New family members in Man

Trip Start Jan 13, 2013
Trip End Feb 04, 2013

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Flag of Cote D  , Dix-Huit Montagnes,
Monday, January 21, 2013

This morning marked our fourth day with no running water. The hotel staff brought me another bucket, which makes three now. I guess there's not much else they can do for their guests .

Big Franz was not in his corner, but Franz Jr. was. I find I’m suffering from the food we ate in Sebapleu, nothing too serious at this point. Hopefully that won’t last, or get worse.

We drove to the coffee shop for breakfast at 8:00. About the time we arrived, a column of soldiers came jogging down the main street, in formation. They were wearing red running suits, and marking cadence as they were overseen by officers in the same suits but were also carrying AK-47s. The officers tended to be really big guys. I’d love to show you a photo but, it’s a good rule of thumb here to never photograph anyone carrying an assault rifle. It was an impressive show, and I’m sure that’s what it was intended to be: a show of force and discipline.

We ordered the usual: café au lait and pain aux raisins. Then we drove back to the hotel to work and rest. At 11:00 we drove to Séussié’s home on a hillside on the western edge of town. Séussié’s wife had an early lunch waiting for us: chicken, fried potatoes (they know like that) rice, sauce, a sort of fufu in a gluey green sauce for Paul (not at all appetizing to me). It was an abundant meal of careful quality. We sat at a table under a large tree, ate and talked. We discussed the leadership seminars planned for the next day, our families, the church, our work, international affairs and lots more. After lunch, I had follow-up baptismal counseling with the four people I had seen on Saturday. I spent about 3 hours with two of them individually and the married couple together also under a tree so we could catch whatever breeze might whisper by.

After three hours it was clear I could baptize them all, and we decided to go right away. Séussié had already located a place, a local lake used as a fish farm and as the site of a wildcat distillery. He told me the fishermen would let us use the lake for baptisms for 2000 Francs ($4); pretty steep in these parts, but I agreed. We drove to the lake, and the three men went off to pay the fee. Then we walked down from the road to a picturesque little lake with palm trees on one side. One was sitting with his legs in the water, washing off after day’s work. He asked what we were doing, and Séussié told him we were going to perform baptisms. He asked if we wanted him to leave, but didn’t make any move to go. He was making no noise so we didn’t ask him to leave. Lambert and his wife Colette, Anicet, and Batesti were baptized. Lambert is the man who had introduced the people in Galébo to us. He was then transferred to work as a teacher in Man. After the baptism, we rejoiced and talked together for a while and then due to the hour, people needed to go their separate ways.

These evening at dinner at Différence plus, we noticed they have doubled the price for our soft-drinks and beer. Instead of rewarding regular customers, they apparently decided we were a captive audience and that they could get a little more from us. No prices are posted (they’re supposed to be by law but this is "more honor'd in the breach than the observance" as the Bard of Avon wrote in Hamlet), so we can’t really argue with them about it. It’s not even really that much money in question, just the principle of the thing. I tell them off for being greedy and tell them we won’t be back, and then adieu. French has two ways of saying goodbye: au revoir, which means “until we see each other again”, expecting to do so, and adieu, meaning “go with God” meaning we may not, or probably will not, meet again. I said “adieu.” And we headed back to the hotel. We’ll have to find another maquis tomorrow.
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jpvernaud on

Nous vous souhaitons un très bon Sabbat et un très bon voyage pour la suite, nous nous réjouissons de vous revoir bientôt en Suisse, c'est intéressant de constater que Dieu appelle sans distinction aucune dans le monde entier, c'est l'homme qui fait des distinctions entre les peuples, la condition sociale et d'autres choses qui vont disparaitre au retour du Christ.
Salutations fraternelles à tous nos frères et soeurs que vous rencontrerez.

Mary Hendren on

Hello Joel,

Thanks for all the pictures, especially the baptisms. What a satisfying occasion after all the counseling. Too bad about the raised prices because principles have consequences. We pray that you have a safe, restful Sabbath and return trip.


Jason Hyde on

Hi Mr. Meeker,

Thanks for posting these updates. We pray for you on your journeys. Your updates give us the sense that we're going along with you each time.

Oh, and make sure Franz doesn't hitch a ride back in your luggage.


Buzz and Brenda Messerly on

Thank you so much for the blog so we can follow what is going on during your trip. It is very interesting and helps us to feel a part of our worldwide family. It is as close to being there as we can be. Remain safe and once again thank you for your commitment to our brethren.

Lenna Slaughter on

How wonderful to have these baptisms! It must be encouraging for you when people follow through in studying and learning what God requires of us. Let's just hope the rest of Franz's family doesn't show up in your shower!

Ken Treybig on

How wonderful to hear about the baptisms! What a time of joy!
But how terrible to also hear about the greed at the marquis... Hmm, that old human nature thing pops up once again...

Tess Washington on

We are happy to see and hear about these new members and brethrens of ours! We thank God for you and for all of them!

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