Another day in Ruziba
Trip Start Sep 08, 2013
13Trip End Oct 04, 2013
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Farther north along the road north I again noticed the military outposts that appeared every few miles: large green tents often with some smaller tents around and soldiers armed with assault rifles usually the ubiquitous AK-47. I asked Moïse why there were these new outposts. He explained that they are deployed to guard the border against possible incursions or spillovers
Again we started with some hymns, an opening prayer and the choir sang. Then I took about 2 ½ hours to talk about some of our fundamental doctrines. There are new people attending, and as many people here are illiterate fundamental subjects must be covered multiple times to make sure people can understand and remember. So we covered what the Bible teaches compared to what some churches believe and teach about:
-Satan and the angelic realm
-The purpose of human life
-Sin and the law of God
-Three days and three nights
There were many questions as we went along, especially on specific passages like Colossians 4 that are used to support teachings in opposition to our beliefs. It is clear that a number in the congregation spend time studying the Bible and that it is a common topic of discussion among people, especially men, here. Families often can afford to send all their children to school, and boys get preference so their literacy rate is higher.
The question of three days and three nights sparked an animated discussion with some newer people who became very excited as we read different verses and put together a chronology.
We finished about 2:30 and had a snack again. Due to logistical difficulties there was only baguette and Fanta or Coke for lunch today. Jean-Marie the local church leader explained that he’s new to the village and wasn’t able to borrow enough pots to cook anything for a group this size, otherwise there might have been rice and beans. But what was there to eat had be brought in from Bujumbura. This combination of bread and soda must not be too uncommon, because I noticed a number of people happily pouring the Fanta onto the end of their piece of baguette to soften it and give it some flavor. I don’t think this will catch on back home, but who knows: "I’ll have a grapefruit Fanta sandwich please…"
After we finished eating, which didn’t take long, I set up my laptop on a chair placed on the table and I showed a PowerPoint presentation about our Headquarters office in Texas and our administration and staff. Then I showed them some video that I had just shot, of their choir singing as well as shots I had taken of them that day. It’s still amazing, even to me, that one can shoot video, pull the chip out of the camera, slide it in a laptop and watch hi-def video immediately. It’s amazing to me – it’s like science fiction to them – if they knew what science fiction is. It probably seems pretty close to magic although they understand it’s some sort of technology.
The presentations took about another hour, then we finally said goodbye and took a group photo before we walked back down to the vehicle. One village fellow walked along with me and started a pitch for some money: he was out of work (they’re all farmers here – so he wasn’t really) and hard up etc. I told him as kindly as I could that I had already given what I had to give. Pretty much everyone here could say the same things he was saying, we just can’t fix all the problems that exist – yet.
He’ll be back to take me to the airport tomorrow about noon.