Day 9:
Nine Days in Vientiane

Greetings from the Home of the Brave and Land of the Captive,

Please continue to pray for the 33 Laotian prisoners as we leave Vientaine. The events of the past several days leads us to believe that the future could be very bleak for them and the body of Christ that they are willing to suffer for.

Notice these recent events:

  1. Although Partners in Progress was not implicated in the charges and official government position is that PIP can continue their project, two PIP vehicles worth $16,000 were seized the night of the raid and all efforts to obtain them have been refused.

  2. Thursday, the government refused to allow the Laotian employees of PIP to continue the project and strongly requested PIP to transfer funds, vehicles, and personnel to the authority of the city health department.

  3. Friday morning, PIP appointed Jean Fox as Acting Country Director with authority to complete the one year project. Friday afternoon, the government rejected her appointment without reason.

  4. Saturday morning, two policemen and a government representative arrived at the home of Mr. Sy and demanded that the family of Mr. Sy turn over a $1600 PIP motorcycle that had been stored since the raid. They complied after consulting with the PIP staff.

  5. Saturday evening while taking $5,000 worth of donated medical equipment to the Setthathirath Hospital, PIP personnel found the PIP classroom and office padlocked. PIP personnel have had complete access and authority for this classroon since 1996.

  6. The guards at the prisons continue to subject the jailed prisoners families to verbal abuse and absolutely refuse family access to their loved ones.

  7. The only people released during and after the raid are a friend of a policeman the night of the raid, a long time police informer, mothers that had small children, and a second policeman after two days in jail.

  8. Rumors continue to circulate that other areas have experienced some of the same activity. Three preachers tried and convicted of evangelism in Savannakhet and sentenced to three years in jail. Eight arrested in Savannakhet for an illegal meeting. Four arrested in Sam Nua for an illegal meeting.

  9. 15 of the Lao Christians are held in the That Dam jail, a block from the U.S. Embassy. This jail is especially for those charged with more serious crimes and are expected to receive harsher punishment. 18 are held at the Wattay jail on the road to the Vientiane airport. Guards continue to tell the families that their loved ones could be held one or two months before being released and men that were receiving funds from foreign sources can expect jail terms of up to 3 years. All PIP employees and owners of homes where Bible studies were held are in the That Dam jail.

  10. Our computer has to be packed Monday, so our last email will be 6 pm Sunday evening your time. Jerry & Meg leave Sunday at noon. We hope to cross the bridge Monday afternoon. Our information sources in Vientiane are going to zero. The tears are flowing. Deportation is a bunch easier that stoning or going down in a basket, but the sweetheart that is expecting our Lao grandbaby in another week is riding her motorcycle twice a day feeding 15 people, the samlor driver in jail has two precious teens that were baptized the week of the raid, and the list goes on. They won't see Jerry, Meg and my face again in Laos for up to five years according to one source. Jean still has her visa but don't count on it being honored. We plan to be back on line Tuesday.

Love you all, and know you share our present sorrow while God is working both His will and their salvation to ultimate glory.

Ken & Jean

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