Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday with Street car, VBS, and Worship

We traveled on the street car across town. Our objective was to start a conversation with someone in hopes of talking to them about Christ. We got  on the street car and on our way I sat next to a teacher from one of the schools. I asked if these were her kids. She got on with 5 5th grade students. She said no. She said that she was a teacher. She said they were on a “field trip.” The grades were in last Friday so they had to watch the students for 3 days. She told me about New Orleans and about Katrina and where she went during it. She  told me about Marty Gra and to get a good margarita. I continued to pray how we could make it a spiritual conversation. It didn’t arise. She mostly talked about herself and New Orleans. We never talked about my job. I have found that it can be a conversation killer when I mention that I am a youth pastor. But I am praying for Gina and hopes that she will come in contact with someone else. The rest of the group didn’t have much luck talking to anyone but it was a good reminder that we are going to enter back home where it is hard to talk to others. So we talked about that and found that we have more courage to talk to our friends because we know them.


VBS was another day of basketball, football, and beauty salon. We had three more students come. Still recruiting the older guys. They are the ones that happen to come because we think that there are others that are still in school. Our VBS has really turned to be more of sports evangelism than VBS. It has been fun to hang with the guys and to get to know them. Jon had a really significant conversation with a guy yesterday. He told him what we were about and what we were doing. He was really receptive and understood it. It will be interesting if he comes tomorrow and if the makes a decision for the Lord.


Worship was amazing. The students really connected with Christ and what he is doing in there lives. They all said that it was the best worship that they have ever had. They all said that they didn’t want to leave in two days. They were so stoked after the songs.


During debriefing of the day worship was there high light and then we gave the letters that there parents wrote them. They all were really moved by what there parents wrote them.  The idea that they could read something from back home made them a little homesick and also a little emotional getting words that they haven’t heard since we have been gone. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Prayer VBS Wall

We walked around the VBS sight and prayed for the neighborhood. During that time we were able to go to a few houses of people we met last year. We found Ronnie, tiger and paw paw’s house. We knocked on the door and tiger came to the door but didn’t recognize us so he didn’t come out.  It was warm walking around and was hard to stay focused and positive attitude. I gave a wager to our team that anyone that didn’t complain about the heat, I would buy them dinner. So since Sunday jon and kelcy are the only ones left of the students.


For VBS the students that came were mostly jr high and high school students. But there were a few 5 year olds. Glenn came and walked up to me and said “I remember you from last year.”  It was so good to see a familiar face. Ron and Kuran came as well. I asked Glenn if Ronnie and Paw Paw were coming but he said that they were in Texas with there mom.  We got a game going of basketball and then we realized that if we were to start VBS the high school boys would leave. So Eric from Ohio said why don’t we challenge the top 4 guys to a game of basketball and if they win they can leave but if we win they have to sit down for 20 minutes with us and here our VBS stuff and we would give the water. We knew that we were over our heads but we also knew we had a slim chance. Long story short we beat them 10-4. So they stuck around and heard out VBS skit and our memory verse.  Since we beat them we got some street cred and were able to talk to them about the story and about what they thought about it.  And I haven’t played since last year here.


So right before dinner we went to “the wall.” Which is a wall to one of the canals. At the wall they feed homeless people and we were able to sit down and talk with them. We didn’t eat so that we wouldn’t take away from there food. All the students grouped up and went and talked with people. Cassie and I were left. So we went over and started to talk to a Mexican man named Tommy Lee and a white lady named Cheryl. We talked about Katrina, and about them being in and out of jail and why they are homeless. During this time I continued to pray “God how can I minister to these people. I will even give them my shoes if they need them.” During this time Cassie continued to pray for boldness. And it came when Tommy lee said he had beat up his brother and we went to Jail and received Christ and then became a pastor. Cassie asked “So you would say that you are his turning point so what is stopping you from changing.” He didn’t really respond and even changed the subject.  Then we prayed for them and Tommy Lee asked about my t-shirt. I told him I got it at goodwill last year here.  (It was a Hurricane Relief shirt and on the back it said Hurricanes Blow. ) So here was my answer to prayer. I wressled with the thought of I live this shirt, it is really sweaty and if I were to give it I would break the AIM dress code. But I decided to give it anyway.  So on the way home and when we got back to the KOC I got some really funny looks. But then I explained.  

