Yesterday was a highlight-type day: Matt and I drove a motorcycle to bush church, we sang along with some really cool drums, I told a children’s story, and then we rode back for “regular church.” At church, we sat with one of the Muslim patients Dr. Danae had invited and tried to survive the breeze-less hot, stuffy air. After a wonderful potluck, we headed out to “Monkey Forest,” which is nearby the village of the bush church we had visited the past two Sabbaths. Anywhere we go we attract attention, and this time was no exception. Pretty soon we were hiking through the forest with about 40 curious kids trailing behind us. With the noise we made, we never did spot any monkeys but we did collect dozens of white shells that were scattered across the forest floor. We got back in the pickup truck and headed for our next destination – the home of a former patient who has felt indebted to the Netteburgs for saving his life a few years back.
We arrived at his home, met with his wives, kids, and neighborhood kids, explored the simple brick huts forming several rooms, a small, dark kitchen, and what looked like a multi-purpose room. Outside there was a well and several small chicks, hens, and ducks, which entertained the Netteburg kids for hours. We sat on the mat with our new friends and since they did not speak French, we just “hung out” with our presence. Danae had brought a picture Bible for the family and they all huddled around it as one of the wives was turning the pages. It dawned on me that these people (along with most people in Bere) don’t own any books; when they are not in the fields working they are sitting around at home; so by giving them this Bible, we were also giving them something beautiful to look at, something uplifting to read, commit to memory, and recall in hard times, and something that will socially engage their whole family, and bring hope and light to their neighbors and village as well.