Abigal and Chris Duman
"It's so good to see you feeling better," Chris smiled as I walked through the house with broom in hand. As I grow stronger by the day, I am thankful. Aside from keeping house, washing laundry by hand, and cooking with the limited supplies we have, I've worked on several projects. The need here is tremendous - I can't even begin to describe all of the need. The vacant places for laborers in the harvest.
There is a huge need for the printed word and guidance in biblical matters. Many church leaders are unsure what to advise when torn between strong generational tradition and what they feel to be right. Luke's dental program has had great success and on our journeys in January we passed out multiple printed booklets to people eager for more learning and information on spiritual things and their health. In anticipation for more distribution, we set up a printer attached to a generator in my house (previously Luke and Chantee's) so that I could sit and oversee the printing of more books as my strength improved after malaria. I fingered the white pages before me, imagining the eager hands and eyes that would pour over the printed pages. The printer is small and slow, but plods away and with pride I've watched the pile of "Where There is No Dentist" and "Ministry of Healing" books grow. Truth-filled literature to touch hearts.
A second need here is one for agriculture and education. One church planter's wife was found to be repeatedly getting sick. Each time she grew ill, CFM would take her into town and feed her, and she would feel marvelously better. Truth is, she was not eating enough. The pay her husband received went mostly to others so that there was little to be had in the house.
"If we can spread awareness for several edible plants and foods that grow here high in nutrition, it could make the difference between health and malnourishment," Nathan shared with us late into the evening. I have begun research on amaranth to prepare information on its health benefits. Maybe this will encourage more people to adopt this grain into their diet.
Chris has remained active between conferring with Nathan who is here for a limited time this month. The pile of keys in Christopher's pocket seemed to grow by the day until he seemed to have a key to everything on campus. Both of the men are eager for the arrival of the big rig this fall. Chris enjoyed working on his first well. Each day I walked to the circle of palms at the center of campus where machinery plodded along and Chris's helpers assisted with adding pipes to the drill.
The weekend rolled around again and we found ourselves at another area church - named Zoo due to its close proximity. Chris shared his testimony for a few minutes before Sabbath school with Keith translating. I felt so proud to listen as he shared, in closing, his longing to see Christ face to face. Oh the thrills as the small congregation sang "Lift Up the Trumpet" all looking forward to Christ's soon return.
We took a walk through the jungle on the village path to a small stagnant stream where the nearby village likely retrieved their water before CFM drilled a well for them. That evening we received the news that Peter and Margot were returning on bicycle from their two and a half week boat trip journey. The Mosier children clapped their hands and spun around the living room in delight.
"So they should be here tonight," Keith announced over a pineapple smoothie at the kitchen table. His wife Tammy looked up quickly. "They know that the road is dangerous at night, do they not?" "I told them," he nodded.
My interest was piqued. I learned that the road from our campus gate to town is frequented by robbers and thieves.
"The more petty crimes are thieves who steal motorcycles," Tammy explained. "The robbers come at night and will ransack a house of its goods. They sometimes cause harm to the occupants so many locals comply quickly and open the door for the robbers when they come."
Now I could understand why our three campus guards take their jobs so seriously, even though we have angel help on hand.
I fell asleep that night with a little shiver at the thought of midnight robbers pounding on the door, but then reviewed a story in my mind from when Congo Frontline Missions had just begun their work in this vast country. At the time the missionaries were in a town house, and two witches decided that they would a little fun scaring the Americans. It was their intention to enter the house, become invisible, and then move objects and knock things over to see what havoc they could cause. As they neared the house however, something made them stop dead in their tracks. A wall of mighty men clothed in glowing white surrounded the house where the tired missionaries rested. The witches stumbled back - this was a power that dwarfed their power of darkness. A while later, one approached a Congolese man working with the ministry - "who are these people so carefully preserved by this higher power?" they inquired. They must be greatly beloved to be protected by such enforcement.
And indeed we are. We are loved deeply by a power that defies death and the grave, and that suffered both so that we could know love forever. This love sends us to the low valleys of the earth where darkness reigns. It drives us from our knees to the world with a mission to bring light and life to those who are bitter and dying. This love is a compelling force that hedges us about with angel armies and also protects our hearts from a tide of worldly foolishness and confusion. It is a love that will send laborers into the harvest that it might be known throughout the world that God is love, to know Him is to love Him, and that until one has known this love, he has not yet begun to live.