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday in NOLA

Today was a great day! We were able to go to Lakeview Christian church. This is the church that we were able to attend to last year. But this year they were in there new building. It was really nice. The message from Pastor Kieth was One Nation Under-Fathered. It was a great message that convicted many full of statistics on the affects of a nation without fathers. 

We did our head to head where I met with a boy named ryan. I felt called to encourage him and how his heart was heading the right direction. He was sold out to God. I could see that he had some birth defects but I could see that he was stoked for being here and for following after God. I also felt called to share the scripture that man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. He broke down crying and said that this was exactly what he had been asking God for answers his whole life. To know why he was made this way and what does God see him like. I was stunned and then it was time to stop. 

We took a tour of New Orleans. Just a few facts about places in New Orleans. 80%ish of Lakeview is rebuilt. About 30%ish of Gentily is rebuilt and still 10%ish of Ninth ward is rebuilt. 

We just got back from prayer walking around Old School where we are going to be doing VBS. We gave out 10 or so flyers for VBS. To kids that we didn't see last year. So who knows who we will see tomorrow. But we are excited to see what God does through us.  

Our sleeping experience is cots in the middle of the main room. The girls are upstairs. For some reason my laptop mirrored the image so cross your eyes and you will get it. Yes those are my sick feet. Kelcy is tired from a long day and the adjustment to the time change. 

Hopefully there isn't two of the same picture. 

It is a good day. 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thank you

Hey Everyone,
I am in Portland right now. With our high school ministry. We are at the District Youth Conference. But I wanted to take a moment and to thank some people. 
Thank you for all those that supported me as I was in Africa. Thank you for your prayers, your love and your support to allow me to experience this great trip. I loved it. 

A few things that stick out in my mind as I think of the Hospital In Bongolo. The workers from mali. The smiles that they would bring to our faces. The hard work that they did. Second I think of the great job the Hospital is doing in training people. It is the best Discipleship model that I have ever seen. The missionaries there are great. They were very welcoming and encouraged us tons. The singing of the church service rings in my ears. The way they would sing with such passion and spirit. I will remember the hot kitchen and how if I would turn on the fan the gas stove would go out. Along with that the Geko that i found in the rice. Last I will remember that how the little that we were able to help and how it affected the eternity for so many. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

thoughts on the last two weeks

Here i am in Libreville on our way home. I am rushed with many thoughts. Katie (Arney and Cheryl's'youngest) peppered me with questions on what I liked the most about Bongolo. I told her that I liked the different colors of green on the veggitation. The smiles of the people on the faces when we would say "Hi." The little little kids that would be so excited to wave hello when we drive by to got find a tool or part. The chance to help a place that is sharing God's word and many are responding.

It is hard to leave only because we worked so hard and it went by so fast that it almost feels like the two weeks went by as we blinked. But at the same time I am ready to come home.

I am stoked on how well the meals went. I really didn't think it would have gone as well. I will need a break from cooking but will help more often from here on out. I have more of a respect for my wife and how she cooks for me and that they are so good.

I am praying for the workers that do not know God (Bob Marley, Sammy Sosa, Samaky, and Abrahim) I am praying for the missionaries there that they would continue on in a place that is so far away from home and away from the comfort that they know. I am praying for the churches that have spured from the hospital. From what i have seen there are about 5 but I am guessing that there are at least 3 if not 4 times that amount. I that the hospital would continue to provide the hope and joy that only our Lord brings.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Here is our dinner out. The pot is chicken at least that is what we were told. It tasted like a cajun flavored chicken. It was really good. The picture of a man is the hunter that caught a monkey and is about to gut it. The round thing in his left hand is the head. It smelled really sick. We didn't get any of that. Then last picture is with me and the restaurant owner. Everyone calls her mama. She also cleans the house of the missionaries here at the hospital named the Thompsons. On the menu (which was not ordered for us) was monkey, gazelle, alligator, porcupine, possum, eggplant, chicken and sweet potato fries. We had the last two and they were awesome. The other stuff was plant stuff and we didn't enjoy them as much but tryed them but I can't remember the name of them.

