Bonjour! This is David Ong reporting from the Plateau today, and I am leading the team from Millar College of the Bible that arrived here at Lemuel ministries on April 26.
Our team consists of 10 Millar students, plus myself, from our campus in Saskatchewan, Canada. We have been getting ready for this trip since December and it has been exciting for us to be working and serving alongside the many amazing people here.
Tim the Pilot, David the Canadian, and Manis and Judy, the lovely couple!
I came out to the Plateau in the summer of 2008 and first met Manis and Judy at one of the summer camps they held here. It has been a huge blessing to serve alongside them again and see the many changes that have taken place since then. From the time our team first arrived, we have been served and welcomed with much love. We have truly enjoyed getting to befriend so many people here and watching the ministry and work that God is doing in this place. The main purpose of our trip was to help with finishing the church, through raising funds for the porch and to paint the church.
Before shots of the inside of the church
To paint a church, just complete the following simple steps: 1. Sandpaper the walls 2. Power wash the walls 3. Prime the walls 4. Paint the walls 5. Enjoy the school kids that come to say hi during recess 6. Chase away any goats that come into the front lawn 7. Don’t work outside during 1-3pm (The hottest time of the day) 8. Learn a couple of Creole songs as best you can to sing while you work 9. Draw straws to elect someone to paint the rafters 10. Don’t fall off any ladders (The girls are very good at this one. The guys not so much)
Part of the money had been sent ahead of time and went towards skilled workers pouring cement and finishing the church porch. We were blessed to learn that while there was a drought that had been taking place in the area, many workers were able to be find employment through the porch project.
The front of the church with the finished porch
One of the other projects we have been able to be apart of during our time here, was traveling to a tree nursery that is a CAM ministry, purchasing and transporting trees from there, and planting them back here around the Lemuel compound. This was definitely a highlight for our team, as we have been learning a lot about the importance of reforestation. And our team member Raquel, who is from the mountainous area of British Columbia, was just thrilled to see trees being planted.
Raquel in the CAM greenhouse at La Source
Planting the trees one photo at a time
Connor and Wilferne’s work ethics were growing wonderfully
Getting to live and experience life in the community is also something we have appreciated while being here. Community highlights have been getting up at 5AM to walk to the marketplace, getting to do laundry by hand, having different kinds of gifts left in the bedroom by neighboring wildlife (The best one was an egg right by one of the girls pillows. The guys are not so blessed yet!), celebrating the rain, and waking up to the friendly roosters in the morning!
The ladies on washing day!
Spending time with the youth
Last Saturday, we were able to go to the beach with a number of the youth from the community and we all traveled together in the back of a big truck. Nothing builds fellowship better then 55 people all trying to stay standing upright while the truck navigates bumpy roads!
The Millar team at the beach!
Enjoying the beach!
This week we have been putting the final touches on the church and working on a special evening service with the youth for this Sunday. Judy and Krischelle were able to translate one of our English songs to Creole and we have been learning it with the youth. We have also been teaching them a couple of drama skits which we will perform on Sunday night.
Our team has been truly blessed during our stay here and we will miss the people of the Plateau when we leave. Some things that we have been learning while out here is the oneness that we can enjoy as the body of Christ. To be able to live and work and worship alongside fellow believers is an awesome privilege at any time. But to be doing it amidst a different culture and language helps to provide a chance to examine the most important commands of Christ: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.
The youth and the Millar team
The church at the halfway point. Stay tuned for the final product!