4.5.11

Ivory CoastYesterday, fighting in the capital city of Abidjan intensified, as troops march towards the presidential palace. A brother was sending us emails while bullets were flying right outside his front door, and gave us information as it was happening. His last email said, "Heavy fightings are going on right now. We are on the ground."

Loud explosions rocked the city as fighters backing the internationally recognized winner of the recent elections moved closer to the presidential palace.

This morning we received word that the palace is in flames, and the war may have just ended. After what seemed like a very long night, we finally heard from our representative.

In the calm of the morning, he walked outside to survey the damage. The crater from a large mortar round was just 100 yards away, and stray bullets penetrated three of his neighbors' houses. His house was untouched.

He is in noticeably better spirits today. He said that there is still sporadic small-arms fire, but it is miles away from his home. He thinks some people will start coming back within weeks, but it will be months before life returns to normal.

There is still a lot of looting and there will be some rebuilding, but it looks like calm is returning to Ivory Coast.

Please continue to pray for them as the situation could still be volatile while the new administration begins to take control.

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