The Calm before The Storm
Rain? Check.Heat? Check. Humidity? Double check. Bugs? Check. Potential for deadly snakes? Check. Good food? Check. Amazing scenery? Double check. Smiles and laughter? Check and Check. Incredible people with unbelievable stories? You got it.. check and check.
These are but a few of the experiences our Liberia team has engaged with these past two days while on the campus of Africa Bible College. Let me update you on what the teams have been up to:
Medical Team: our awesome team of doctors and nurses began unpacking the more-than-ample amount of supplies from our boxes last night and this morning. They thought THEY brought a lot with us in our boxes, and were amazed at how much was already shipped here from the container a few months ago. They headed off in to town to set up their first clinic, feeling confident that they can accomplish much with their people and supplies.
Dirt Bike Squad: yesterday they found enough dirt bikes (or "ping-pings" as the locals call them) for every one of our guys and the ABC students going with them. At just $18 a day for each ping-ping, the guys got to take them out on a test run as they drove down the road to the nearby orphanage (this is the same orphanage that our own Sheri Wang connected with, and many of you at The Grove help sponsor!). No rider was injured, and only two claimed to have "gotten some air." Tom Bright, upon returning, said that the ride and the orphanage visit was the best experience, and the whole trip was worth it if they left tomorrow. Today they are taking their first round of boxes of shoes to a nearby village, where they hope to deliver the shoes and spend time with the people.
(I pause my typing, for the "rain" just started up, and it's so stinkin' loud on these tin-roofs, I can't hear the person next to me talk! It's insane!... and beautiful!)
Leadership Team: early this morning, Palmer and the leadership team went with Eleazar (our primary liason here at ABC) to another small town in the jungle called Kampaleh, where there will be a gathering of over 20 local pastors. The day long seminar will hopefully encourage the pastors and challenge them in their leadership. Painter, Scott Erickson, accompanied the Leadership Team this morning, providing live visual art during the training seminar.
Basketball Team: yesterday, led by Shane Jones and DJ McCalahan, the Basketball Team spent over 3 hours on ladders taking down two old and dilapidated backboards and rims, and cutting out and installing two new ones. Rusty bolts and bloody knuckles were no match for these guys. Today they are adding paint and nets, as well as trying to round up some balls (in the event our lost luggage doesn't actually arrive today). They will also inquire about doing a basketball clinic for the local kids.
Da Band: we all breathed a huge sigh of relief yesterday as we finally got to open up all the equipment that was shipped via the container a few months ago and combine it with what we brought. After a few hours of troubleshooting, we were off and running, blowing the doors off the little chapel here at ABC! The sound of the music drew in many a bystanders as we rehearsed with a few ABC students who will be traveling and singing with us. This morning we led the worship for their chapel service, and this afternoon we will work with their band to learn 1 or 2 Liberian praise songs to add to our repertoire. We are also in the process of figuring out 3 things relating to our upcoming 4 outreach events: transportation (how are we going to get all our sound equipment from city to city?), transformation (turns out all the outlets, except on ABC, are 220 and not 110. So we have to get step-down transformers that will enable us to plug in our equipment without frying it), and power (the generators we had HOPED to travel with are currently all being used by ABC for their construction on new buildings.... so, we need to find generators for power).
All told, we are gearing up for tomorrow's first 'big-day' in Yekepa, as we have our basketball game at 4pm and our outreach event at 6:30... assuming of course we have power and can convert that power!
Thanks for reading up... we'll update again in a day or two.
Things to pray for: - safety for dirt bike riders, especially when the rain picks up and the trails get more crazy.
- pray that the medical team would have the 'right' types of medicine to treat what they will encounter. Pray that lives would be drastically changed, if not saved, because of their presence.
- pray that the local pastors would be blessed and encouraged by our Leadership Team and what they share.
- pray that we can find generators and power converters, and that we can find someone who will help transport all of our gear.
- pray that our relationships with the ABC students would deepen, and we would truly 'partner' with them in ministry.
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