Saturday, February 07, 2009

Africa Team Report #3

Below is the latest e-mail from Mike McCracken in Africa. The video he speaks of we will get to see in all three monring services on Feb 15.

Friday, February 7, 2009

My day started around 4:30. I’m still adjusting to the time change but we needed an early start today. Last night the power went off so we had no fan. It got a little warm under the mosquito net. After breakfast Matt lead our team in a time of worship. We were on our way to La Doumie at 6:20. (La Doumie is LCS’s Hand-in-Hand partnership.) After driving three or so hours over good roads (the last half hour was a little rough) and going through several check points we arrived at La Doumie. We were greeted by Pastor Lundi Vanguet, his wife Josephine, and several others from the church. There are two levels of school here now and both were in session. The levels are by academic skill, not age. Level 1 meets in a newly constructed mud brick building with a thatch roof. Our team was able to “squeeze” in the back and watch class. The children were excited to have us observe and are enthusiastic learners. They LOVE learning! The teacher’s name for Level 1 is Valerie.

Level 2 has classes in the church building, which is a larger mud brick building with a tin roof. These students are taught by Timothee Vanguet, the pastor’s son. We were able to observe Timothee teach and the children read, write and answer questions. It is amazing how attentive and respectful and orderly these children are during classes. They LOVE learning!
When school finished, our team was introduced to Timothee and the two classes were combined in the church building. I was able to share a Bible story (David and Goliath) with Barb Wooler translating. The rest of the team handed out the gifts we brought; toothbrushes, coloring page of David and Goliath, crayons, and a little school supply packet. Again, during this process the children were very patient, respectful, and thankful.

Then we were able to see the procedure for feeding the children lunch; today was porridge. While the children are in class, women from the church start fires, boil water, and make the porridge. The children come outside with their individual cup to receive their lunch. There is no pushing or shoving; just waiting patiently in line to receive their lunch; then back into the church to eat in the shade. I was very impressed with the behavior and attitude of these kids.

Our team enjoyed an African meal of rice with goat and/or chicken. Everyone appeared to do well with our first meal in a village. After lunch Matt and Doug worked on the video you will see on Sunday (or have already seen depending when this email gets sent out). We also handed out soccer balls and long jump ropes we brought from the States. The kids were familiar with soccer balls, but the jump ropes might have been a little new to them. It was a blast watching them figure this out.

The afternoon was slipping by and we needed to say goodbye and return to Bangui. What a time we had connecting to the church family and orphan students in La Doumie. Those of you who are praying for and giving to, the Hand-in-Hand partnerships Lititz has connected with, are making a difference in God’s Kingdom. Where there was very little or no hope, there now is hope.

After a flat tire change and quick look at a water fall, we returned to the Missionary complex dirty, sweaty, hungry, and tired but impacted in a special way by what we were able see, touch, smell, taste, and most of all feel in our hearts. We were able to take a shower, the missionaries fed us a delicious dinner, and we were able to sleep in a comfortable bed, but my hope and prayer is that we never forget what we felt in our heart today.

Blessed in Bangui,
Mike, for the team.

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