If you've missed any of our trip so far – here are links:
As I mentioned in yesterday's blog post – I expected Sunday to be a low-key day – simply a day between village visits. I didn't anticipate visiting a vibrant church, and I didn't expect I'd be preaching at that church. The day was full. Here are photos to summarize part 2:
The church started a Christian school. And we hope to go visit the school tomorrow morning. What I love about the school is that half of the students are from Muslim families. The administration is very open with the parents that they will be teaching the children the Bible. I am SO excited about this school!! And they pay tuition when they actually have a free "public" schoool in Goz Beida (unlike any of the villages – where people can't read or write)! That is awesome that Muslims are willing to send their children to a Christian school!
This is one of the classrooms. Dirt floor. No desks. No teacher's desk. More benches will be brought in after church is over. There are about 60 children in each classroom.
This is the housing that is all over eastern Chad. The only housing that is substantially different in Goz Beida would be housing that NGOs use for directors or guests and some employees. But most employees of the NGOs live just like those who were in Goz Beida before the Darfur crisis. And because these Christians coming from southern Chad live just like those who grew up in Goz Beida, I have great hope and excitement for the church here! In fact, with 450 people at church – there were only four cars in the "parking lot" (which is just anywhere in the sand outside the building)! I love that! If you really want to reach a group of people – you better live among them and live like them! OK, I will get off my mission-hobby horse. 🙂
Believe it or not – this is a donkey parking lot. Seriously. If you see the policeman in blue in the middle of the donkeys – he collects payment to "park" your donkey here. Sunday is market day in Goz Beida, and people come from all over to the market.
This is NOT a tourist market. Tourists don't get to this part of the world. This is where people come from all over to buy food, clothes, tools… anything and everything.
Sewing clothing. There is no electricy in Goz Beida. If you have electricity – it is only because you have a generator. A few businesses may have them, but it is primarily the UN and NGOs that have generators.
In the middle of the circle is a Muslim Imam (teacher) – teaching in the middle of the market on the side of a road.
There is a smaller area for camels. The camel parking lot isn't as large.
Watermelons are grown well in Chad. And they are delicious. So good!
More of the camel parking lot.
Hanging out with Mark, Athanase, Michael (photo below), Nate, and Emmanuel was a huge highlight. And as if it isn't hot enough – we put three of us in the backseat every time. And if you are thinking the vehicles have air conditioning… you'd be wrong.
This is Michael. He grew up in southern Chad. He is a believer who went to Penn State for college but always wanted to come back to Chad to serve the needy. So he came back to Chad and moved to eastern Chad to work with World Concern. He is a great brother and has a huge heart for the needy Muslims in the villages of eastern Chad. He drove us around and walked us around the market today. He is the on-field program director of the "One Village Transformed" projects that connect one village with one church.