First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior. 1 Timothy 2:1-3
Tuesday was the first time in twelve years there was a vote for new LC 1’s. An LC is “Local Community Chairperson” and there were seats up for election (or re-election) in 60,800 villages. An LC 1 assists in maintaining law, order and security as well as receive and solve problems or disputes in villages.. There are five levels of LC’s, the highest level being LC 5 who is over an entire district.
We knew that the Chairman that was here when we came had been in office for twelve years and we just thought it was because he was well-loved, respected and had done much for the community. Now we know that he has been in office because there has been no voting for change in twelve years. I am not disputing any of the things we previously thought, truth is we don’t really know. Since we don’t always get information, or truth it is hard to know what really goes on. I do know that until the last year he has always been helpful to us, always tried to place bore holes where they were most needed to benefit the village and is a very friendly man. About a year ago we thought they were going to vote and heard a lot of rumblings of unhappiness with him. We now believe that was just the beginning of campaigning and wanting to oust him.
Monday night we were told that he had dropped out of the race, which was shocking for us. We talked with him last week about future plans for bore holes and there wasn’t any talk about it. We will probably never know the truth of it, we’ve heard rumors today but the one person I know tells me the truth in everything told me she didn’t have enough facts to tell me why and she wasn’t going to speculate or spread rumors. I have a lot of respect for her, rumors are always rampant here! She did tell me what happened at the polls. There were two different men to vote for, one is a Muslim, a business man that we have never met and she knows him to be a good man. The other was our former farm manager, who apparently had made a lot of promises using The Mandate’s name and then couldn’t make them happen. To the community he proved himself a liar and has brought shame on himself since leaving us. As my friend and “little sister” said “Pride will always be a person’s undoing”. And she is right. Christian and I cried today when we heard the things that happened at the voting. He was like a son to us and over the past two years we have done everything a parent and friend could do to set him on the right path. But he let pride and other influences rule. Even up to two weeks ago, we tried again to give him another chance and let him work on a job for us, which caused all kinds of trouble for us but he still couldn’t stop himself from the pride and building himself up. Then when he realized he was in trouble for saying too many things he couldn’t get us to do it was too late. We believe in second chances, in his case third and fourth chances but we can’t let one person bring down all that we have tried to do here. We say “he brought it on himself” but we say it with great sorrow. We know he had bad influences but he also had wise counsel and he made his own choice of which to listen to.
Because many of the people in our village don’t have national ID’s the Electoral Commission representatives had both candidates stand and then whoever was voting for each made a line behind the candidate they wanted to be Chairman and the representatives counted the people in each line. It was said that the line for the farmer went from the village center almost to the main road (very long line!) but there weren’t as many in the other line – even his brothers and other family members stood in the other candidates line. When the representatives investigated, the majority were under the age of eighteen – too young to vote. So they were sent from the line. This made them and their candidate mad and they began stoning people. My friend said she was hit with big rocks and it was awful. The police came but before they got there all of them, including our farm manager/candidate ran and hid. She said that later there were some supporters for him that came and said they realized then that he was a coward. I say all of this with great sadness. My friend said she and her family have been praying about this election and we need to keep praying for the new chairman. I told her we need to pray even for the other candidate, he also needs many prayers.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:43-45
I don’t know where we go from here, we hope to meet the new Chairman soon. Our current farm manager and good friend has been the Vice Chairperson for many years and I was afraid that her position might be up in the air with the new Chairman. It worried me so much that I walked down to her house to talk with her and found out that there was a vote last week among just the women of the village and a new Vice Chairperson was voted in. When the ladies asked for the day off to go and vote for a new woman leader we weren’t told that was the position Jenifer held. (See how we are left in the dark so much of the time?!) She said she was excited because it is her best friend and that she nominated her. She is an advisor to her now. With the other, we are pretty sure that just as we were used in promises we will be used in excuses for failure but we will survive that too. God is in control of it all and we pray that this new man can bring peace and growth to our community. And we pray for Bakali, that God will change his heart and help him see the error of his ways. God will forgive him, we forgive him, we love him and if he repents and truly means it we will be there for him.
All you prayer warriors keep our village lifted up and join us in prayer for the new leader. He will need it, all leaders need it. As I told my friend, even if we don’t like who our leader is, we are still to pray for them. Governing and leading others is a heavy burden, especially to good men. I printed out a list for her with specific things we can pray for the new Chairman.
And as always, pray for each other.