The short version of what happened was that on Wednesday the Congress did away with some of the police and national benefits and pay bonuses that they traditionally received. In response, the entire 40,000 nationwide police force went on strike leaving the country completely unprotected. In a matter of minutes massive looting and chaos erupted across the country with stores, businesses and banks being broken into and looted.
When Ecuador's President, Rafael Correa went to the Police Headquarters to reason with the police authorities, he was attacked and tear-gassed and had to be away taken to--irony or ironies--the Police Hospital in Quito. While he was being treated, he was detained (kidnapped) by the Police and held against his will in the hospital throughout the day not willing to release him until he gave in to their demands.
Around 9pm the military was called out to free the President from the Police. In a live televised rescue operation, military crack units staged an attack upon the hospital to free the President. For more than 30-minutes heavy firing took place ensued between the military and police. Eventually the President was whisked out in a dramatic rescue operation, leaving several dead and wounded in the process. The country is currently under a declared State of Siege with the military seeking to restore law and order. Sad, sad, day for Ecuador to say the least.
For those interested in viewing some amazing video footage or reading good summary news releases, click on one of the following:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101001/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_ecuador_protest (news report)
http://news.yahoo.com/video/world-15749633/ecuador-troops-rescue-president-from-rebel-cops-22218636 (video news report)
All of the above took place on Thursday, which was Linda's Birthday, September 30. The night before, her missions English class threw her a surprise birthday party which was a lot of fun. The students had hired a Mexican Mariachi singer to come in and serenade Linda. Some of the photos can be viewed by clicking here.
Yesterday, October 1st, was our son Joshua's 19th birthday. We missed being with him in that he is now living in Seguin and in his first semester of studies at Northeast Lakeview College in San Antonio, Texas. We very much appreciate your prayers for our son as he continues to go through many adjustments from life here in Ecuador to life there in the USA.
And finally, we would appreciate your prayers for us these days in that we are contemplating some changes in our lives. There are a couple of new assignments we are praying about that our IMB mission organization leadership is asking us to consider. We can see ourselves in either one of the two positions, but are waiting upon the Lord for clarity before accepting either. Thank you for joining us in prayer. We very much appreciate your asking the Lord to grant us peace and clarity in understanding His perfect will for our lives.
Again, thank you for your faithful praying for us over the years.