Monthly Archives: November 2013

2 Very Different Sabbaths

After having reached the 15-day mark in Chad, I wanted to bring word about how things are going for us. And give a couple fun stories of stuff that has happened to us here already. We are settling into life here. Gary and Wendy Roberts, our leaders and mentors here, graciously fed us initially so we could get our feet under us, but now we’re cooking for ourselves. Everything is the way food should be: unpackaged, small, and nowhere near nice enough that you would ever consider buying them in the States. Sarah used an entire bulb of garlic in a sauce for lunch, which is equivalent to about 2-3 cloves in the US. We wake up before dawn, today at 4:30am to do devos and meet for morning worship with some church members at 5:30. After breakfast, it’s work time, stopping for lunch around 12-1, then more work until nightfall at 5:30. After that we enjoy dinner, a bucket shower, then bed.

Gary has been meaning to do some ground training with me, but we’ve been busy with other stuff; I’m just flying with him when he goes somewhere, and we talk theory en route. Sarah has been working with Wendy in the few select cases that the Nutrition Center is taking while it’s closed.

Oh yeah, the Nutrition Center is closed, because we don’t have enough people to help do everything that needs to be done. Ideally, 6 people are needed. Right now there’s 2. The center could re-open if we had another nurse here. So here’s a call to nurses and spouses of nurses alike: We need you here, working for the children in this place where life is not at all easy like the US. For the spouse, anything will do. Our biggest need is probably someone with skills in personal evangelism, counseling, and/or Bible working (a perfect fit for the jobs would be a certain couple named Gabe & Heidi). Whoever you are, though, if you are reading this and the Spirit is urging you, please answer the call! Our contact info is easy to find on the blog. :) Email is probably best for now.

Now, the stories. Our 2 Sabbaths here have been very different (if you didn’t catch the blog title…). But there are some similarities too. You’ll see.

The first Sabbath, we had just started to learn to drive the motorcycles they have for us here the day before. Gary and Wendy wanted us to join them at a new church they built about 45 minutes from the airport, mostly on a sandy road. Since we knew it would take us a lot longer to drive than them, we set out early. 25 minutes into our drive, we were tired of driving through the very difficult sand, and thanks be to God! there in front of us was our rendezvous point with the Roberts. We expected them to be on our tail, but they had been slowed by someone at the Nutrition Center, so we waited almost another 25 minutes for them to arrive. Then we followed them through fields of corn, millet and/or sorghum, sometimes with the path visible, sometimes overgrown, to the main road to the church, which was also very sandy.

When we got there, almost an hour 15 minutes after leaving, nobody was there. 2 little boys who were out shooting birds with slingshots heard us singing in English, and came and sat down. But they spoke neither English nor French, and we don’t speak Nanjéré, their language, so we tried to sing some songs with them, tell them a story, and pray, but I wonder how much they understood. Come to find out, the man who typically led out was out of town, so word had spread and nobody knew at the time that we were coming down, so nobody came.

On the way back to our place, we stopped to greet people from another church in between. They had already finished, so we shook everyones hand and sat down (the Chadian way of doing things), visited for a little, then got up and kept driving. Arriving home, Sarah and I did our own worship/relaxing before driving to the hospital for a potluck lunch with the Nasaras (white people) up there. (Just a side note, the kids here are so cute! When they see you coming, they jump up and run towards the road with a smile on their face screaming “Nasara!” or “Lapia!” (their standard greeting in Nanjéré)).

At potluck we met everyone, then sat around talking the rest of the afternoon, heading to the Roberts for dinner, then home for a shower and bed. It was nice to spend time with people at the hospital, but all that travel for what seemed to be very little was discouraging…

Our second Sabbath was very different. We had breakfast early so we could leave early again for the farthest church that we visit regularly. Olen and Danae Netteberg, the doctors at the hospital came with us, so we were going to ride in the car with them while Gary and Wendy led the way on the moto. Starting out, Olen discovered a fuel pump issue in the car, so we had to turn around, and ask Danae’s dad Rawlin Bland (also a doctor at the hospital) if we could borrow his car, which he graciously let us do. Gary and Wendy waited for us by Hippo River so we didn’t miss our turn. We followed the path just wide enough for a car, barreling through the mighty deep sand. The path got progressively smaller and smaller until we were driving with one wheel filling the path, one off. We drove through fields, brushing trees, bushes, rocks, you know, whatever we could find with the side of the car. As the road got even smaller, we stopped for a second while Gary went ahead to check it out.

