We have been here not quite a week and already we feel the time is getting away from us.  We want to experience every thing, listen to every bird song, taste all of the unusual, such as fruit from the baobob tree.  It’s the one that reminds you of Halloween, a scary looking tree, and yet it produces good things for the people.  Jessie will write about our day in Ikowa Village and the joy in holding a one day old piglet.  He was the dearest thing, almost white and snuggled right up between her chin and her neck.  I won’t tell her dogs at home but she even kissed him.  There were baby goats, one or two days old that had her ooing and awing. There was so much joy in the women’s faces who have had such success with the piglet project.  Jessie will give you the figures and tell you about the celebration they had for us yesterday.  We were weary when we got home yesterday but it was a good tired.  We were so proud of the women and happy for them.

My special joy came the day before when a former student, Christant paid me a long visit.  He is now a pastor, handsome and well spoken and we sat over  2 Cokes for several hours talking about his challenges in ministry which I am afraid makes the life of an American pastor sound like  a piece of cake.  To begin with he has several parishes and travels by foot to each village parish ~ mind you on dirt roads.  Most of the problems he deals with are marital problems,  sickness, lack of money and food.  In many cases all he can do is pray but the miracle of this is that their belief in prayer is so strong.  They should all have as their middle name: Patience.  His prayers give them great hope and they are patient enough to wait for God to intercede. 

They believe strongly in demons and in one case when he had gone to a home to cast out some particular demons, his young son who was with him suddenly disappeared.  Christant was sick with fear that something terrible had happened to his son, but when he got home his son was safely in the arms of his mother. He believes that Holy Angels took his son home.  And who is to argue with that.  It was nice to talk with him not as teacher and student but equals and friends.  It was a conversation of two adults listening to each others stories.  Jessie said it was the first time she had seen me energized since we arrived.  It’s the human contact~ the interconnectedness of us all.  He had many questions about our coming election and had a good handle on what seems to be happening in our country.  Jessie will put his picture on.  Can you believe that I have lost my camera?  I’m hoping it will show up in Moses’ car. 

Jessie and I talked this morning about our joy in being here ~ we like the simple life.  Chapel at 7:30 and then back home for cereal and tea while not teaching.  I will begin next week I think.  I will learn new students as most of those we knew have graduated.  Sunday following the service here at 7 a.m. (oy) when I will preach a very short sermon, we will leave for a large ordination at a differenct church.  There we will see many of our friends.  Another day of joy anticipated.  Until our next entries we thank all of our donors and friends who have made so much of our work possible.  We send our love too,