Sunday, March 14, 2010


CFM's work crew

Nathan, Melody and me

With Mtenzi Family

With Mosier Family

Workers waiting for baptism

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

the rest

I'm back in Kinshasa with Mr. Mtenzi. We're staying in the same hotel I stayed in on the way to Kisangani. Pr. Mtenzi is teaching lay missionaries here. I'm just getting spoiled. With A/C in the hotel room, I slept more than 10 hours each of the last 2 nights. I hadn't realized that I had so much to catch up on. Having a pool to swim in is great. And having time to catch up on the blog is nice too.

Here's a few highlights of the last couple weeks:

Sunday, a week ago, we went biking up the road heading East again. This time we were all on bikes: Nathan gave Melody and April turns on the motorbike while the other pedaled, and I got to pedal the whole way. We made it much farther - almost 15km up the road this time. We got a tour of a school on the way. Apparently, the nice forest area along the road is a rubber plantation. Soaking in the creek on the way back was basically a necessity.

Sabbath, the day before that, was the day of the baptism following the meetings at Kabondo 2. Over 30 people were baptized, including 5 of the CFM workers. Getting to the baptism pond involved a truck ride and a hike. The hike involved wading through puddles for most people, but a couple of us gave rides across the puddle to those who wanted to keep their feet dry. On the way back, I chose to jog behind the truck, since it never went faster than any easy jogging speed, and jogging was much more comfortable than riding.

On Thursday, my last full day, we went to the river again. It was great: there was another show of the hippo chasing fishers away, sand castle construction, soccer and keep-away playing, and we even got wet... There was less swimming than normal though: the dam above the beach was opened enough that a whole bunch of floating weeds came through and congregated in the eddy we were at. It looked like a big green carpet in places.

I left Kisangani when the Bible arrived. The big 66-language Bible that Hope TV is sending around the planet arrived in Kisangani from Nairobi a few hours before I flew out. There was a big show put on, with the Pathfinder band providing the music.
I guess they then paraded the Bible around and gave out Bibles. It's all an attempt to get people reading their Bibles.

My time at CFM was an excellent experience. The timing was great: I was there just when I was needed, and I left feeling that Nathan and the local crew now have everything well under control. The last month I was taking it easy more: taking more time to study especially. Now for a couple more days in the concrete jungle of Kinshasa - then the trip home.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mostly about bikes

Only 1 week of work left for me here now. But still more than 2 weeks until I can hop on my bike...

So far this week I've been learning how to hang a wood vaulted ceiling from the metal structure of Keith's house. Today I taught Dady how to install doors.

On Sunday afternoon, Nathan, Melody, April and I went up the road a few km on bikes. It's farther than we'd been before, and the road gets into really nice forest, with rather huge trees along the way. I was on a toleka, a local bike, and it sure made me glad for how nice my bike is back at home. By the time we made it to where the Mosiers were enjoying a creek along the road, the toleka had fallen apart enough that I decided to leave it with them. So Nathan and I took turns running and biking the rest of the way.

One note - the locals commonly their toleka bikes on journeys of 100-200km. The poor guys sure have to baby their bikes. And they carry huge loads on their bikes. Often they will have two 75+lb, 3.5+ft high sacks of charcoal on the back of a bike. And then they have to get their bikes with the tippy loads off the road quickly so trucks can get by. And their brakes are almost useless.

Farther down the road there was the reddest butterfly I think I've ever seen. It was right where a guy was trying to fix his toleka, so I stayed with him until the others caught up and could take a picture. The guy said he couldn't fix his bike with what he had, so he probably had to push it to the next village to get it fixed.

We went on until a village, then had to turn back because of time. We went back to the creek where the Mosiers were with Keith's kayak, and had a good soak. It was fun to try out the kayak: it's a river kayak, so it is much more responsive than an ocean kayak. I had to learn how to paddle without making the kayak turn a half-circle every stroke.

Pastor Mtenzi's evangelistic meetings are still going well.
And Nathan fell a big tree yesterday: it was neat to learn a bit about how that's done.
And that's all for now.