Monday, June 3, 2013

After a long evening undoing Auria’s braids, we opted for a late breakfast that blurred into lunch prep and then lunch. When the 3rd match of the cleaning competition should have started, we were interrupted by a friend knocking at our door to say goodbye.

Marta, an energetic and happy 22 year old (who just finished her accounting degree), stepped in. A year and a half ago, she had gone to San Francisco as a foreign exchange student. We talked about fast food and snow: two things that the Wa have never seen. As the conversation progressed, Simon came in to spend some time with us as our final days approached. When our friends left, Elly and Heather prepared to teach VBS that afternoon.

We headed up to the Seidus’ house at 3 pm to load the van. However, because we were going to a church southeast of the compound rather than west, Pastor Timothy had Gabriel ride his motorbike up to the compound with Amelia on the back. An hour later we loaded the van and sputtered down the dirt drive, stalling twice before we reached the road. That’s a promising start.
The van bumped down the road, bottoming out on the speed humps and struggling to regain speed. As we turned onto dirt roads, the van wove around potholes paving the high school that Pastor Timothy had graduated from. However, the African roller coaster ride came to an abrupt stop. The battery was overheating and the engine was on strike. The guys poured out of the van to try to push the manual engine into obedience. Our driver Joseph, sat patiently in the front seat with his foot on the clutch waiting for a high enough speed to pop out the clutch and engage 2nd gear. But each attempt was met with the engine sputtering to a stop. Hopelessly stranded on the side of an African dirt road, we called for backup: Pastor Timothy with the bus.

We finally arrived at VBS around the scheduled ending time. Mostly men and boys were there since the women were busy with supper preparations. We sang a Waali song and split the groups. Heather basically had a men’s Sunday School class, so she ditched the illustrations and taught Creation & the Fall from the Bible. The lessons and song times were shortened. Joy and Robert led the younger kids’ song and game time. Elly taught the wiggling and squirmy younger kids Creation, or at least she tried. On our ride back to the mission house, we passed our van still stopped on the side of the road but facing the opposite direction due to the muscle and determination of Pastor John & Joseph. Our bus stopped in front of the van and backed up to connect a chain between the two vehicles. The towing was slow, so we spent our time learning a new Waali song and some clapping games. Elly and Joy taught Gabriel and Augstine the Korean pain game, which is similar to Rock, Paper, Scissors but for multiple people. If a player does the same sign, then the person calling it would slap the person according to the sign called: 1 1/2, 2 1/2, 3 1/2, or 4 1/2 times. The games was accented by shouts of “no” and “yes” in Waali.

We finally arrived back at the mission after 7 pm. Mama J had supper for us from the leftovers from the stew and rice we had had at church on Saturday. Just in case you forgot, that means that we were eating Dr. O’s goat. After dinner, Mama J stopped by to share her testimony with the group. She told how Pastor Timothy led her to the Lord while they were in high school She also shared some of the challenges and successes of their ministry here in Wa. The Lord has used them mightily here and it is a pleasure to have a part in it.

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Dan Olinger

Chair, Division of Bible in the BJU School of Religion.

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