Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Africa Team Report #6

Moe from Mike McCracken in Africa:

Monday, 02/09/09, part 1

To sum it up, the last two days were incredible.

We started packing the vehicles with our camping gear Sunday evening, and after a good night’s sleep, quick breakfast, and a time of prayer and worship led by Matt, we were on our way.

Just a quick insert here; I truly believe that taking the time to worship God and pray as a team each morning, along with your prayers back home, has resulted in our team being blessed with a multitude of experiences and opportunities beyond our expectations.

Ok, back to our trip to Bossangoa. Along our way up country we made plans to stop at two other Hand-in-Hand partnerships in a town called Bossombele. We were able to have a brief visit with both of them, encouraging the pastor, teachers, and children. We were able to help Ginger Hock present gifts to the children and teachers also. At the second school the pastor treated us with peanuts, bread, and warm milk. After sitting in on the class we went outside where a local French speaking women’s ministry was preparing lunch over a fire for the children. As our team was connecting with these ladies, before you knew it, John K had Marlin W (speaking in French), explained that Matt M was single and looking for a wife. Oh my, what a commotion. Poor Matt.

At this school we got word that a Grace Brethren Church up the road in Bougoudi had a chicken for us to pick up. Bougoundi is in the process of applying and being approved for a Hand-in-Hand partnership. Well, when we arrived they told us the chicken ran away that morning but will come back to roost that evening and we can pick it up on our way home the next day; but while we are here we should come in for coffee and see what they were already doing for orphans.

When we entered the mud brick building it was full of children and adults. What a coincidence J. Our team introduced ourselves and the children sang loudly with passion for us. I was able to tell the David and Goliath story to them. Our team connected well with this group and it was a blessing to us to encourage them. We said good bye and continued on to Bossangoa, stopping along the way for a lunch consisting of PPJ and cookies. While we were eating lunch, Ginger Hock told us the church in Bougoundi wanted to serve us jungle rat for lunch. Ginger told them she is sorry but we needed to go. Too bad, I don’t think I ever had rat.

We arrived in Bossangoa, fueled the vehicles, and set up camp outside of town at the Bossangoa Bible Institute. We were greeted by the director, some of his staff and several students. We were lead in groups of two or three to a small village one hundred yards down a dirt path to take a bucket bath outdoors in a circular grass outhouse stall. This was a new cross cultural experience for most of us.

After we cleaned up and finished setting up, we sat in a circle with the group at the Bible Institute and introduced ourselves; they in English, we in Sango (Marlin & Doug were permitted to use French). By the way, Brenda and Joan have practiced some Sango before the trip and are pretty impressive.

After this we walked ¼ mile down the road towards Bossangoa to the director’s home for dinner (another awesome cross cultural experience). The sun was setting and by the time we got there it was almost dark. A wooden table and chairs was set outside for our team. We were served a wonderful mixed vegetable salad, rice, beef, and fish. After dinner the director and his wife shared their testimony of how and when they put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation and how they became involved in ministry. Emanuel, who was traveling with us, shared his testimony too.

We walked back to camp under a full moon to a campfire started by some of the Bible Institute students (about 20 feet from the guy’s tent). John K was elated, asking them to share hunting stories, and he sharing some of his own. About 9:30 our group was ready for bed, 5 ladies in their tent, 6 guys in theirs (Emanuel slept with the guys). Well, the students were not ready for bed yet and we were able to listen to their laughter and fellowship for quite a while.

End of day 1 to Bossangoa.

Mike, for the team.


Anonymous said...

Hopefully Matt can find his future spouse in Africa so he can live happily ever after eating jungle rat stew and having not-quite-so-albino children.

Vegan Vern said...

What's the chicken for?