My friends, I would never have believed I would write that title referring to someone I love. But we never know what a day will bring forth.
On Monday evening I got an email from one of my missionary friends in Ivory Coast who helps me get funds to Emmanuel, the child I raised in that country from the time he was a newborn. She told me that Emmanuel had been arrested and was in jail. Earlier that day I had gotten an email from his mentor saying that Emmanuel was exhibiting the same sort of strange behavior he had displayed perhaps eight years ago, in the middle of the civil war in Ivory Coast. At that time, he was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. (No wonder! He has lost four parental figures, lived through a bombing, lived along the road over which the Liberian mercenaries marched into Ivory Coast to wreak their havoc on the country, and is now living through the demonstrations, etc. that are not as bad as those in Egypt so we hear nothing of them in this country. I would have difficulty maintaining my sanity, too, if I had gone through all of this. And lest you wonder why I didn't bring him to America, let me hasten to inform you that I would have done that in a heartbeat if given the opportunity. I was not!)
Just to give you an idea of what the jails are like in Africa (and perhaps in all third-world countries): prisoners are routinely beaten to get a "confession" out of them. They are not fed unless the family brings them food. I assume they are not allowed to bathe. I don't even know if they are offered drinking water. These are not American jails where people worry about human rights, and new bonds raise enough money to rebuild or expand them every few years.
I immediately contacted my friends at the big Baptist Hospital where I trained for a year, asking them to do what they could. God be praised, the Baptist Hospital has a very positive reputation throughout the country! One of my missionary-nurse friends there called the police chief at the jail, telling him that Emmanuel had been treated previously for a mental problem and that he would be given medications for this problem very soon. Whether the Lord chose to honor the prayers of my friends, both in Ivory Coast and on Facebook, or whether the name of the Baptist Hospital carried enough weight, Emmanuel was released and taken to the home of his older, adoptive brother-in-law with whom he lives.
I've been trying to leave this in the Lord's hands, but it's been difficult. I thought I had done pretty well until I got the message that he had been released from jail. I began crying when I was told that. But they were tears of joy and gratefulness to the Lord. If you were praying with me, I offer my heartfelt thanks!