Matt (from PA) dared me to try the hot sauce. It was just as hot if not hotter than hobinarros. I mixed it in with rice and it made me cry and burned my lips and later my backside. It tasted good if you can get past how hot it is. That was an experience that I got to have twice.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Congo Church

Today I was able to go to church in a town 3 Kilomiters away from the country of Congo. We went with Karen and Lisa. They have been spending time working with this church. Karen helping preach and Lisa teaching the kids. The songs were really vibrant. The worship leader stopped durring worship and said that if you do not have joy from the Lord you will worship like this. It was very still and only clapping. Then he said if you DO have the joy of the Lord you would worship like this. He started dancing and singing even louder. So we started singing and it was a ton of fun. Obviously I do not know the language so I just clapped and did a line dance type of dancing. (Cause that is what the little boy was doing right next to me.) We came into the service and they put us right in front of everyone facing them. In the back they had a drum and a tamberin. So after singing and right before the sermon a baby was crying in the back and the mother called for the baby and sent it up front. She just started breast feeding the baby right there in the front row. If the singing, the heat and the different language didn't make me realize I was in a different country the breast feeding put me over the top. They asked us to introduce ourselves and give a blessing to the congregation. I introduced myself then Karen translated into french and then the worship leader translated it into the tribal language.

During the sermon the kids were dismissed and I went with them. They went down the road about 50 feet to the market place (which was unoccupide) and she taught them the same message that Karen taught the adults. The story today was the 10 plagues that God called down onto the Egyptions. The thing that stood out to me was the emphasis on the Magitians and Moses. The part where Moses put down his staff and it turned into a snake and how the Magitians did it also but Moses' snake ate the other snakes. In these tribes the people that are sick will either go to the miracle (witch doctor) worker or to the doctors here where we are working. Usually do not find help with the miracle worker (surprise, surprise) and go to the doctor. The tribes are learning that our God is bigger than magic or scorcery. Lisa did a great job at teaching the students with little help and a long story to teach. She had 50 students from toddler to 5th grade from what I could tell.

After church we talked to the people in the church and found out that the Congo Boarder was about kilomiter away from the church. (Which is 6/10ths of a mile.) We walked over to the boarder patrol and showed them our passports and they let us through. A boarder patrol looks like a guy sitting in a t-shirt and shorts, at a table and he copys down our passport by hand and said we could go. Well the walk ended up being probably 3 kilomiters not 1. We went down to the river and took pictures but then Karen came after counseling some church members and drove us over and into the next town. We got to meet the next town members and they asked us if we were coming to evangilize the town. We had to go but it was good for the missionaries to see the need for this other town. We went into the old church and prayed with three members of the town. Karen wasn't sure about this church. Pray for them. That is the picture of the house.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


So my job for the last 4 or so days have been getting the tie rods preped and up on the structure. I cleaned them and put them into place. All round me the malians and our team of 11 guys and Kay have been lifting beams, welding parts together, cutting pieces to make the building fit and bolting them all together. After I had cleaned the tie rods Jason our leader of this building project asked me to take on the project of placing these tie rods into place. He said you are not the "Rodman." I commented that I don't have colorful hair and tons of piercings. He didn't say anything back. Since then everytime I see him he says "Rodman" out of the corner of his mouth and in kinda a grandpa-ish voice. I laugh and go about my task. I enjoy having a task and not having to worry about anything else. I know I am a typical male that likes to have one thing at a time and do that. It is true I do. *For those of you that do not know what the rods do on a building this big they help support the building and keep it square. That is the best definition that I have. Today I got to use a hammer drill. (I got to get me one of those, but I am not sure where I would use it) It is a drill that also plusates to go through congrete. It is a fun toy. While I was doing that the last beams were put into place and the sheeting for the second floor was put on. Monday i will place my last tie rod into place.