Lo and behold, we were on a cow path. We turned around and turned the other way at a fork in the path, and eventually (maybe 45 minutes to an hour after we first left Béré) we saw a village where we stopped to ask directions. Only a few kilometers away! We continued on, the path back to just barely big enough for a vehicle, to the church.

We came up to the mango trees they were having church under with church already in progress. There were 51 adults, plus probably as many children there. I had been talked into giving the children’s story, so I gave a brief synopsis of the salvation story in French (at least I hope it sounded enough like French!), which was translated. Then Gary spoke about the hope we have of heaven. Some more singing and prayer closed the worship service. One of the older men in the group was up dancing (tastefully) during the singing, which was fun to see. Then, the way they close the service is to make a line, and go around and shake hands, then turn around when done to shake the hands of those coming behind. It becomes one big, singing circle (with a guy dancing [tastefully] in the middle), then they pray, and dismiss. Afterwards, the doctors looked at some medical issues they had, we got better directions back to the main road, and we left.

The road back was indeed better, but we were still dealing with branches, rocks, little kids (kidding! They were baby goats we almost ran over…), plus we were running on fumes. To keep the story short, we made it back just fine, with some divine replenishment of fuel (nothing particularly exciting, we just didn’t run out of it when we very clearly should have).

We had potluck with the Nasaras in Little America again (an area at the hospital), then got up and drove Olen’s car, busted fuel pump and all, to a small branch Sabbath School just near Hippo River where there are mostly kids and a couple adults attending, which the Student Missionaries with the hospital typically help run. They sing songs, tell a story, and pray. The adults had studied together before we arrived. Afterwards, one of them told Gary that a VIP of some sort in the village had died, so we went to visit the family. They say not to underestimate the value of visiting someone after a death. Several church members joined because they saw that the Adventists care. What a blessing to just go and sit, few words needed, to show them you are there with them. Even you can do that for someone where you are!

Finally, we went back to the hospital. As we were getting ready to leave, we were invited to come and sing hymns around the hospital, so we went, all the while praying that the mosquitos who bit the malaria patients there didn’t bite us also! I don’t think either of us were bit once. People loved the singing, and it was lots of fun.

When we had dinner with the Roberts that night, they told us that the church with 51 adults was only 3 months old! A couple local Bible workers they had trained were from that village, so they went home and worked, and that was the result! God is working in powerful ways in the village of Broom Tu Su. Here in Béré, however, church growth hass been more difficult. The big day for the market is Saturday, and many aren’t willing to give it up to. Apparently spirits and mediums were consulted about what day to have the market, which became on Sabbath and is now an obstacle for many who would be on the verge of being interested.  Evil forces are very much at work here. The only way God can be victorious here is through his representatives praying and fasting. That means us who are here and you who aren’t.

So there you have it, two Sabbaths. One discouraging, one encouraging. I think that will be the tone of our life here. We are learning to survive American-African style. The work, though it is there, is light for now until we get established, comfortable with the languages, culture, etc. We need people willing to come work, preferably now, but in the future as well. Life isn’t nearly as hard as we imagined, it’s just different than the immediate convenience of life in North America. Plus, it’s more exciting! Look at how many adventures you can have just by going to church here! There’s a nice foundation of Nasaras here to give the immediate support one would need.

Most importantly, God has already called us all to make disciples for Him. So you are already called to do work like this, wherever you are, and whatever you do. Please consider joining us. God will grow our faith with the same measure we give it. I want big faith, and I believe you do as well. Here’s the chance to have faith like Abraham and to move to an unknown country because of God’s call. We have been amazed at how greatly God has worked in our lives since we made the decision to come. He will work in a great way for you as well, if you will give yourself to His service. He is faithful in every one of His promises.

Please keep us in your prayers.

Blessings,
David & Sarah

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The Grand Tour

 

 

 

 

Photo by David or Sarah Macomber

 

 

Front door and yard.

The guards fill the garbage can up with water since we don’t have running water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by David or Sarah Macomber

 

 

Our lovely bathroom.

It’s nice with the toilet :) but bucket showers and bucket flushing. (you can’t have everything :))

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by David or Sarah Macomber

 

 

Dining room and living room.

The other side is just screen so we do most of our living here since it’s so hot.

