Monday, February 25, 2013


One of our layovers was in Paris, France. We were able to check out the historic city for an entire day. This should be a pretty quick post - it is mostly just pictures.

The Eiffel Tower

The next several pictures are taken from the top of the Eiffel tower

Arc de Triomphe

You could go to the top of Arc de Triomphe too. :)
Notre Dame

Beautiful stained glass windows inside.

Several houseboats were in the river.
This bridge was especially peculiar as lovers had started a trend of putting locks on it symbolizing their relationship.
Underground mall. We barely glanced at it, but it was pretty neat.
Well, I suppose this will be my last post. I feel like I have sufficiently covered all of the details of my trip. Thank you so much for reading. It has been my pleasure writing them.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Reflections on Africa

Leading up to my trip to Chad I couldn't help but wonder what the Lord would teach me during my stay. The leader of our group, Mr. Fuhrmann, had encouraged all of us to keep a journal the several days leading up to, during, and after our trip. I found keeping a journal to be a very profitable activity. It helped me to sort out all of my thoughts at the end of each day and now I can look back to it and remember everything that I learned.  

 The first thing that the Lord showed me is that there is no such thing as different classes between the saints. What I mean is that when God looks at me, He is just as pleased with me as He is with any other saint. He loves us all the same! I don't have to be like Hudson Taylor to please Him! I don't have to follow some arduous list of religious activities to have His smile upon my life! It seems like such a simple truth but too often have I found myself in the grip of legalism, thinking I am so much better than others who do not hold to my list of rules. Rules that aren't found in scripture, but rather, in my imagination. Rules that, when I am honest, I can't even live up to! He showed me this through the example of the missionaries. I expected them to be very ascetic people, like so many missionaries I had read about, but they were very ordinary. Just ordinary people with an extraordinary God. :)

The second thing He taught me was that He wasn't calling me to do mission work. Leading up to the trip, I had a lot of speculation as to how the Lord might use this trip to show me that I need to be a missionary. The idea of mission work had crossed my path many times, so I figured that if He wanted me to be a full-time missionary then this was probably the time to show me. :) But He didn't, and I am very grateful to have clarity in this matter. I feel like He wants me to continue in farming, which He has prospered me in and I love doing! Always good to have a greater sense of the will of God.

The third and final thing that the Lord showed me during my trip to Chad was that I need to be more involved in evangelization of the lost in a local sense. This is something that has been on my mind for several months. While I was in Chad any attempt to witness would be met with two primary obstacles; a language barrier and a culture barrier. I didn't speak their language and I didn't know their culture. These things are very real problems. I couldn't help but think about the fact that back in the States there is no language and culture barriers. This thought spurs me on to be a witness to the community around me. So, I am looking into how I might proceed with this desire.

Thank you for reading my posts. It has been a pleasure writing them. My next and last (I think) post is about the stop in Paris during our return home.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Out to the Village (Trip to Africa - Part 3)

One of the days we were in Chad we went out to a village called N'Gueto.We started out toward 
the Oasis Center where we met with the rest of the team.
Before we left the city, we bought a goat to give to the village. This is Elijah wearing his recently purchased captani.
On the path to the village we saw a herd of camels.
We also saw their primary source of grain, millet. Thousands of acres, all hand planted and hand harvested. Looks like a lot of work. This picture doesn't do it justice. I think a herd of animals had run through this spot. :)
Donkeys are generally used by the women. The men use horses because they are more prestigious. Interesting how Jesus chose to ride a donkey into Jerusalem. There are so many biblical parallels in this society.

As we arrived at the village it was apparent that we had stepped back in time. It was neat to see people working and living in a culture that was operating the same as it had for thousands of years!
Ready for the kill.
All cut up and ready for cooking! Notice the intestines on the skin, that is what they served up for us to eat.             (Sorry to anyone who is grossed out.)

The men lie on reedy rugs while waiting for the food to be served. A traditional meal in Chad would be boiled millet flour, called esh (which is a lot like rice) with a green sauce, moulah (think pureed, boiled okra) poured over it. Sometimes meat would be in the sauce as well.
We journeyed out from the village to look at their animals. This is a flock of sheep.
This young man (probably age 12-15), is the shepherd of this flock. Boys start working as early as 5 in this culture.
These sheep are patiently waiting for a turn at the watering hole. There is no fence holding them back from the water which is only 20 yards away. They have been trained to wait for the shepherd to give them a signal (usually a whistle) then they go running for the water. Amazing!
The cattle there are smaller in size but they didn't seem unhealthy. It is pretty cool that they can survive off of the rough, dry forage that was there. Our cows here at the farm would turn their noses up at that stubble. :)
Calves hanging out at a watering hole. I quickly noticed how much longer the faces are on this type of cattle.
Because of my poultry business, I paid special attention to how they raise chickens. It turns out, the chickens harvest all of their own food and receive little to no care from humans. One neat thing I noticed was that they would gather around cattle and peck the flies off of them. Good source of protein, I suppose. :)
A mother hen foraging with her chicks.
This is a mud pit where bricks are made for building houses. The mud is combined with straw and then forced into a mold. Then they are dried in the sun. They also make red bricks which are cured in a fire.
I was told that in the rainy season, the mud walls would commonly become unsettled by the water and would collapse on people, killing them.
This was a very common tree. It has 3-inch spikes and each includes a poisonous tip which irritates the skin.
From left to right; Jay Craddock, John Holland (the missionary who is currently stationed there), the Sheik (leader of the village), Jack Fuhrmann, me, Josh Fuhrmann, Tim Smith and Elijah Meggs.

I will never forget the things I saw in N'Gueto. It was so amazing! Thanks for reading. I think my next post will be on what the Lord showed me during my time in Chad.