At night I have been cooking. Yesterday I made, mashpotatoes, gravy, cornish game hens, and green bean cassirole. That doesn't sound like a fiet to many of you. But I had to bake the 7 chickens in three pans, because two pans wouldn't fit. The oven doesn't have a dial to tell what the heat is in the oven. The green beans were made in the toaster because the chicken took up the whole oven and the pan that they were prepared in didn't fit in the toaster either. The mashpotatoes were made on the stove top. With water boiling in a pan 8 inches wide and 3 inches deep. Then quickly had to transfer that so I could clean that and make the gravy in that same pot. Lets just say that the kitchen was a mess. So everything turned out well the chicken was not totally done. But the crew were gracious to eat around it. But the second set that I took out turned out great. Tonight I got a night off. We went out to dinner paid for by the Pastor Sears. We didn't eat anything funny but on the menu (that we didn't have cause it was not made) was monkey, porcupine, anteater, and gazelle. At the end we went out back and a man was cleaning up a monkey for a meal tomorrow. It smelled sick. One of the guys from Pensilvania said he would have rather perfered my chicken I made last night compared to what we had tonight. So I have named myself "Coats' kitchen"

My prayers for the last few days have been for the Malian guys, the patients here at the church to be spiritually and physically healed; the missionaries to continue on serving and being a light in a dark place; for other doctors to come fill roles that are vacant at the hospital; supplies needed here toys for the kids hurt, crayons, new play house, kids movies in french, and picnic tables; and safety for the team working.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Beauty and the Work

It is so beautiful here in Gabon. There are lush vegitation. Vines everywhere. It is weird that the plantations are in the vas vegitations. In the states we cut down the weeds so the trees aren't choaked out. Not here. I can see why Survivor would call this place Earth's last Eden. It is so pretty. If you like green surrounding you. I took some pictures from on top of the water tower. It is only 60 feet tall. Down the river near here. And one of the hospital compound.

I got a chance to put together the cross straps the last two days. It feels really nice to have a job to do. But it is hard climbing up and down the scafleting and clibing all around. I will send pictures soon about this. It has taken a toll on me. I was tired last night. I went to bed at 9pm here last night. I am feeling 8:30 is feeling like a good number tonight.

We put up the girters. (The steel that goes under the roofing) and we put up the beams from the three beams that we placed. Today we are getting the bar joist in place which will hold the second floor. It is coming together.

Kay made dinner yesterday in the crockpot. She made stew. I am making spaghetti with corn tonight. This is my specialty.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stars in the Universe

Today I was taking the tie rods and making sure the threads were cleaned up and working. At the work site there were major steel inprovements with the building taking shape. Four poles put up and they were tied together. There was alot of excitement on the site. Our team snapping pictures and the patients sitting out watching the crane and the men running around.

For the first half of the day I worked alone. I got a great chance to be by myself and think and pray. My prayers were for the patients currently checked into the hospital and also for the future patients using the radiology building that we are building. I also prayed for people back home when the names came in my head. Also a passage came to mind. Philippians 2:14-5 "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe" This is a familiar passage for me. I have been thinking about my attitude here in Gabon and feeling like it is not that bad but it could use some improvement. Dave did our devotion yesterday and spoke on how we are to be willing to let God do his work. I also prayed that God would show me how he wants me to grow today. So in the situation that we are in it is easy to complain. I want to reflect the Son like a star. So as I was alone I prayed that my attitude would change and would reflect Christ. It is improving.

In America we complain for all kinds of things: If our coffee is not warm enough or cold enough. Our food is not fast enough or any heating or cooling. We really do have it really good. Here in Gabon it is considered one of the richest countrys in Africa. Most of the people do not have: running water, electricity, entertainment like movies, clean water, and no air conditioning. I haven't heard one of these guys complain. They are satisfied with what they have. I am striving for contentment.

After lunch i was still getting the steel ready but I was joined by Bernard. For awhile we didn't talk but then I thought that I would ask him how to say some words in french. I am learning how to say Hot and to count to 10. But while we were doing that I asked him if he was a christian and he said yes. As my last post I knew he was a beleiver but we talked about how I was a christian also. He said that was sabo (good) and how the other guys that we have hired were Muslims. I am starting to really like Bernard. He is trying to learn English at the same time I am learning French. His pants are really torn he is alittle smaller that I am so after we are done here I hope that I have a chance to give him a pair of my three work pants that I brought.

