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Four dug-out canoes and a few salvaged bridge planks.
We took an overnight trip last week, driving along the dirt road that follows the Congo River downstream. We followed the track until it ended: at least for vehicles with a wheel-base wider than a motor-bike.  Our purpose was to visit and encourage the new churches in that area as well as to pick up some equipment that had been used in several evangelistic efforts. It was quite a trip. We had to cross several rivers with ferries. The first one was a nice antiquated metal barge ferry. The second was much more local... The bridge had gone out and several canoe operators were making the most of their fortune. $30.00 USD each way for vehicle passage.

The whole Mosier famiy came along, including 2 year old Shiloh and Caleb at 10 months. It was both of their first time camping and they had a grand time. They also made quite a scene. Most rural Congolese have never seen Wazungu (white/foreign) babies. And the Mosier kids are about as blonde-haired and blued-eyed as they come. Excited crowds gathered at every stop, pointing and shouting about the watoto wazungus that had appeared among them!

We arrived, after dark, unannounced at the village where we had hoped to spend the night. Within a literal minute of arrival, the local church members (and all their friends, and every child in the village?) had gathered into a swarming welcome party and were singing(shouting) a welcome anthem. We slogged our vehicle off of the road in attempt to enter the church-yard and promptly settled very deeply into the road ditch. A bit of shoveling, many hands pushing, and a hundred more shouting encouragement, we crawled our way out of the ditch and on to our resting place. Upon arrival, Chantee entertained the crowds for while, taking lessons in Swahili and French and teaching the kids words in Engish as a distraction so that the rest of us could unpack and Shiloh could go potty in peace.

The ride home was harder and faster than the ride out. It was a race to make the last ferry before it closed for the night. We made it with minutes to spare. While waiting for the ferry to chug over to our side of the river, I bought an ear of boiled maize from a road-side market lady. I was hungry, but the corn didn't taste quite right. I had eaten 3/4ths of the ear before I decided that it was spoiled. I stopped the eating there and washed it down with a banana to get the taste out of my mouth and 6 tablets of charcoal for intestenal prophylaxis. No ill effects noted.

We got home on Thurday night, did some laundry and bread-baking on Friday, and then took an all day trip on Sabbath, dropping an itenerant missionary preacher and his wife at 36 bumpy kilometers out of town. The remaining group continued another 10 to small village church where I preached. Sermon topic was on lessons from the life of Gideon. I noted a lady in congregation that had a towel over her foot. After the service I went over to investigate. Findings and their aftermath to posted on a seperate blog entry :)


Luke




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