 

 

 

 

Photo by David or Sarah Macomber

 

 

 

Our kitchen.

Again no running water, but there is plenty of lizard poop to go around. I bleach the counter top regularly and still lizard poop everywhere.

 

 

 

 

Photo by David or Sarah Macomber

 

 

Our bedroom.

Mosquito net and all. We try to keep the our bed the cleanest area in the whole house. We take showers at night so that we are clean every time we go to bed.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by David or Sarah Macomber

 

 

 

The whole view of our palace.

Categories: Photos | 5 Comments

A Couple of Photos

Our table decor:

Photo by David or Sarah Macomber

Our pet duiker in our house:

Photo by David or Sarah Macomber

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Welcome to Chad

Lizards, spiders, bucket showers, a floor that’s never clean, drums in the distance, self taught French lessons, monkeys, moto rides, and mosquito nets. Those are just a few things I am getting used to.

I have set some goals for myself this first week including:

1. Learn to ride the scooter (which this morning I rode from our house to the nutrition center and back, which is very sandy, and didn’t wipe out!)

2. Learn French!!!! Most mornings there is someone at our door trying to sell me some kind of food, but usually David is not there when they come so I’m left trying to tell them we don’t want it right now (since Gary and Wendy are feeding us for a few weeks until we are fully settled) today the guard of our compound came with a lady who had papayas and I was speaking a little bit of what I knew and the message was not getting across so I ran back into the house and grabbed my French lesson book and started reading phrases. The guard was trying to read the book, but I don’t think he can read so it was amusing, but I THINK she understood after a while. The positive side was that I am learning more French the more I make a fool of myself like that!

3. Learn how to cook. Wendy is teaching me a lot, but most of the food is not what I am familiar with and if I have heard of it before they look so different here (like cucumbers which are a pear shape and the outside looks like a watermelon).

I will be learning a lot and it will be challenging, but I willing to push myself so I can get closer to the people. God is giving me the strength!

Thank you for all the prayers and support.

With love,
Sarah

Categories: News | 4 Comments

Goodbye!

Well, God has a way of taking our plans and changing them completely.  We thought we would be in Chad now for almost a week, but instead we are just now on the way (in the airport in Paris, in fact).  God worked out our visas, and I believe there was a reason why we had to go to Washington to get them.  But we won’t know the full reasons for quite some time.  But we learned the value of friendships, and how who you know can instantly change a person’s perspective.

We also enjoyed some very generous hospitality from friends in DC while we were waiting for our next flight, and God provided great tickets for us through the use of a travel agency they suggested.  Now we are on our way!  Please pray for us.  We are very tired from not sleeping the night before we left (we couldn’t!), and then missing out on night-time from the flight here to Paris.  And pray that our hearts be brought to love the people we are about to meet.

God Bless,

David & Sarah

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Corporate Prayer

During the time that we’ve been preparing to leave, God has been making it very clear to us that He responds more immediately and more powerfully when people pray with us, especially about something specific.  Sarah and I have seen it clearly time and again, between passing tests, Gary responding to us (in just the perfect timing!), bringing us to Colorado, helping us to finish packing early to spend time with family, and so much more, God has been showing us of how mightily He wants to work in our lives, if we but ask Him.

One thing that God has put on my heart and in my mind is the idea of a prayer network.  Essentially what it would be is if we had something important that needed prayer, we would send a private email to those who are committed to joining us in prayer, as well as posting on the blog our requests, so that people all over the world can pray for the needs on the front lines.  We very much want you all to be a vital part of the ministry.

For those who are interested, please email me personally at davidmacomber27@gmail.com.  I will add you onto our list of prayer partners.  (Also, if you want to receive emails every time we update our blog, click the follow button on the right side.)

One thing that we need prayer for right now is that our passports and visas come back today, and that God gives us reduced-price tickets to Chad.  Due to circumstances outside our control, we have not yet bought our tickets from Washington to N’Djamena, the capital city.  Also please pray for the churches here, that we wake up, put away the things that pull us away from God, and start living with God’s character, fully balanced in everything.  This is a burden on our hearts.

Thank you for the prayers, and for your support.  We leave Denver Monday, Nov 4 and will arrive in Chad by Wednesday, Nov 6.  This may be our last blog before we leave.

Love and blessings,

David

Categories: Uncategorized | 4 Comments

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