Food update: I made stirfry today. I have NEVER made stirfry on my own and it turned out great. One person said that I should open a business. I laughed. I didn't think it was that good. But they liked it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

French 101

Today was a really warm day. I started moving steel and I had one Mali guy "Bob Marley" (we couldn't pronounce his name so we told him we were going to call him that, Bob was on his shirt) and one local named "One eye Bernard" (Obviously he only has one eye) helping me. We moved about 10 or 15 C chanels and S chanels and I was almost ready to passout. I sat down and drank water. My two friends didn't stop. One right after the other. Not affected by the heat or the humidity. 30 chanels later we had finished.

My prayers during that time was how can I share my faith with them when I don't know how to speak their language. Later I found out that That Bernard was a beleiver due to the time he has spent at the hospital. Praise the Lord. Now about Bob he is one of work crew and he is Muslim. I am praying for him and I ask you to join with me to.

So after moving heavy stuff, Bob, One eye, (sounds rude but he was introduced that way) and I went up and cleaned the steel posts, gerters, and rafters. The purpose was to clean them so they are not dirty when they go up and have that foot print on it for all of eternity and cleaning on the ground is way easier. So through this I learned two new french words.

"Lo" is water and "Son" is bucket. For those of you that are keeping track at home that is 5 words. At this rate I will know french by the time I two feet from the grave. I continue to try to use the little that I know of spanish to speak to these guys but as it is about to come out of my mouth I realize that they don't know spanish. But then the weird mind that I have i think to myself maybe it is close to spanish and they will understand. Ok i think i am offically need more water and sleep.

In the demo department the rest of the team with a few other Mali guys tore off the roof and started tearing down some walls. Our crane does not extend long enough to get to all the places that we are traying to reach. So we are blowing a big hole in the Radiology building to fit the truck in to reach those spots.

I am always refreshed to see how the Lord works on mission projects. For instance, we have this one crane. Well we were contacted today from the missionary in Liberville named Arnie (I have talked about him before) he set up another crane that is even longer and we might also have that crane. We were reminded of Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power ng to the power that works within us," We continue to call on, and depend on Christ to provide all our needs and he has so far and will continue. Why worry about one crane when he is going to provide two?

So after we were done cleaning the steel a huge rainstorm hit. Well all the people that lined the hospital vanished. Well us silly Americans thought that it felt great and worked even harder at our jobs. It caused the humidity to calm but it was really wet. In the mean time i met Phillip and he is Triligual. He talked to me and taught me to say "How are you?" which is "Comment Ca Va?" and to say "Wei" for good or yes.

I also how to say good or ok which is "bon". Doubled my French speaking skills in one day. haha.

So fun fact about the hospital: The man that founded the place where the hospital is located said he wanted to place where the most diseases and put a hospital there. The missionaries here are the best at what they do. So we are in good hands.

Thanks for praying for us we have felt it.

I am still cooking. I made bbq beef sandwitches last night and roasted chicken with rice and corn and green beans. Stirfry is next and will be an adventure. We have three new guys joining us from Western PA. So more bodies = more creativity = random combo's.
Stay tuned for the newest Gabon food network drama.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


We went to church this morning with the Debra Walker the pediatrition. She took Mark, David, and I to church at Pastor Segers (but said like Sears). He is one that oversees the Hospital. He is the one that the Bongolo church has appointed to oversee the Hospital. He drove us over to a town Moussou and on the way picked up a few people so the range rover was full. (7 people) During the meet and great he asked us to stand up and introduce ourselves. Dave and I said that we were pastors and they asked us to pray. Dave before the sermon to bless it and I prayed afterward to send them off with the message.

We got there and started singing with the three people that were there and soon about 10 more people came in. Of coarse we didn't know how to sing in French so we just clapped. But the songs that they sang there was a repeating part so we did that. Then Pastor came up and preached from 1 Timothy 2:9-13 about wormen in the church and there role. Debra translated for us so we knew what was going on. He talked about what was approtriate dress for the ladies and that they could speak in church but not to be over authority over men. But he also talked about Men treating there wives well and not beating them or visa versa.

