Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Zambian Politics Update

After returning home, we have had several people ask us what ever happened with the political situation in Zambia. I'm sorry that I didn't give a follow-up post on this, as a lot of you had been praying for us during this time.

In 2006, there was widespread rioting. The challenger, Michael Sata, was ahead by a wide margin, but when the final results were announced, the ruling party and their candidate won. There were allegations of vote tampering and a lot of unrest. Pretty much the same scenario unfolded this year. The challenger, the same Michael Sata, was leading by over 100,000 votes (a wide margin considering only 1.5 million people voted) but ended up losing by over 30,000 votes. Where most provinces had a 45% voter turnout, the last ones to come in had nearly double the turnout 75%.

As we waited for the final announcement, we learned that all of the machetes in Lusaka were nowhere to be found. What we didn't know was if it was the police who had rounded them up or the people who had bought them. We also heard rumors of political coups which if came true could split a young democracy. So, there was a lot to be concerned about. So, as the weekend progressed, we just hunkered down in our house behind a locked gate and awaited the results.

When they finally announced the winner, what we were expecting (widespread rioting and potential violence), never came to fruition. There were a couple of small riots in two of Lusaka's compounds, but really nothing more than that. Since returning home, we have had so many of you ask us about what happened and told us that you had been praying for us. You were also united in prayer with our brothers and sisters in Christ here in Zambia. Many churches were holding week long fasting for these elections. So, thank you for lifting us and the people of Zambia up in prayer. The Lord surely answered the petitions of His saints!

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