a blog for the summer missions training team from Bethel Baptist Church

Friday, July 06, 2007

Girding up the loins of our tastebuds

This week of camp has flown by! We can’t believe tomorrow is the last day! Please pray for us as we prepare to finish up the teaching and play some games with the kids tomorrow. A couple thoughts before Jess gives an update...

This week has been very humbling. I spoke to one student yesterday who speaks eight languages (we speak English and a few words of espanol), and the students often correct us on our grammar rules. We are so thankful that God uses even our mistakes! We have been teaching the kids some games in our small groups, like “Simon Says”, “If you’re happy and you know it,” and “I Spy”. It’s so funny to see twenty-year olds loving these games! The other day when we played “I Spy” in my group, one of the kids said he was “spying something yellow.” After exhausting all possibilities of yellow objects in the room, he told me he was talking about me! Another student was “spying something chocolate,” and a different student guessed that he was talking about his body. They keep us laughing and on our toes for sure! It’s so cool to see how passionate, appreciative, and excited all of the students are for the things we are talking about. It makes it so fun to teach! On a more serious note, these people have been such an amazing blessing to us! We have heard heart-wrenching war stories from many Congolese, and their faith and joy is almost unbelievable. Their smiles truly light up their faces, and their commitment to serve Christ after losing family members, being beaten, and even being stabbed by the militias has been a huge encouragement to us all. It has been amazing to realize how many people here are praying for us as well. Yesterday I was talking to Jonathon (a student previously mentioned by Greg who lives next to where we are staying). He was ill a few days ago, and I told him that we had been praying for him. “Well, I am praying for you too, so I guess we have been praying for each other,” he answered. Wow. And then, a lady stopped me when I was walking through the seminary and held my hand and told me so genuinely how much she had been praying for me and how she hoped that God would use this trip to work in my life and change my heart. I have no idea who she was.

We often catch ourselves speaking very slow English in accents to each other as well. One more thing it has been very surprising to see how much UN are here. We often see helicopters, trucks, tanks, and armed soldiers. I didn’t expect them to be so present.

We are all loving it here, are building many relationships, and do NOT want to leave Congo on Sunday... although we miss you all very much!

Keep Kelly’s toe in your prayers, her weak toenail is currently at a 77 degree angle from its usual position!

- Lauren for the Team

... and now some thoughts from Jess:

Hey everybody! Yesterday was a very busy day and as a result we are all very tired. We woke up around six in order to have breakfast together and then be at camp which starts at eight. The whole team agrees that we are enjoying each day of camp more and more. Yesterday’s topic was about “cups running over”.* Kelly, Amber, Brynne, and Bethany taught the English portion, and Kelly introduced her famous “Simon Says” for a fun activity and completely embarrassed Greg and Lauren. The students enjoyed that.

After camp we went to the hospital, which is run by the Sukisa Church. It was very clean but also very small. There are only twenty-seven people on the staff and one doctor. Please pray for more doctors and more space as the UN has taken over two of their newest buildings, leaving them with only one building and a tent and no electricity. They have few supplies but are committed to serving Christ in this way. After our time at the hospital, we walked home with Rachel, and short termer helping at the hospital. The Congolese family she is staying with invited us in for tea, and as it’s culturally rude to say no, we gladly accepted and stayed for a while. We then went to hear the Tujenge choir. So many of the Africans we have met have amazing voices, and they sing acapella. Dan gave a little devotion to the choir, and Uncle Gregg translated for him. On the way home, the little kids on the street started marching behind us and chanting “mzungu”. Also on the way home, Carol was walking with us, and she translated what the people on the street were saying. Some of them were so excited to have white people in their tribe (Lauren and I), because they are known as the tall tribe. We hung out with Benjamin and Jonathon for a while and had some team meetings.

Miss you guys!

- Jess for the team

*Editorial comment from Russell - "Cups Running Over" is taken from the idea in Psalm 23 ("my cup runneth over") that the regular experience of the Christian faith is one of abundant joy (as spoken about in 1 John 1).



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good morning Congo Team, and an extra "Hello" to Greg!
We are blessed by your blog updates, and are looking forward to having you back home, and hearing so much more about God's Kingdom in Congo, and how He has blessed you through this ministry. Our daily prayer for you is that God will continue to open your eyes to all that He wants you to see about Him, as He leads you in this ministry. Please give a big hug to Gregg and Karen for us!
We miss all of you!
Have a great day in the Lord!
Your brother in Christ, (& dad for 1 of you!)
Phil 2: 1-3

11:03 AM

Anonymous Ron said...

Greetings Congo Team,

What an encouragement your communications are to us. Americans are certainly spoiled. The rest of the world is bilingual at least, and very quick to pick up other languages. We are praying that God will continue to keep you safe, healthy and useful!

Wherever we go the children touch our hearts. Here in Peru we see the children and know that God loves them equally and is not willing that any of them should not spend eternity with Him.

A special greeting to Russ and Kelly...I guess those years as missionary kids created a desire to return to the fields and make a difference for Christ.

Continue to seek opportunities to "be stretched" as God places situations in your paths.

In Him,

Ron & Pat

11:39 AM

Anonymous Emily said...

We are enjoying reading your updates and are praying for you often. We also enjoy reading Jay's comments!:) We are praying that you all will know how wide, long, high, and deep the Father's love is for you through the experiences you have had on this trip.
We really miss the Foggy family!! Can't wait to hear about your trip when you get home.
Emily Stover

1:17 PM


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