Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Back from the Village

Tonight we arrived back in Thies at Massa Massa, our hotel. After three days and two nights in the village without sanitary installations and very rudimentary toilets, everyone was happy to see a real bathroom again, take a shower and scrub off the dirt! The first day we worshipped at the church pastored by Pastor A. It was a wonderful experience of two cultures coming together with Mike doing a portion of the preaching. We spent the afternoon walking around the village and visiting some of the namesakes of past visits. Every first time visitor is assigned a namesake. The second and third days were spent in a neighboring village, where we held a health clinic. Somehow, there was a mix-up, so the first day was relatively light, but the second day had us seeing 125 patients. Dr. Inez Stoltzfus did a great job seeing all the sick with the help of several other nurses, both the ones on our team, Denise and Terry, and the local team, which included Sherry, Laurie Sadio's former roommate. Luxuries there are extremely sparse, but we all managed to pray, fellowship, worship, visit, meet, and giggle. On the first evening, we had dinner at Pastor A's house, followed by the namesake ceremony. Newbies Mike, Anna, Nick and Elke got to meet their namesakes and dance with them to African drumbeats. Great fun as we watched the kids (and moms with babies strapped to their backs) display their dancing talents. The second evening included an evangelistic movie at Pastor A's compound with Terry giving her testimony. In the villages, we have had many opportunities to share the Gospel, and the interest has been there. May the Lord bring great increase to His family! Back in Thies, we got to visit with Jim and Olivia Pina, the MIS interim director and his wife. We have been blessed by all that we are experiencing. Tomorrow, Pastor Mike, Nick and Elke are going to Tattaguine to meet their World Vision kids. Then it's on to the village, where we will meet up with the rest of the team. Keep praying for us, especially travel in Senegal. The roads are very different from ours! Please also pray for Pastor A who lost his mother yesterday. We stopped in his village on the way back from the village to express our condolences. The family was very appreciative of this.

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