Waiting patiently, but waiting in vain

How to make our moments of waiting more profitable and exciting

“Wait patiently” doesn’t mean the same thing in Africa as it does in the United States.  In America, we might decide to come back later if the line has seven people waiting in it.  We might call back if the waiting time is longer than ten minutes.  Even 5 minutes microwave cooking time can seem like too long to wait!

Waiting in line to go to a concert in Germany

And yet, when we wait in line in America, we hope that our patience is rewarded in the end.  One of the features of life in the Third World, or where a disaster strikes, is that our patience isn’t always rewarded as we would hope.

How can we learn to make the most of the times we spend waiting for something, even if it ends up being waiting in vain?

Back in September 2010, our family needed to find a place to live in eastern Chad.  We had just arrived back in Chad and were living in the capital city of N’Djaména, 14+ hours west of Abéché.  A friend in the capital promised that we could rent his home in Abéché.

To start moving in, all I needed to do was to pick up the key from the Sultan, his brother.

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A missed flight, friends gained, time lost

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!

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A Wild, Exhausting Journey through the Sand

On Saturday, as we traveled back from Iriba, we took a wrong turn, and found ourselves headed to Adré. Mind you, the road wasn’t so bad; however, it was disconcerting to drive 30 miles on a road that led 90 miles away from our destination. We arrived in Adré at 8 PM, and in Abéché at 11:45 PM. When we arrived in Adré, I decided to keep going; we didn’t know where to find a guest house, or if they would even have a place for us.

Without road signs to guide us on the road, we used the GPS that we’ve had for about a decade now, thanks to our friends at Lebanon Assembly of God! Because we knew where we were going, we stayed the course rather than bolt on a country road in panic.

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Fun memories to treasure

My time in Moundou is a blur of sickness, including tummy problems I’d rather not explain to you in detail. It is so humid there! We found a cooler and some ice, so we could keep the dairy products, sodas and water cool. Because the station did not have consistent electricity, this was a welcome blessing.

It rained a bit over at the Bible school, which hopefully means that rainy season will soon cool things down. That day, we visited the Bible school students, the staff and their families. They loved picking themselves out on the picture that Randy took of them, and would gather around his camera to find out where they were standing.

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Bothersome interruption

This post was written while we were in Chad.

I have been fixing Sarah’s desk from Guéréda, and it is coming along well. The wood glue that Steve Banks terapeak.com swift rivers puzzle no interruptionrecommended is really working well! Now that I’ve finished the 500 piece puzzle of Swift River, this has become my latest puzzle to try to assemble! The result will also serve as a model to show to our carpenter friend in town for the other desks for the girls.

Our first interruption began earlier in the day. While we were having church, I looked out the one-way window in the living room, and saw two boys about 9 years old, wandering through the yard, looking around. So I quietly went out the front door, and started chasing them. They were terrified! they ran into two directions, so I kept pursuing one of them. Up to the road, he ran and hid behind a young man who pleaded with me on his behalf. Of course, as a Christian, I couldn’t severely punish that boy. I just wanted him to never jump over the wall again. I think I got my message across.

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