Everything will change. A Ministry of WorldVenture.
The voyage to Bamako was not as I had imagined, but nor was it without purpose. I thought my host father overreacted to the worn-out bus waiting at the station, where as I thought it possessed a romanticized promise of adventure. What started out as a slow but bearable pace, became a trudge, and then a stop and go. I fought with myself over whether to turn back, while still within Cote d'Ivoire, and then whether to try hitchhiking the rest of the way to Bamako. The events seem trivial now sitting at home in Bouake, but they tried my trust in God's superseding role in what comes to pass, and my desire to view all in the light of His glory and my transformation into the likeness of His Son.
Our bus is the little white spec in the background. To clarify the picture, we walked to a small village to wait while they "fixed" the bus.
Although I arrived after expected, I was not late. The solar panels and equipment for installation were held up in customs the extra day it took me to get there. The panels belonged to a missionary family who had to move, so we were reinstalling their system onto their new house. One group of panels was dedicated to a refrigerator and a complimentary yet separate circuit provided 220V for the house. Most of the work was meticulously wiring together solar panels, charge controller, deep-cycle batteries, and inverter; which for me does not carry with it the commonly associated negative connotation. From a simply egalitarian (materialistic) point of view it was beneficial to gain a very piratical knowledge of a household solar panel system. All the equipment was either from the US or Europe, so again learning which company makes a good product is not a knowledge easily gained without experience.
Beyond the need to justify the experience through the American standard of usefulness towards my education or future, I enjoyed spending time with Nathan Kendall's family and the other missionaries. I had the pleasure of reliving my childhood through their children: I read, and sometimes reread, Whinie the Pooh, Bernstein Bears, Clifford, Sesame Street, and etc to their daughter; I pretended to be engaged in epic battles against Romans legions with their son; and we celebrated the second birthday of their youngest daughter by bowling. I was sorry to leave after such a short time, but look forward to visiting them in Guinea next year if God allows.
Support raising right now feels like it did waiting for the bus. The progress seems so slow; waiting feels like idleness; greasing the wheels with authoritative action feels like I am giving up on God, "if I was driving the bus we would be there by now"; and it is a lot easier to keep my mind occupied on something else.
A few pictures from the wedding I mentioned last blog: