Today is commissioning day. Yesterday was our last day teaching music/drama/puppet classes. Today was an all-camp work day. All the teams are packed and ready to go to their various projects. Our team spent the day preparing to move out to our first AIDS Orphans Rescue Unit tomorrow. Half of the team went with Vitalis & Christine on a mega shopping trip in town to get paint, brushes & rollers to paint the rescue units, soccer balls for ministry, and fresh food & other general supplies that we’ll need while away from the base. The rest of the team stayed behind with Anna L. to organize & pack our kitchen. We’re are all excited for the next stage of our African adventure. Tonight we’ll join the other teams for the final rally/commissioning service. We’re looking forward to sending out the teams we’ve worked so hard to train and who we’ve gotten to know & love over the past 10 days.
It was the last day of the OC and our team ran after the national teams. We drew quite a crowd of onlookers as we tackled the African version of the slough, Jacob’s ladder, Hezekiah’s tunnel & the wall. By far, the toughest obstacle for our team was Hezekiah’s tunnel – it stretches for nearly 25 feet and is so small and tight that the only way through is to wiggle on your stomach in an army crawl. Our team emerged victorious on the other end, covered from head to toe in red clay mud.
At rally, the OC announcements have gotten quite elaborate with last night featuring a 6-part remote news broadcast performed by Anna M., Caleb, Madeline, Mikhaela and Jazmine. Lucas and Luke B. have also made quite a name for themselves with their creation of special rules for the boot campers to follow when running the OC. The favorites so far has been to frog jump from Needle’s Eye to the Slough & to swing over the Slough backwards.
Our team has re-instated the Godliness Award that we had at Boot Camp. So far, Anthony & JonMichael have been nominated for outstanding acts of selflessness & service. Their reward was a bucket of hot water at bath time & a mug of hot chocolate at a time of their choosing. Their behavior is inspiring the team to pursue godliness and self-sacrifice.
Originally we planned to visit the Fon (local governor/village leader) before we went to the unit, but he was away today. So, we plan to make our visit to the palace when we come back from the first unit before going to the second unit. We will be required to present the Fon with gifts – in this case the gifts will be rice, oil & salt in generous quantities.
Yesterday we had a special laundry time when our team was schooled in the proper African way to do laundry & specifically to remove the red clay stains from our clothes. Several of the national BMW students did demonstrations for certain laundry-challenged members of our team while the rest of us worked to get all our laundry clean and on the line so that everything would dry before we needed to pack our bags.
Our water shortage continues. Water hauling trips down the hill to the well are considered normal now. Once a day, we load a number of large rain barrels into the truck and take it down to the river to get water for the whole camp. Even though this is an inconvenience, we’re grateful that we still have plentiful water. We also realize this is good training for when we get to the units where water is more difficult to come by. Our water filter continues to function beautifully and we’ve had no more bought of stomach sickness for several days. We’re grateful that our team is healthy & whole once again.
Although we’re not eating much from the African kitchen anymore, the team has become quite fond of the tea & bread served daily for breakfast. We’re sure to miss it when we get to the units.
Our team competed against the Sampson Sport team (one of the 4 Cameroon national teams) in a friendly game of soccer several days ago. Although we played our hearts out, we were beaten soundly with a score of 2 to 1. As we suspected, these Cameroonians are really good at soccer!
Our team turned a corner this week in regards to team unity. We have been struggling to treat each other with respect and to guard our tongues from disrespectful speech and harmful words. Several days ago, we had a special team devotion time where we took time to confess our sins to one another, ask for forgiveness, and encourage one another in turn. The whole team felt a shift for the good as a result and were very excited for how God was working in and through us. Ever since, we’ve had a much easier time working together & loving one another with both words & actions.
Please continue to pray with us for our team’s unity and that our actions & attitudes would be Christlike at all times.