After we were able to greet everyone with the one of the two French words that I know and shake there hands. Then Dave, Mark and I took our picture under the church sign. Which it was a C&MA church. Then a lady with bleach blonde hair came up and asked to be in our picture. She was the chief of the city. Not long after that almost all of the rest came and took a picture with us.

                                                                    CMA Church Sign

If you think about it pray for that church the pastor is dealing alot with spiritual warfare. The people will become christians at the hospital and then get sick again and go back to the witch doctor to heal them. For instance right after the sermon the chief of the town asked for the pastor to interceed on the witch doctor and demons in the town.

We made it back and we are relaxing today. I made lunch and cleaned up the kitchen. Good news I found Mayo, peanut butter and more cheese. So our rations have grown.

Here is a photo of the lightning storm the other night.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

More Photos

Here is Dave moving some of the steel for the building that we are building. Farm tractors can be used for other things. I think they might go on the list of things you should have. That list includes duct tape, super glue, bungee cords, Honda scooter and now Farm tractor.
This is the hill that I walk down and up to get to the Triplex. I am standing on a ridge and looking across to the other ridge. The hospital is behind me. The orange dirt gets everywhere.

Here is the back of Mark's head as he is taking dave and I around the hospital grounds picking up the scafflleing for the new construction. Its not like the ones he has on his farm now. With a tractor that size it would take him a year to work the 3000 acres he has.

Saturday In Photos

This is where we are staying. It is called the Triplex.

This is the picture of the building (to the left) that we are putting the second story onto. I know that the scaffolding is on the right. That was before we got a contract for a crane to come and help. We are taking off the roof and then building a steal framed building around it. Problem is the backside is about 10 feet down.

Here I am all hot faced and in the background is the hospital. Oh wait my big head is covering it. This is taken just outside where we are staying. And yes it is hot but some of that is my sun burn.

The Cook

Some snipets from an e-mail he sent me :)

Well i just sat through a lightening storm. I got about 2 good pictures of it. Where we are staying is up on a hill and the lightening is hundereds of miles away. Success on meal number one and two. Tuna sandwiches (lunch of course) and Taco's for dinner. They even said that they are going to be bummed when we leave and they go back to PB&J. Tomorrow is church at a bush church. Not sure where that is but it is supposed to be really cool. So looking forward to that. I got to drive a golf cart around most of the day finding parts for the building that we are building. Between meals that is. Tomorrow Kay is thinking that we will make chicken cordon blue I will be helping her.

We went swiming right before dinner. It was amazing. Seriously can't believe that it was not like 80 degrees in the pool. I am guessing it was 60ish.

Fun Stuff

I hope your all doing well.

Hey so we made it here and it is just what it is like on all the TV that we see. Very tropical. So the roads here were nothing compared to last year. Dirt dusty roads but they had been recently graded. Just minor wash boards at times. The parts that were paved happend to be the worse part. So i found out that Survivor Gabon was about 50kl south of the capital (Libreville - where we were yesterday) and for perspective we are 500kl south of the capital and more west.

So we arrived in Bongolo at the hospital and were recieved by Caroline that made us dinner. Spaghtetti and salad. Before the the main doctors left the Thompsons made us Ice Cream for desert. They treat us so well.

We have only had two set backs so far in the 12 hours we have been here. First the Crane that was to be here to help put the steel beams up is not here. We have tryed to arrange a second but no confermation yet. Pray for that. Second setback is the cook that we had thought we hired is MIA. So the guys were all going to take the time to cook. Well the team is a bunch of people, minus Kay, that DON"T cook according to there reactions to the news. So I volenteered to be the cook. Yes you didn't read that wrong: I am the cook.

My prayer going into this trip was to meet felt needs. To help out as best I can. After assessing the team and seeing the gifts that they have in construction and manual labor I stepped up to the plate. So if your not laughing histarically yet you should. To be a team you need to do what you can to help the team as a whole. I am here to wash feet.

