Everyone was yelling…

The taxi driver picked us up at 5:30 AM. We arrived at the station at 5:40 for our 6 AM departure. Our driver parked the car directly in front of the tour bus. There must have been a 50 or more people milling around that bus; some selling breakfast snacks, trinkets and water. Others, I have no idea, why there were there. But it seems everyone was yelling something. The bus driver was revving the engine and honking his musical horn. He was actually slowly creeping the bus forward. As we opened the taxi doors they started shouting “where to, where to!” The taxi driver opened the trunk to get our bags, several people shoved their hands into the trunk to get the bags and kept shouting, “where to where to”.  I said, “Mongo”, and the bags almost disappeared. I had to do some tugging to get my small hand carry I wanted on board and then the bags disappear to the side of the bus. The taxi driver pointed me in the direction of a small table with a man writing in a journal; it was the check in point. He grabbed our tickets, scribbled our seat numbers on them, shoved them back and said hurry, go! The bus was creeping forward honking his horn, vendors were clogging the bus door entry trying for that last sale. I was waving my tickets towards the driver, trying to let him know we are trying to get on board. The bus still creeping forward, horn honking. Judy was behind me, somewhere, I could just barely glimpse her through the throng. She was being propelled by the throng towards the bus door. Then boom, we were there, looking for our seats and trying to find a place for my hand carry.  5:45 AM and it was now moving, not creeping forward. It followed our taxi man as he backed out and we were on our way; 15 minutes early.

Bus to Mongo,  reminded me of the inside of a casino.

Because of your prayers, it was a great trip. We are so thankful for YOU our team. You are impacting lives for Jesus, because of what you are doing. (Praying, giving and advocating for us) Please keep it up! The service Judy and I did allowed our fellow front line colleagues there in the Guera to keep focused on the “main thing”, working with their language teams, to get God’s Words into three different languages.  But remember, these are never just languages, these are people who need to know Jesus in the pure and simple way you and I know Him. We know Him, because of the Bible in our language and the Holy Spirit working in our lives. These remote people groups in the middle of Chad are getting an incredible gift of hearing God speak their language and starting to really understand it. Judy and I have the wonderful privilege of being on the front lines and seeing the results first hand. On Sunday we attended a church that was in three languages, French, Chadian Arabic (2014 dedication) and Kenga (2012 dedication). The singing, the worship, the prayers and the power of the Holy Spirit was energizing. We thank you and they thank you, for your part in making this happen.

Judy after church in Bitkine

Back to the bus… It was a tour bus! These are brand new here in Chad and used for general long distant travel. Assigned seats, one person to a seat, very comfortable overall and very nice.  We were the only non Chadians on board and felt very comfortable. They have thick plush curtains inside covering the windows, very pretty, probably made it cooler inside, but very difficult to see the outdoor scenery or get a foggy idea of where one is. There was working air-conditioning and two drop down video screens playing Chadian or French African music videos. Mostly conservative, so as to not offend the Islamic culture. Then they played a video, “The Gods Must be Crazy 2”. It was in English, sub-titled in Arabic. If you haven’t seen it you need to. It’s roughly 25 – 30 years old, but the Chadians on the bus were laughing so hard it was enjoyable just watching them.

This trip to Mongo took us 6 hours. Twenty five years ago when I first drove a 4X4 on this same road it took about 18 hours. We did an over-night half way back then. It was slow and rough. Progress is being made in many areas.

Its been a month since the last rain, but its still humid with temperature highs 95 – 105F and lows in the mid to upper 80’s There is no air-conditioning at the Mongo center, just a small 12v fan in our bedroom. Judy has a spray bottle and we would spray ourselves in front of the fan to cool down.  We took bucket showers from well water. It was an adventure!

End of rainy season, lots of small lakes

The work Judy and I do is not rocket science, its just basic service through maintenance and assistance. If you could imagine your current workload and having to add to that, doing all of the maintenance and repair of the the buildings and equipment you work with, in addition to your job. How much of your actual job might you get done? That is what our translators are up against. Without people like Judy and I, they  spend 1/2 of their time just surviving, trying to accomplish work they have no training or skill sets in. They really thank you for sending and keeping us here.

Pumping water to the tower
Ab Touyour peak near Bitkine
African bush water hole


Millet in field


Trucks on a narrow Mongo road
Thanks for your partnership,
Jim & Judy McCabe 
Tucson, AZ April – September
N’Djamena, Chad, October – March

Prayer, Motorcycle Adventure Tours and Bible Translation

As most of you know, I love God, try to follow the teachings of Jesus and I like motorcycles. Some of you might say it’s a bit more than like, but who’s quibbling. God has gifted me as a fixer of things that help people have an opportunity to start and develop a relationship with God. Maybe a bit weird, but it’s been a great life so far!

The idea of God using something like motorcycles to help people get to know Him is not unique. He’s been doing it since He first invented them. But my involvement in the moto / God / relationship arena is less than a decade old. My newest idea is one I want you to pray with me about. Yes, it’s another strange one, but hold your judgement until after praying about it a bit.

In the locations of the world where Wycliffe goes to do Bible Translation they help start a National Bible Translation Organisation. A local group of people who take ownership of the project, develop into the leadership and get the job done accurately and as quickly as possible. One of the challenges most of the National Bible Translation Organisations (NBTO’s) face is how to fund themselves. This is a principal challenge the Seed Company was envisioned to meet and they are doing a great job at it. But more help is always needed.

When I went to Cameroon to teach the JAARS Motorcycle Safety and Maintenance course, I learned the NBTO there was looking for additional ways they could generate income above and beyond donations. So this idea # 43….. was conceived. Assist them in the development of a Motorcycle Adventure Tour Company. Now hold your snickering till after you finish reading this. I, (of course) think its a great idea, but I admit there may be some who disagree and they will get back to me. Yes, it is a speciality type program that will require some outside expertise and a lot of start up capital. All of that is well within Gods ability to provide if He so chooses.

So, the prayer request is asking God if “I should spend some time developing this idea”. That’s all. I don’t want to be wasting time working on something I think is a great idea, because helping people, motorcycles and Africa are some of my passions, but shouldn’t be one of my primary objectives.

Here is what the idea looks like. Remember, this is a starting point, something to deviate from:  The tour company will be fully owned and staffed by the NBTO with outside advisers contracted as needed. The local nationals know the culture, customs and how to get things done in their own country. The NBTO with the advisers will develop the business plan and seek necessary funding to make it a successful venture. They will acquire new good quality 250 cc – 1200 cc duel sport motorcycles from Europe, Asia or the USA, along with maintenance tooling and spare parts. The equipment will be shipped to the NBTO’s location. Some of the motorcycles will be assigned to the translators and literacy workers who will in turn be the riding guides for the new tour company. Some of the motorcycles will be carefully preserved and kept as future spare parts and some will be assigned to the tour company for customers to ride. A trailer will be built up locally to haul spare motorcycles, (in case one breaks) tools, camping and personal gear, food and cooking equipment. The NBTO will provide a truck to pull the trailer to accompany and assist each tour. 

The average daily price people are paying to take these types of tours is $500. A ten day tour would be $5,000. With an average of ten customers per tour the gross income would be $50,000. These are all ball park numbers, just to get one thinking.

Thanks for praying. We couldn’t be doing any of this without you, our prayer team.