Our Director of Operations for Africa, Rambi Ayala, left Dono-Manga on February 27th traveling back to his home in Nigeria. Pierre Rimorbe our coordinator in Dono-Manga with his two daughters and granddaughter traveled with Rambi because of business to be done in Nigeria.
Travel in Africa is slow and often can take days to go a few hundred miles because of bad roads and difficulty finding a seat in a vehicle that happens to be going the way you are traveling. It is also often very dangerous, as Rambi and his traveling companions would find out. Here is Rambi’s story in his own words.
We traveled with Pierre’s two daughters (Janet and Prudence) and his granddaughter Grace (about two year old). Janet is his
first daughter and lives in Abuja (Nigeria) with her husband. She has gone to Dono-Manga with her daughter Grace to see how her father is faring with his recent bout of ill-health. Prudence, who teaches English and social studies in our school, had accompanied her father to collect her certificate from a school in Nigeria that she attended.
We arrived Yola (Nigeria) at about 6:45pm and boarded a car to Billiri.
We had a brief stop along the way to allow the driver who is a Muslim time to pray. When we took off, just as we were negotiating a curve, we were flagged down by some torch lights. The driver thought it was a police check-point which usually dots our roads, only for us to be confronted by five armed men with guns and daggers. They ordered us out of the car and asked us to lie face down on the ground. Three of them searched the car and our bodies, collected money, our cellphones, and cameras. Little Grace could hardly understand our ordeal and I pray she did not. Pierre was forcefully dragged out of the car and they started beating him for what they considered his inability to bring out money in time. This is one experience that I wish the memory could just be deleted from my mind. TERRIBLE .On this trip as Paul would recount in his experience, “I spent a night and a day in the open sea, and I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits.” Again, above everything else, we give God the glory for sharing in Christ’ suffering.”
We are grateful to report that Pierre has recovered and was able to continue his journey with his family, and Rambi is safely home.
It is one thing to read the words of the Apostle Paul over 2000 years ago describe the perils of his travels. It is quite another to read the words of someone you know personally and love express what they have been through. All of these people are treasured workers without whom we could not do what we do.