Back in La Mé

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

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Where I stayed
Ibis Abidjan Plateau
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of Cote D  , Dix-Huit Montagnes,
Sunday, January 27, 2013

Today we started early. Sunday's there is much less traffic than on weekdays, so Paul was able to get the car and drive and be at the hotel just shortly after 07:00. We put 6000 Francs of Diesel in the car at a filling station and while that was going on, I watched a mother bathing her small child in a plastic basin just off the side of the road. A sibling was waiting his or her turn next to the pair. Mothers have the same tasks all over the world, but for some it’s more complicated than others.

We drove out to La Mé through light traffic. We arrived around 08:00 and met with the members in the village. The ladies were already preparing a meal for us. This is such a central part of African culture and customs of hospitality.

We sat under the little shelter and talked about many things: recent in events in La Mé, possibilities for the future, world events, history, prophecy, background to books of the Bible and much more. They appreciate the chance to ask questions of anyone who has more background information to provide for them. It felt it was an encouraging discussion. At 10:00 the ladies served us food, cassava and fish in tomato and onion sauce for me, rice and fish in tomato and onion sauce for the others. They were being kind to me, but I actually prefer rice, so I ask if I could have some of that and they laughed and so we shared everything together.

The shelter we were under was borrowed, so they ask if I could provide some help for them to build a little shelter of their own for their Sabbath services. It’s difficult to have the services in their mud-brick houses here, because they’re small and dark and much encumbered with their sparse worldly goods, not many by our standards but houses are tiny too. It’s much better to sit under a light shelter made of split bamboo with a roof of leaves. It’s cooler, brighter and more conducive to a service. A simple small shelter of this type would cost about 70 US dollars to complete, materials (including a concrete floor) and labor. That seemed quite appropriate to me; especially since I still had some funds members had given me in the States and in Europe. To those of you who contributed (this isn't a plea for contributions, by the way), you can know that your help was most encouraging and filled true needs.

Our church association has been working on a 501C3 charitable institution which we hope to have running soon, and which will be able to receive donations, issue receipts and fill such needs for our less-material-blessed members.

We continued talking and fellowshipping until about 1:00 pm. The local mini-pharmacy was open then and I went to buy a few things for a member who has malaria. She was still present and participated as well as she could, but her head hurt and her stomach was upset and she said she was very tired. That sounded like malaria. I had prayed for her already, but wanted to do what I could at my level, and was happy to be able to get her some tabs for the malaria, some ibuprofen for the pain, and some vitamin C to help her get her strength back. All that cost about 6 dollars; and what a big difference it will make for her. Instead of toughing it out as they usually do, sometimes for weeks, this should have her back to close to normal in less than three days. I told her to stop taking the ibuprofen as soon as the pain stopped and that she could save the rest for future needs, and the same with the vitamin C.

By the time we left the village it was about 14:00 and the heat of the day was roasting us. The rains should have already started by now and they haven’t. During the month of January they should three or four good rains which temper the heat and announce the heavier rains to come. But thus far there have been none.

We drove back through the Abobo quarter, and area that saw heavy fighting and a lot of damage during the recent culmination of the civil war. It’s a popular quarter, teeming with people on the lower end of the economic scale.

There were the usual sites on the way, a truck packed as much as possible with yams, the spare tire placed carefully on top so they wouldn’t have to unload and restack all the yams if there were a flat tire. The usual pull carts were out, drawn by weary men earning their daily bread (literally), by the sweat of their brow (literally). That phrase has become symbolic to many of us in the world, many of us don’t sweat much if at all when we work (I know many still do), and we earn more than our daily bread each day. We earn enough for several days’ bread and a lot of disposable income besides.

I also noticed a very bashed-up taxi on the road to Abidjan, still apparently functioning, although the driver may have been on the way to the shop.

As we got into Abidjan, our route took us by a high-rise building that had been noticeably damaged by the recent fighting. Whether by design or by accident many of the windows had been shot out. There are now two temporary lifts set up outside to allow access to the windows to make repairs.

I was back at the hotel by late afternoon and worked a few more hours on my laptop. Tomorrow should be departure day (though one can never be completely sure until the departure actually happens…).
Slideshow Report as Spam

My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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Roger & Andrea West on

Once again, we appreciate the glimpses you give us into the lives of our brethren far from us. Thank you for your love and service to/for them. We pray for them and we pray for you.

Margaret Villaescusa on

I am continuing to enjoy your blog and realize more clearly how blessed I am. So many things that are taken for granted by us, are luxuries for others or something they will never experience in this life. It truly is humbling.
May your journey continue to be blessed.

Ken Treybig on

Thanks for all your sacrifice to serve our spiritual brothers and sisters in such tough situations. We are so physically blessed and it is wonderful to see that so much joy can be given the members there with such small amounts of money. Of course I also know money is always limited and can never solve all the problems. It is also wonderful to hear so often about the positive focus on the future Kingdom that seems to prevalent in physically less-blessed areas.

Ted Franek on

Thanks again for the continues stream of photos and the daily log of your interaction with all the people and the brethren there. My prayers are with you and all those you are serving so faithfully there.

mary hendren on

Thank you, Joel, for the commentary and photos. We appreciate the connection you've given us with the work in French-speaking Africa and the reminder of the appreciation our brethren have for the truth. We hope that your assessment of the trip includes readers' appreciation of what we learn from a glimpses you've given us.


Tess Washington on

Thank you Mr. Meeker! For all the time you spent with God's people in La Me! This one made me cry! I'm so touched by this lady member's suffering from Malaria and the kindness & care you gave her! It reminds me of what Jesus said about giving and doing good things to others is like giving and doing it to Him...Matt. 25:31-46.

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