November 2 & 3, 2010 Newsletter #7
Saakpuli Village (Tuesday, Nov 2)
We arrived to the village and everyone piled out of the 2 vans we had. We surveyed the area trying to determine where each of our ministry projects would take place, as we waited for the Chief of the village to prepare to greet us. After the customary greetings and fellowship with the Chief and the village elders, sites determined, off we went.
Cindy, Don, Susan, & Rhonda headed to the village community center (a small open hut type structure in the center of the village) for the Health Seminar & Evangelism. Phyllis, Lena, Lynne, Johnny, Dan, Mike, Jeff, & the missionaries (Bob & Bonnie Parker) headed to the "big tree" where school is held, to do the children's ministry.
The Health Seminar started with about 30-40 persons, but grew quickly to over 100. We opened with songs of praise. Cindy did the presentation on disease, sanitation, & nutrition. Phyllis joined us after she had finished singing with the children & followed up with the presentation on HIV/AIDS prevention. Then Don gave the gospel presentation using the Evange Cube. It was wonderful to look over and see the village Chief using the small Evange Cube, Don had given him, to follow along with the presentation Don was doing with the large cube. The information shared was well received. They interacted and asked many questions. At the end 15+ hands were raised to give their live to Christ.
Children's ministry (song, Bible story, games & crafts) were at the 'big tree." There were over 85 children. Phyllis lead them in songs, including the KYEOJ (Keep Your Eyes On Jesus) song that she wrote (check out her KYEOJ.com site). Lynne shared her book – all the children got a book to take home. The they were split into 3 groups to rotate to the different game station: rocket launcher, car races, ladder golf & the ball game. Unlike children in the US – fun & games are not a part of their daily life. They live in a survival culture – from an early age they have to work in order for them & their family to survive. But no matter where you are, kids are kids and the resilience they have is so refreshing. What a blessing for us to be able to come & spend a day with them – so they can just be kids.
Then we all headed to the "big" tree for a quick bite to eat & then clinic. The village organized a tribal "thank you" dance for us, so towards the end of our quick lunch we heard drums & dancing coming down the road. The preformed for us – it was wonderful. They we set up for clinic, organized ourselves & the people.
Diagnosing & treating: Susan, Rhonda, Cindy / Pharmacy: Jeff (lead pharmacist), Lena, Phyllis & Lynn (filling prescriptions), Phyllis,(dispensing medications) Dan, Johnny / Gifts: Mike (soap, dum-dum lollipops) / Evangelism: Don
We saw 259 people – thankfully there was nothing too serious. Everyone got vitamins & those with medical needs that we could treat we did. It was a wonderful day!
Wednesday (Nov 3)
A day of rest & rejuvenation – thank you Lord. It is amazing how draining the 100+ heat is here. By about 10am in the morning the temperature is over 90 and rising. We spent the morning in fellowship with each other, then headed off to town to get more medicines for the other 2 clinics this week & a little bit of shopping. Then back to the guest house to count meds & finish getting ready for the next 2 days.
Late afternoon Mike & Dan headed out to a village for a crusade with a couple from Indiana. Dan helped Doris with the children's ministry. Neal & Mike, with their interpreter, went to the chief's home to for the formal greeting & to get permission for the night's activities. They received a warm welcome from the chief. The chief's 2 Muslim sons were sitting with him. The chief told them that he was getting old, and was not as strong as he used to be. He wanted to know what God was going to do about that, would He help him? Mike shared with him that with God anything was possible. The chief inquired if he accepted God for himself, since he was the chief, would his entire village also go to heaven with him. Neal explained to him that acceptance of God was a personal thing, that each person was responsible for himself. Neal pointed to one of the chief's Muslim sons & told him that the son would have to accept God himself.
Once permission from the chief was obtained, the equipment was set up (lights, generator, PA system). With that done & the children's ministry over the crusade was ready to begin. The first order of business is praise and worship, 45 minutes of singing & dancing.
Dusk comes early here – about 6pm. So in order to have an evening crusade you must run lights to be able to see. This tends to attract many flying creatures. Dan was to hold the flashlight as Neal read from his Bible. When the little light came on all the many flying creatures immediately came to the new little light. Needless to say, Neal read his Bible without the assistance of Dan's flashlight or the many flying creatures.
There were approximately 300 persons who heard the word of the Lord. At the end of the message, Neal gave an invitation, inviting those wanting to commit their lives to God. 17 came forward. Dan prayed the sinner's prayer with them. Mike did the closing prayer.
The crusade over the people began to disperse back into the darkness, they had very few "torches" (flashlights). As we packed up the equipment, the many flying creatures, decided that since the lights were gone we would be their friend L. Over 500 gazillion flying creatures invaded every nook & cranny of our clothing. By God's grace (not just a cliché here) were escaped without one bit or injury to our selves – can't say the same for the many flying creatures.
When we were loaded – God smiled on us, again, with a bright moon and little cloud cover providing ample lighting to find the dirt path for us to drive on to make our way back to the main road. Once on the main road, thankfully the traffic was light, which is a blessing, as driving here is challenging enough in the daylight & sometimes downright hazardous, especially at night. We arrived back to SEED Ministry safe, sound, and happy!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Lena! One of our team members celebrated her birthday here on Thursday. So to surprise her, we had her surprise Birthday party the evening before. Surprise does not begin to describe her reaction. We had a cake with "Happy B-day" spelled out in g-nuts (peanuts) – you have to improvise on the mission field J. How many people can say they have spent a birthday in a foreign land, serving God by serving others?
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