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Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekend Warrior

My work keeps me on the base most of the time but weekends offer excellent opportunities to jump on my Suzuki and head out to the bush to meet up with an expedition team. Here's the story of one of those weekends.

It took longer than expected on Friday morning to finish tying off loose ends with work and prepping the bike for the ride out to Simwamba village. I got moving not long after lunch but I wasn't quite satisfied with how the morning had gone. Work had been hectic, I wasn't happy with my recent modifications to the bike, and I was a little nervous about finding the expedition team before dark. I made good time with the first 75 miles of asphalt road though and I took a short break before tackling the next 35 miles of dirt road. However, my day did not improve.

Before I got to sleep that night, I had crashed the bike twice and managed to get lost despite having a GPS track to follow. Thankfully I found my way back on track just before dark and even though the bike headlight was destroyed and the handlebars bent, the only bruising I suffered was to my pride. I ended up staying the night with a friend who has an orphanage and school on the way to my destination because I had lost so much time and could no longer travel at night. I headed out again in the morning and, after dropping the bike in deep sand yet again, crossed paths with another Overland staff member driving out and I just followed his fresh tire tracks straight to the campsite. It had been a hectic journey so I just helped around the campsite the rest of the day and rested.
The campsite and the vehicles

Sunday turned out to be an entirely different experience than the previous two days.
The team split in half to visit two churches in the area and I made sure to go with. Of all the ministry opportunities in villages I think I enjoy visiting the local churches the most for a number of reasons but maybe I'll share them another time. Naturally, we visitors were invited to speak during the service and I was one of two of our group to get up to preach. A message had been on my heart and mind for some time and I was so grateful for the chance to share it. I ended up preaching out of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and delivered a clear Gospel message with emphasis on how powerful yet loving our God is and why we have no need to fear anything because of his care for us. As I finished and sat down, it was clear that any fight or struggle I had to undertake was well worth it in order to reach the homes of these isolated people to bring them the Word of God.

After church, I had lunch, packed my stuff back on the bike, and headed home. The return ride was surprisingly quick, enjoyable, and completely devoid of trouble on all levels. I even had a lot of fun riding through terrain that had caused me so much trouble just a day before. Funny how it works that way so often where all the opposition and trouble comes as you are heading out to do ministry then you have a breakthrough and it's smooth sailing.