Too afraid to start up the generator

Troubled by a rebel attack on Abéché, Chad

Enough time has passed by that I can tell you this story about a generator.  It happened during the time when rebels attacked the town of Abéché.  It is the story of a time when I was under intense pressure to back down in my stand for our friend.  Those who sided with me remained silent but many, while few stood against me, but seemed vocal and determined to have it their way.

We were in Abéché, serving with Bakan Assalam.  At the time, Bakan Assalam would help the Aunties and Uncles of orphans by providing medical and nutritional assistance.  As a result, many of these orphans were able to survive despite the harsh conditions of the deserts of Chad.

My role at Bakan Assalam was to develop the language of the village where they had opened their first dispensary in the 1960s. Rebels had just invaded Abéché.  Our team was on edge.

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Delivering packages and a post office miracle

This post was written while we were in Chad.

Last night, I got the call that a flight was coming to Iriba! So I finished packing and set the alarm for early morning. I was out the door at 7 AM this Saturday morning, before anyone in the house was up. There was a lot of waiting, but finally the plane showed up. It was empty except for one pilot and a cargo of school supplies. Apparently they had stopped in Guéréda as well.

I was on the ground in Abéché by 9:30 AM, with 10,400 CFA in my pocket. The post office closes at 11 AM, so I hurried to drop off my luggage, and headed to the bank. But the ATM was down, so I went on to the post office by 10:20 AM. The nine packages cost 20,230 CFA to withdraw, but they were gracious enough to release them to me, provided I gave them the 10,000 I owed them on Monday.

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Wanted: More Lone Rangers

The Most Misunderstood Hero of the Wild West

We need to be Lone Rangers in the Kingdom of God.  Throughout my life, I’ve heard preachers say the opposite, but it’s simply not true.  God is looking for Lone Rangers who will bravely go where others arelone rangers and silver too afraid to make an eternal difference.

Did you ever listen to the original Lone Ranger radio programs or watch the original TV series?  I highly recommend it, no matter how old you are.

While I work in the office on mindless but important projects, I intersperse podcasts of sermons and entrepreneurial wisdom with old-time radio programs, like The Lone Ranger, Superman, Challenge of the Yukon and Gunsmoke.

These stories from the Golden Age of Radio not only bring a little fun to my life; they also teach me how to tell inspiring stories to children and adults.  This is a skill that I need to develop if I wish to mobilize others to join me in the Harvest Field in Christ’s Service.

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Catching up, and transitions in our journey

Thank you for walking with me and my family as we served in Chad, Africa. You have kept up with our adventures through this, my Desert Voices blog.  Thank you for allowing me to vent my frustrations, share my joys, and dream of a better future for Africa.

The journey continues

unloading time on the journey

We are now based in Maine, but we haven’t finished the journey yet.  With permission, we travel back and forth between continents to continue to serve in the ministry of language development.

Last year around April 29th, I went back to Chad for a month and a week.  There, I got to visit the village where my camel lives, and caught up with friends.  I also became arrested; long story… but it turned out fine in the end.  Anyway, after finishing my visit out east, I returned to N’Djaména, ate Royal Chicken, and headed to Kenya for the first time.

One week later, two Boko Haram suicide bombers killed themselves at the Commissariat Central of N’Djaména. Their death was followed by other bombers, one at the Central Market, and others in a small village around Lake Chad.

Life has definitely changed in Chad, but our task, and our calling, has not.  We have a Message of Hope, and are not afraid to tell it.  More importantly, as difficult as life was for my Chadian family and friends under normal circumstances, this

terrible twist of terrorism has increased the level of anxiety and fear on the streets.  For the sake of our friends we left, please keep praying for Chad, and for the end of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

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Fish Distribution Center, or Fishing Classes?

The Parable of the Lonely Fisherman

Once there was a successful fisherman in a remote village.  At that time, no one else knew how to fish. Consequently, there was no danger of him losing his job.  He was the only one with “fish stories” to tell.  It didn’t matter how small his catch was.  ITraditional Icelandic Fisherman (source: Wikimedia)t was always the best catch of the week.

He was the hero of the village, because he was the only one.

However, as time went on, the fisherman felt lonely.  He missed his wife, and his kids hardly knew him.  Everyone depended on him to provide fish for the village, so much that he was always out in his boat, no matter how bad the weather.  Whenever he was sick in bed from being out in the boat so long, he would always have to work even harder to catch up afterwards.

Finally, the master fisherman could stand it no longer.  He chose several young men and brought them out on the boat with him.  It was a struggle, but he paid for their fishing rods and nets and other essential equipment.  Then he taught them everything he knew about fishing.  He didn’t hold anything back.

No longer lonely

His students were quickly able to pay him back for the fishing rods and nets from the profits they were able to earn from their new skill.  And from that day on, though newcomers to the village didn’t know his name, the master fisherman was never without friends.  Everyone who could fish, and their relatives, would remember the day that he sat beside them in his boat, teaching them the secrets of the deep.

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