Safer Than A Roller Coaster!

God takes care of those who "risk" obeying Him

rollercoaster

I hate roller coasters. I can’t handle the feeling of losing control of where I am going.  It is difficult to rush forward without knowing what’s going to happen next.  However, they say that roller coasters are actually safer than children’s wagons or even folding lawn chairs. And I must admit: on the few times my girls ever talked me into riding a roller coaster with them, there came a point before the ride was over that I actually relaxed and gave up worrying about what was coming next.

Last month, because the brakes of my 1998 Toyota Corolla were squeaking, I left it at Quality Tire in Brewer, Maine to get them fixed.  Around noon, they called me back.  “Your car needs new struts and brakes, and it’s going to cost you $1,600.”

Inwardly, I gulped.  “That’s a lot!,” I thought.  Then I asked my mechanic it would be okay to think it over.  I thought about it, then called Sharon.  We both agreed that we needed to get a new vehicle so that I could preach in the churches each month.  But on our missionary salary, what could we get?

Continue Reading »

The Search for Ginger Chicken

ginger

This post was written by Sharon while we were in Chad.

Yesterday, it was getting near to sundown, and we couldn’t find Ginger, our new chicken. She hadn’t touched the cut-up tomatoes we had given her, which is extremely unusual, because she LOVES them. We couldn’t find her anywhere in our yard, and so we started searching. We started to wonder if someone had climbed over the wall and stolen her, but decided that’s not likely, because we would certainly have heard her squawk. Then we were trying to remember the last time we saw her, and no one could remember decisively. I wondered if she escaped when Ashta left, but David insisted she couldn’t have. We checked inside the library, the other part of the yard, everywhere we could think of, but to no avail. I stood near the front gate, between the library and the guardhouse, and started to call her; “Here, chick-chick-chick!”

Continue Reading »

More Precious Than Gold

Reflections on the 2013 Gold Rush in Chad and the Darfur

Gold mine workers wait to get their raw gold weighed at a gold shop in the town of Al-Fahir in North Darfur [photo by REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah]

Our family was there in Chad, Africa for the 2013 gold rush.  A few prospectors had secretly found gold on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, and everyone got excited about it.

On the Sudanese side of the gold zone, it was easy to find a job in the mines.  It was dangerous work, but Chad is a country full of desperate people.  The mine owners were easily able to find fathers and sons willing to risk their lives in an attempt to rise out of poverty.

Meanwhile, on the Chadian side, the government gave everyone a few months to stake their claim.  If a fortune seeker found gold after the cutoff date, it would belong to the Chadian government.

A gold mine worker uses a detector at Al-Ibedia locality in the River Nile State, in this July 30, 2013 file picture. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/FilesAs a result, everyone who could rushed up north to join the prospectors!  Normally the road to the village in the Kapka region (where my camel lives) would only see a few vehicles each day. During that time, lots of Land Cruisers would always be passing me, leaving a cloud of dust behind them.

I am far from being a specialist in Mineralogy, but all my friends were coming to me with samples of the rocks they had discovered in their village.  I also ended up becoming the “Go-To” guy for teaching villagers how to use the metal detector their brothers had sent over from the US.

Some of the prospectors were successful in finding gold and of making a fortune.  Most of them were impoverished by the upfront investment.  Once a group of prospectors did strike gold, the struggle wasn’t over.  To succeed, they had to devote themselves to exploiting it before their money ran out, and staying alive long enough to profit from it.

Continue Reading »

Packing in the desert during hot season

packed for iriba

This post was written while we were still in Chad, Africa.

I’m “back from being underground”; not in covert operations, but rather, I became swamped with packing! And all this in the middle of Mother’s Day weekend, which I knew better than to ignore and pretend like it wasn’t happening. We had coconut pancakes for breakfast, and were thankful to enjoy fellowship with our friends over lunch… with their huge solar system, complete with COLD WATER from their freezer that runs 24/7!! Then I went out and bought pizzas from Rose du Sable.

Our house has been part home, part storage unit for some time now. So the first step was easy: get all the stuff that is storage out into the courtyard. However, DO NOT put any boxes or wood on the ground, or the termites will get it! I mistakenly put a box on the ground to get something out of a suitcase; by the next morning, the termites had made a nest in the box of Tupperware. I was thankful it wasn’t a box of books, or I would have been in HUGE trouble.

Continue Reading »

A missed flight, friends gained, time lost

prayer time en route

This post was written while we were still in Chad, Africa.

I missed my flight back to Abéché! I lost track of time, and no one gave me a ride to catch the flight. Oh well, everyone has to miss at least one flight if they are going to live here. I’ll definitely be ready for next time. So I had to ride in a pickup truck and paid a little extra to get a front seat. I ended up sitting in the market for five hours, which was great for friendship building; but it held up my schedule. I had used up the money I had brought with me, and one of my new friends bought me a soda. Never tasted one better!

Continue Reading »