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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Terrible News from Morocco

This report was sent to me by a friend who was raised in this orphanage.

Christian Orphanage forcibly shut down in Morocco

Greetings from Morocco :

I have devastating news.

This afternoon, I received a phone call from Herman Boonstra, the director of the Village of Hope saying that the police had just told them the staff needed to pack up and leave for the airport to be deported out of Morocco this evening.

Let me step back and describe the events that led up to this.

In March 2009 the police raided a woman’s bible study in Casablanca and sent the five foreign women who were visiting out of the country.

In November 2009 the police raided a Christian meeting in the north and sent five foreigners out of the country.

In January 2010 the police raided a Christian meeting south of Marrakech and sent the visiting American out of the country.

Then this past weekend, in a coordinated effort, coming from the highest levels of the government, Christians around the country were called in, questioned overnight and sent out of the country the next day.

The list thus far: British couple from Essaouri, American from Fez (his wife and daughter have been permitted to stay until the daughter finishes her school year), Brazilian from El Jadida, British man from Tangiers (his wife is allowed to stay until her card runs out in August), Korean pastor from Rabat (has led the service before ours), Congolese man from Marrakech, three Americans ( I think) who were running a handicap center in Nador. An American was denied entry into the country when he tried to come back home. A South African was pulled out of his work as a teacher in Casablanca to be questioned. A man in Meknes was pulled in to be questioned.

There is so much going on that I may be forgetting some. Throughout the day I have been receiving phone calls and emails and Skype talking about all the latest developments.

The police, as part of this national campaign, came to the Village of Hope on Saturday about 3:30 PM. They said this was just routine and had a few questions to ask. They asked if they could see one of the houses and were invited in. They immediately began opening closets and drawers, going through bookshelves and taking whatever materials they considered incriminating. They interviewed each of the children. They interviewed all the staff and volunteers. Finally, at 3 AM they left.

They came back on Sunday after interviewing some volunteers who were staying in nearby Azrou. They continued interviewing children, getting documentation. There were three groups of police and each wanted their own copies.

Herman was called into the town of Ain Leuh to meet with high level police officers. He called me last night at 11:40 PM to say this was really serious.

They had collected all the passports of the staff and then finally announced to Errol and Herman that they all had to leave.

So in less than seven hours, the parents and staff had to pack their bags and say goodby to their children.

The oldest of these children have been there for ten years. These are the only parents they know and the government has ripped them away, traumatizing the children and ripping out the hearts of the parents.

We are all stunned. The American Embassy has been wonderful. They are following these events intensely. A couple of the embassy families were just at VOH last weekend to paint a room in the infirmary and worship with the community. So this is personal.

I am not happy that the government has deported so many people. But that pales in comparison with what has happened at the Village of Hope .

A second children’s home, Children’s Haven in Azrou, is on the same track and it is expected that the staff there will also be sent out of the country. But maybe not. We will wait and see.

All my analysis of the political trends in this country have proved to be wrong. But I am not alone. No one understands what is happening. This is a new wave sweeping across Morocco .

The King appointed new ministers of Interior and Justice in January and it seems that these men are driving the campaign and the campaign seems to be pulling Morocco away from openness and liberty into a more Islamic state.

May God have mercy on them.

It is obvious what to pray about. The parents and children are at the top of the list. Pray also for those who have been deported. And please pray for me.

We have no idea who is next or who else is on their list.

I am unable to understand why God would allow this to happen, but then there is so much suffering that takes place in the world on a daily basis, much worse than this, and I do not understand that either. This suffering is closer to home and that is why it hurts so much.

For those of you who can read French, here is the official report that came out of the Moroccan Press Association.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting about the Morocco orphans. You are truly helping us spread the word.

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