REPORT UPDATES from meetings in Congo
Sabbath is a few hours away. Good things are happening. We will be finishing up here by the end of Sabbath. Sunday we will visit the Pygmies if all works out right with the vehicle. Then I am scheduled to do a special session with theology students and more clinic work for faculty and staff. I think I will be going on Wednesday to another village to do a short series then head to Uganda. I am not sure yet.
I will be giving messages three times on Sabbath and there will be a baptism at 2:30. Pray for my strength.
Clinic has 100 people waiting from far villages in the mountains. Today is the last day to treat them so I will speak to them in a group. They carry such heavy loads on their heads that there are the usual pains in the spinal column. Everyone complains of stomach pains. The translator was thinking how strange it was that they all complained the same symptoms. I told him it is the same the world over. They have plenty of time waiting together. Then they compare notes of what they said to me and what I gave them. If they want the same medicine, they must say the same complaint. They work very hard and carry heavy loads. Their joints ache and feet swell some. If they do not drink water the symptoms are worse. These people are very strong. They walk 40 to 70 kilometers in a day just to come to clinic.
I am going at 8AM a distance of 3 kilometers by car to see a beginning of a church built up by women’s ministry leaders. I asked them to provide a car so I could get to clinic quickly. I do not have time to walk. These women have held meetings and bought land, made the foundation, gathered funds for the walls but lack the roof. I was so thrilled to see this energy coming from women in this culture. I am wondering if there are any women out there who have a desire to add a hundred dollars to their project. That amount goes a long ways. You would be amazed. I am so proud of these ladies. The spokesman for them has been bringing our food to us daily. She spoke her heart in French and my lady translator Mr. Kasay made it understandable in English. I will get pictures at 8AM and put it on the web site: illustratedbible.net.
I am so busy. The meetings are going well in spite of so many challenges with power surging and outages during thunder storms. They make their own power here and send it to the different buildings in a schedule that does not always make sense. Sometimes they “send it” on time and sometimes we wait 1 hour.
Forty people asked for baptism. We will see what hindrances get thrown in front of them. So many do not have a sense of the urgency of the times we are in. They plan for many years ahead thinking it not necessary to help a child to follow their decision till they are so much older. The immorality is very high in grade school and it is promoted in the homes. I will spare you the details. It is time to pray for them to follow through with their promise to God.
NATURAL: We took The morning of Thursday off as our “day of rest”. As we climbed the hill of eucalyptus trees, we discovered some very interesting things in nature. One shrub had thorns on it and beautiful orange flowers. While asking Kyle to get a close up of the flower for me, I noticed as he came close to the shrub, the thorns started moving. A closer look found round insects the shape of a limpet at the ocean. To pull them off of the shrub, we found it difficult. He made a video of them.
A white and black bird hops along eating grubs on the grass in the front of our place we stay. There are so many eucalyptus trees all over the hillside. I never have worked in a place with such cool weather and so many trees that are medicinal.
While busy with a very sick woman, I was interrupted to go see a man who had fallen to the floor in the waiting room and was unconscious. What a hectic day (Tuesday). I finished clinic late but was not finished. A whole host of people sat outside waiting. While Jenny did her program I tried to get mine together and just in time it came together.
Visitors are walking in from as far as 20 & 35 miles away. The radio broadcasts the meeting content. One pastor was hoping for a package to be sent containing the flannel set of the sanctuary. He wants to teach these grand truths. If there is anyone reading these stories who wants to send him a package directly, let me know and I can give his address. There are many pastor’s attending meetings. These in turn plan to teach these truths in theology classes and thus the little offering I am giving of my time will be multiplied thousands over. God has a way of multiplying what we do.
Crowd size on Thursdays is low at about 300-400 but highest is over the weekend it is around 1000 with people standing outside and sitting in overflow areas. The radio audience is immeasurable. Pray that we will always do our best and that we will have a coal from the altar daily as was given to Isaiah to give him purity and power.
There are many students who sacrifice much to come here. They leave their families for lack of funds to bring them with them. They suffer through separation in order to obtain education. There are several who have asked if there could be found a sponsor. Tuition fees are $200. for the whole year.
Pray as we finish up our work here. We were hoping to buy Bibles and lesson materials to give out. Swahili and French is what is spoken here.
Your fellow co-laborer in the Master’s Vineyard,
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