Saturday, November 14, 2015

Language Interruptions

It was only two days after my overnight stay at the cattle camp, and we were back into every day life. The team had left and we had started back our language classes. It was a routine day, when all of a sudden our teacher got a phone call.  I was only able to hear a few words of ½ a conversation but I knew something was wrong.  I heard the words tall grass, buffalo, tree, car, and man.  I thought to myself, wow, my language is slipping this doesn’t make any sense.  Finally our teacher connected the dots. One of the men we had just met was taking his cows out to find grass when out of nowhere a Cape Buffalo appeared. It charged directly at him and the 2000 lb. animal flung him sideways into a tree.  The animal’s momentum carried him past the man but he quickly turned around to attack one more time.  The man was able to crawl into some tall grass and hide until the buffalo finally left.  One of our teammates was needed to go pick the man up in our vehicle and take him to the closest hospital.  It was nothing short of a miracle that the man not only survived, but also suffered no major wounds. He was discharged from the hospital a few days later.  As we begin to ask questions we found at that, while we slept right beside this man two nights earlier, we had actually met him about a week ago. He was one of several men who had decided recently to be a follower of Jesus and be baptized. Pray that he will use his miraculous story of survival as a testimony to the power of His savior.

                                          Visiting our teacher Ngole's home

The man featured in this story is one of these four men whom we had the privilege of watching be baptized.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Camping at the Nawi

Camping at the Nawi. 

The Nawi, when translated, simply means cattle camp or corral.  I had heard that a few men from a recent volunteer team were going to go share stories and “camp” at the cattle camp.  I had visited these camps several times, but I have never had the opportunity to stay the night.  I was thrilled when they asked me to come with them, but as soon as I accepted the invitation I began thinking to myself “what have I done?” 

The cattle camp is where all the “warrior” age men take the cows during dry season to find grass.  Sometimes it is days away, while other times it may simply be over a mountain range or somewhere a little closer.  Thankfully this time it wasn’t too far away, but it was far enough away that we knew we were nowhere near the comforts of home.  Each person brought with them a bottle of water, a cloth wrap to use as a blanket, and a small stool, called an ekicholong.  There were no tents, there was no food, we wanted to be as close to the Karamjong men who were staying there as possible. 

We actually had a four-course meal.  The next paragraph is not for the faint of heart, nor for my mother who will kill me when she finds out what we ingested.  Anyway, The first coarse was a very large, hollow gourd full of fresh cows milk passed around until we finished it.  The second course was a different, bigger gourd of homemade “yogurt” at least that is what we told ourselves mentally, It was quite chunky and it was about as horrible as it sounds. It took a lot to get it down, but we each did our part as the gourd was passed around.  We took as much as we could and smiled as a group of nationals watched in anticipation for us to try this delicacy. The third course was cow’s blood cooked over a fire. It had the consistency and taste of liver and was actually my favorite of the four.  A little salt however, would have gone a long way. The last course was all three courses mixed together in a container and passed around.  I then chewed about 4 pieces of gum and passed the rest around for everyone to try.  My American friends greatly appreciated the fresh taste of mint.

The moon was full, the night was cold, the fire was warm, and our bellies had about a ½ gallon of warm milk inside them.  If I weren’t laying on a rock and a root I would have fallen asleep by 9:00.  However we stayed up another hour or so listening to the team tell 4 different Bible stories. They did a great job and presented a very clear Gospel.  I feel like after all we had to eat and drink a church should have sprung up right then and there, however contact has been made and Christ has been preached and shown.  We slept about fifty feet away from a few hundred cows.  I kept thinking I hope my friends, the Turkana people, don’t decide to go cattle raiding tonight as they often do.  In the back of my mind I knew where several nearby rocks were in case I needed to find cover in the middle of a gun battle. That was the last thought I remember before the cowswoke me up about 4 hours later.  The men had a very long journey the next day to find enough pasture to feed their cows.  As they left at 4 am so did we.  It was a great cultural experience and helped to show a glimpse of what this ministry may look like in the future.

* Please check back in one week to hear an update on this story.  Also, continue to check back as we have several stories scheduled to be released over the next few months.

We are back!!! At least for now

Well, it has been awhile since we updated you all on our blog and for that I apologize.  Our blog is a place to share everyday stories to give you a glimpse into our everyday life. Here you will see more adventure and the liter side of life in the bush as we tell some of the stories that don’t make it into our newsletter.  It has been a long and difficult road these past few years as we hurried up to wait.  One day we would be thrilled with excitement thinking our departure would be within weeks or months, other times we would be depressed, thinking "there is no way, ever, we are going to be able to go back. Then all of a sudden as our story has so often unfolded God opened a door and swung it wide open. We were given clearance, sold our house, quit our jobs and boarded a plan in a matter of a month.  God is so good and his timing is everything.  Thank you all for your faithfulness to encourage us both in the States and as we have returned to Africa.