school in process of definitive concession from the government. Please continue to pray as the process is still long and things are slowed down with the current situation in term of security for local administration.
We thank you for your support of the education of the most vulnerable kids in the world.
God bless you,
“You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.”