When International News Gets Personal
The picture there shows police and citizens standing around after a prior night's fierce gun battle. The subject of the battle was Christopher "Dudus" Coke, a reported drug baron and somewhat of a "Robin Hood" character, from the Tivoli Gardens section of Kingston, Jamaica. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, that distinctive rock wall in the background is one I've seen many times, as it's at the intersection of Sterling Castle Heights Road, and Red Hills Road. It's under half a mile down the hill from Red Hills Baptist Church, where we've been many times.
The name of the picture, which I copied from the Jamaica Gleaner article about the battle, is "SterlingCastleN20100527NG.jpg"!
My good friends, the Bethunes, live on Sterling Castle Heights Road. So that would e scary enough. But check the chilling email I received from Keri-Ann a couple nights ago ... here's what she said:
"hi....guys. We in Red Hills have come under fire.....gun men and police are having a shoot out. It is believed that men from Tivoli are now in the area in an unfinished house up here. Right in my area!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!houses away.
I am on the floor typing!!!!!!!!!!!Pray for us"
It's not enough that I know her .. she's a dear friend, and has been since she was 10 years old. I blogged about her, in fact, here.
Needless to say, I prayed.
There was nothing in the news about anyone I know being killed or injured, so I'm trusting that God protected Keri-Ann and her family. But I know that, whenever I read news reports about violence anywhere, it's going to be a little more real to me, knowing that there are people there who were experiencing what Keri-Ann did, the night violence came to Sterling Castle Heights.