Now the task at hand is not too tough. I am preparing dinner and breakfast for 9 people and in a few days 11 people. All the food is bought I think but it really is a mixture of kinda random stuff. I do not have to do dishes, laundry, or clean the floors. So that means that I will be available to do some construction also.

So my plan of attack... Asses what we have and what I know how to make. Next make out a menu for a weeks time. See what we need to buy at the market. Then repeat for the following week. Oh how Cassie would be proud.

On our two hour drive here we saw many people walking. Glazed over faces and no smiles. We got to talking about that look and could see that they do not have the hope that we profess. But about half way I started waving to people and smiling and saying one of the two words I know in french. "Bongure." The smiles and the heads looked up. It really is amazing how a simple thing like that can brighten someones day. (Bear reminded me of that not that long ago.)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Missionary Life

Jon sent me another e-mail and told me to edit & post what I could to the blog :) He also said he is feeling great! No more sore throat or sickness!

We are waiting for our flight to mawila (i think) and then a two hour drive after that. We were able to go to the ocean last night. First swim in the Atlantic. Wahoo. The ocean looked really cold. The water looked like the water by lincon city but was bath water warm. It was fun. Katie and Stephanie climbed all over me. They are the straws two youngest daughters. (4th grade and 6th grade)

It has been fun to connect with the missionaries. I feel like I have gotten a new understanding of missionaries and it has been fun to encourage them. The Solvigs are ending there time here in may and the Straw's are taking over. 'The Straws are pilots but are just raising money for a plane. The kids are fun and to hear what the families purpose and plan are cool to hear.

We are itching to get going on the hospital work.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Finally, a post from Jon!!

We finally made it to Africa. After three days of traveling and waiting we are here. But we still have one more flight in the morning. (If the people at the airport want to fly) We have taken the snow with us. Mark and I left lewiston at 12:45pm sunday and arrived in Seattle. In Seattle we met up with Kay and Tim from Ellensburg. We all stayed the night in prep for our 6am flight to Atlanta. And to all you that asked if we flew Delta, you were correct. Before we went to bed we looked outside and saw an 1" of snow in Seattle. Our flight left only 1/2 hour late due to defrosting the plane. Which is always a good call! The four of us landed in Atlanta for our 3 hour layover. Which Atlanta had snow also. (Are you seeing a trend) We met up with our final member of our team. (Dave) We ate a quick bite to eat and off to Paris we go. We arrive in Paris at 6am-ish. Which is good since our flight left at 10:45am. In Paris there was about 1/2 inch of snow. From what we were told that is alot for them and when the white stuff comes the people don''t know what to do so the airport gets shut down. Well our flight continued to get postponed. 10:45 turned into 11:30 which turned into 12:30 and 2:30. Our moral continued to say positive. The anouncer said the heater was broken, and plane was not at our gate but was in the airport. We met up with the remaining 4 members or our team from Ohio and Indiana. Guys that I didn''t know were going to be here. But are a great asset since they know alot about steel building. Well to make a long story longer our flight ended up getting canceled. The airline gave us free nights stay and three free meals at out hotel. So off to the Mariott for our team. Each with our own room. Which was nice since my thoat has been sore. So I could go to bed in a bed and not worry about keeping anyone up if I were to snore.

After a 10hour night sleep perfect for ajusting to the time zone. We got up and went sight seeing. Our flight wasn''t going to leave Paris until 9pm that night. So off to the Notre Dome and the Elfle tower. This place is beautiful. So after a quick meal at a close retaurant (I tryed Duck) we jamed back to the airport by subway and hotel bus to retreave our stuff and back to airport to wait. We arrived and our 9pm flight ran into 10pm and finally left at 11:30pm. A quick 7 hour flight landed us in Libreville. I was able to sleep. Praise the Lord! Oh and by the way no snow in Libreville. But 86deg and 80 humity. Gabon will be worse.

