For me this has been a good week. What a pleasure to be able to say that. Yes, there are still a lot of insecurity, looting, and violence in the Central African Republic. The border is officially open, but there is little traffic. On the other hand, the Director of the Theological School in Baboua came to GB on Friday with no problems.
CAR has a new president – a woman who was the Mayor of Bangui and seems to be well-respected on all sides. The Prime Minister has now also been named: Nzapayeke André. I think the name is very hopeful. In Sango Nzapayeke means, “God exists” or “God is there.” He is Christian. There was tension over the naming of the PM because the Seleka were demanding that it be one of them. Others said that the Seleka had had a year with a one of them as President with disastrous results. There was not increased violence with the naming – a small step in the right direction. Next, the cabinet members will be names. I, personally, hope that Muslims will hold some of those positions and more women, too.
|Before - outside|
|Before - in the attic|
|After - in the attic|
This week an contractor came to work on the double guest house to stop up holes, clear out bats, and put screening on the chimneys so they can’t get back in that way. The workmen are a Central Africans who have taken refuge in GB which means we could help them with work and enjoy the fruits of their labors. Here are some before and after pictures.
|Before - outside|
So, the house is repaired and bat-free. Well, except for the one I heard in the attic as I went to bed last night and the one I found in the kitchen sink last night! Maybe those two were really the same one. The contractor is coming back tomorrow to check things out.
|After - outside|
|After - outside|
I am continuing my very slow study of Gbaya. One of the Bible School students comes on Saturdays to help me read and understand the gospel, and sometimes the other, lessons. Then he accompanies me to the liturgy on Sundays. My current goal is to visit all the Lutheran Gbaya congregations in GB; there are 9, I think, and I have been to 7 now. (After that I will pick one that I can attend regularly.) Congregations are very pleased to see me and, unfortunately from my perspective, someone immediately put a plastic chair up front for Robert and me. (I would rather be on the benches as a regular congregant, but don’t protest the special treatment.)
This morning we went to Doforo Lutheran. I was pleased to see a male and a female catechist. Then, at the end of the service, they asked me to come back in two weeks to preach. (Next week is the communion service so a pastor will be there.) I agreed as long as they didn’t expect me to do it as a pastor; they understood. Now I have two weeks: I can write a sermon in French without much trouble. Can I do it in Gbaya??? Well, this week, I will read the Feb. 9 text and begin writing. Then Robert and I will decide if I am able to write it in Gbaya (with a lot of help from him) so I can read it. If not, I’ll do it in French and someone will interpret for me. Many of the congregants may understand French, but it is a courtesy to make sure it is also presented in Gbaya since that is t e language of their regular liturgy.
|Mangoes and Bananas|
Mango trees are in bloom! Some very green mangos are also starting to appear on the trees which means one of my favorite fruits will be available in 4-6 week! Yeah!
|From my front porch|
Weather continues to be beautiful. Dry, sunny, and warm – upper 80s I would say during the day and cooling to the upper 60s at night (not that I make those of you in the strong grips of winter jealous!)
May peace and security quickly return to CAR. May the peace of God that passes all understanding be with us all.