Packing in the desert during hot season

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.

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A quiet, productive day to wait

kid waitingThis post was written while we were in Chad.

I “lay low” today, recovering from the trip and the tiredness I was feeling even before I left. This provided me with a chance to put the stuff I brought with me into storage here at Bakan Assalam. So the car is empty, and we can return home when our work is done here.

It seems like the bulk of our work today is to “wait”; wait for a key to become available, wait for my friend offering his home to us to return from France and to get back to me, wait for the staff at the orphanage to return tomorrow. We are working on alternatives: I went into the house we lived in last term, took pictures, knelt and prayed.

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A VERY long trip to Iriba and back with Abdullah

This post was written while we were in Chad.

As I finished writing my last diary entry, I heard the sound of a truck backing up (beeep-beeep-beeep)! It was Abdullah, ready to load up these furniture with Abdullahbags, boxes, furniture and luggage into his truck. There was stacking, pulling, pushing and organizing. But in the end, they did it, and I was thankful.

We were on the road by 5 PM. As the sun set, we were in Matta, a very popular rest stop, almost exactly one hour from Abéché. As the men started their evening prayers, the women lit the fires under their cooking pots, preparing for the travelers who would be passing through all night.

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Why do I sell dictionaries?

This post was written while we were in Chad.

A while back, my good friend Mike Washburn (who is currently senior pastor at the Full Life Church of Fremont, Nebraska) asked me, “Why are you selling dictionaries?”

It’s the kind of question Sharon would ask, the kind that makes me stop and think about why we do what we do. So for Mike, and for myself, I wanted to write a little tonight about why I do this.

selling dictionaries in the pharmacyHere’s what dictionary selling looks like: I sell dictionaries in the language I have worked with since 2003. This version was produced in 2007, before I left the country, but we will improve it over the current term. The dictionaries cost me 1311 CFA each (about $2.62) and I sell them for 2,000 CFA each (about $4.00).

The higher price allows me to sell them to other distributors like the five pharmacies and the bookstore who are currently selling them. Thus, they are able to get a bulk of the profit for helping me to sell them. After a tithe, any additional profit will ultimately go into producing more literature. I also sell them on the street, showing the few copies in my hands to anyone who looks my way. If anybody motions to me to come over, I go tell them what I have.

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Moving out, moving in: more room for our family

This post was written while we were in Chad.

I spent the weekend working at the house to take everything out of all the rooms. I took it apart if necessary, and prepared it for departure. If it was top priority for going to Abéché, it went into my old office; if it was second priority, it went into Sharon’s prayer room. If it was going to the house, it went into the living room. Old house, old roomI need to pack up bookshelves, and take apart a bunk bed and three of five metal cabinets. Then, when everything was moved out of the room, I swept it thoroughly, and closed the windows and doors to it.

So now we have taken care of my office, Sharon’s office, the girls’ room, the living room, the dining room, our bedroom and all the bathrooms. What remained was the kitchen, Sarah’s room and bathroom and the hallway between the rooms. Since this is where I was living, I saved these rooms for last.

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