May your wonders never cease
May your spirit never leave
May we ever long to see your face
And when we turn from you again
Oh how quickly we forget
May we be reminded of your grace
May Your Wonders Never Cease
It is an amazing joy to be able to go to Africa and do youth group in a gazebo somewhere in Conakry Guinea. The trip over there was filled with God encounters, including a four hour conversation with a wonderful man going to see his girl friend in Brussels. The joy is in sharing the good news and watching it slowly transform hearts. It was great to see that Gods love changed us both as we shared humbly about our experiences seeking truth. In the end I think that although my arguments were sound it was the love that God gave me for him that really opened his ears to what God wanted done in his life. Our conversation could have taken the whole flight but some 'timely' turbulence ended our talk for two reasons; he became nauseated and a luggage hatch flew open directly over me. I tried to close it before luggage went flying everywhere but the flight attendants were adamant that I 'sit down sir!' and so after two failed attempts I sat down and locked my eyes on the bags in preparation to catch them before they crashed down on all of us. Well the strong hand of God held them fast and got us safely through all the way to Conakry.
If God is for us who can stand against us!
"Getting out of the airport went so smoothly this time"
"Wow it's much cooler this year than usual"
"So few bugs around this time"
That is the uncanny joy of going forward in the grace and power of God, he truly went before us thanks to your prayers and gave us a truly blessed experience!
We arrived late and breezed through the customs at the airport, "Mission Protestant" was like saying abra ca dabra, and poof they let us through and we were off to the parking lot. Needless to say on the way out a car exploded into flames and as we passed it by it was a 'this is Africa' moment'. After we got to the compound where most of us were staying we enjoyed a wonderful meal of hamburgers and hot dogs, yeah very American except that the buns were home made and much better then the usual store bought fare I get at home!
So went almost all the meals, they were delicious and hot and as American as they could be for the missionaries who typically get their fill of African food. I ate too much and very well and really enjoyed a lot of African soda.
I appreciated having my cousin Lynda there with me. For both of us it was the first time back in Africa since high school and it scratched an itch for both of us. Although we didn't get all the benyes and mango's that we thought we would we did enjoy a wonderful time visiting a village. The road to and from the village was filled with delays, the most dramatic being a double murder where a bandit killed someone in a local school only to find himself as the next victim when an angry crowd surrounded him seeking justice. The delays provided extended opportunity for great conversation which we all really appreciated. We also took a handicapped man many miles down the road and that was special to be able to do.
This man I met in the village and we ate some amazing food at his house. He was one of the original language helpers to the people working in this village's language group. It was so cool to meet him and I thought about the man who my parents met when they first started to learn and then translate the language in 'our' village. It is great seeing the hunger that the people have for God's word in their own language and how they are willing to partner with the translators for years and years to make it happen.
Here I am with some of the village kids who tagged along for our long walk through the village to meet every body. They walk next to you, hold your hand, and enjoy the white people touching our skin and marveling at how different it is and at how hairy we are. Well marveling might not be the right word :). It is fun but a little over whelming after a while.
The teaching went well, it took a few days to get the ball really rolling and my class fluctuated between five and ten kids but for the most part we did a lesson in the morning and then free time for the rest of the day. The highlights for the kids were the American snacks that we brought, like Oreo's and M&Ms and such. To fill the extra time we played knock out, I made up a relay race, I led improvised exercise routines, we did riddles, and then played cards and chess and talked. I enjoyed sharing my life with them and hearing about their lives in the village and city, homeschooling and going to French school.
To break up the week we had a circus and that was really fun! I got to see a bearded lady and meet a very nice fortune teller. Before the circus there was a ping pong tournament and I got fourth place. After the circus I enjoyed a delicious funnel cake... I never thought I would have a funnel cake in Africa but hey I guess dreams really do come true :).
On the day we went to the village I split my shorts up the seam playing basketball, thankfully my cousin Lynda was able to sew them up again. Unfortunately I ripped them again climbing a tree in the village. It was a very humbling experience walking around the village with incredibly torn up shorts. Kinda felt nice and breezy and I had something more in common with the kids but made meeting the chief a little uncomfortable.
The house I stayed at was very nice and I'm looking forward to the kids coming and joining my youth group here in just about a month. They had two dogs, a cat and an African Grey parrot. These are feisty intelligent and long living parrots and I loved being in a house with one since there were plenty of them around when I was living in Cameroon. I'll never forget waking up many mornings in high school to the parrot saying "oh Canada". the bird at this house didn't say much but it did mimic the dogs whining pretty well. The parrot was notorious for picking on the other animals. Very entertaining.
This is a rather disjointed telling of my tale but let me tell you it was a great trip and my pictures are all on my Facebook page. God really used this time to bless me and to allow me to be a blessing. He got me home despite a terrible time getting through Brussels airport where we missed our flight but miraculously were able to get the next one and still, by the skin of our teeth, make our original flight home. Some of our luggage came a day later then we did but even in that God was good, it wasn't lost!
God has delivered me safely home and it is a pleasure to reunite with my family!
God kept me healthy and safe on the trip!
You are enabling me to do the Lords work and I'm so grateful for you!
That I don't get malaria, I should be okay if I don't have it in the next couple of days, but rest is important and it is something that can flare up if I get too run down.
For quick recovery from jet lag.
For my heart as I miss those kids!
It is good to be back and to know that I am home for a little while now, and it is good to know that I will be seeing some of these kids again soon.
If you want to support what I do a little or a lot, on a one time basis or a recurring basis, click on the tab "Supporting the Work" at the top of the page and search for Caleb Robbins and then click on Caleb and Diane Robbins. Diane is my beautiful wife and the mother of my three precious children Creed 6, Asher 3, and Liam 1.