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.
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.
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!
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.
Millet in field