In the airport we were to fill out a paper talking about who we were and why we were in Africa. I and Dave made the mistake of saying our occupation was Pastor. The security pulled us aside and questioned us. They do not like people coming with that title I guess. Still not sure why. Well our missionary friend Arney came and spoke french to the guards and saved our hineys. (Dave is a paster at Sattleback). We got into a van and drove to the guest house and met some of the CMA missionaries but then sent the 4 guys from Ohio and Indiana off in a truck to Gabon. Since we are a day behind on the building they needed to get down there to prep the sight. The 5 of us are going to take a flight from Libreville to a city by Gabon and then a two hour drive on crazy dirt roads. In the mean time Tim and Kay have but new screens on the windows here in Libreville, and fixed the dryer. Dave, Mark and I have painted a wall with Kilz paint to seal it. Three coats. Oh how I love oil paint. NOT! But an hour or so of free time and then off to the beach to relax.

My readings in the last few days have been in James 1. Talking about trials of many kinds. The flight delay has been really frustrating for me. I never thought that the USA was so on top of flights and being ontime until now. I know that we have done some cool things but I had in my mind get there and GET ER DONE! God had other plans. A new insight from that chapter was "we are not to say God is tempting me"" I think that means that God doesn''t tempt he tests us.

Thank you so much for your prayers. I really felt it as I was being questioned at the airport and our landings and the strength today to work in the heat and exhastion of traveling. I feel like you all are on this trip with us. If you like it or not.

Pray tomorrow that our flight will leave. Cause they are known for not flighing because they don''t want to. If not we take a 10 hour drive to Gabon. (4 hours paved roads, 6 not)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Just got an update the the team decided to enjoy their day stranded in Paris! Jon was feeling a lot better after getting a lot of sleep in their free hotel room. They apparently took a bus tour and went up the eiffel tower! How exciting!

I still have yet to hear directly from Jon. I probably won't until they are at their final destination with some limited internet access.

They should be boarding their plane as I type! Still be praying for health and for them to be able to get another in country flight once they land in Libreville, or else they could be in for a doozie of a van ride!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another Update!

Okay so since they missed their in country flights, they may have to drive 10 hours on a bumpy dirt road to reach their destination!  Wowsers!  So be praying they are able to get another in country flight.  Also Jonathan is getting the cold I have :(  So pray for healing!  That's all for now!

Jon Update

Hello All!  I (Cassie) recieved an update from the trip coordinator and my Aunt Susie letting me know the updates on their travel.  One of their flights got cancelled.  I'm just going to copy/paste the e-mail as I'm short on time myself.  And they refer to Jon as Mark's son just FYI if you were wondering why his name wasn't on the e-mail.  Ha.

Hello support team for the Bongolo work team

We all arrived save and on time in Paris this morning thinking we would be in Sunny Gabon this evening and greeting the Solvigs.

Our flight kept getting delayed, to at 5:30PM it was cancelled.  Then we waited another 1.5 hours to find out plan B

We were told the Flight from Paris to LBV is re- sched Wed evening 9PM.  Arnie you will do what you have to on the in country flights or change to a van ride down if no seats on the Friday plane.

After another hour we were all given hotel and meal vouchers.

Head count (3)

Indiana Team
Mel Steury
Lavon Yoder
Ryan Springer

Ohio (1)
Jason Kalb

West Coast Team
Mark Greene
Pastor Dave Greene
other young man Mark's son

Thank you, 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

T Minus 4 days and counting

Happy new year to all! As I start the new year my thoughts are on the pending trip to Gabon Africa. Hopefully I have told all of you so far. If not... Surprise!

I am going to Gabon on a missions trip from January 4th - 22nd. I am going to be working at the Christian and Missionary Alliance at a missionary hospital in the town of Bongolo. We will be building a new radiology room over and above (literally) the old room. It will look alot like a Lewiston shop.

This hospital does alot of help to the town around them. The hospital averages about 1000 conversions a year. They do not just help people get well they help them with there spiritual health also. This is an exciting place to support.

On top of that the we will be encouraging the pastors that are following up with those conversions.

Our team is being lead by Mark, David, Kay, Tim and me

Prayer Requests:
Safe Travels
Meeting felt needs
connecting up with the rest of our team in Atlanta
Safty working with metal work
The team to work together well