Saturday in Lomé

Trip Start Mar 26, 2012
1
7
32
Trip End Apr 29, 2012


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Saturday, March 31, 2012

As I sit down to begin writing this day's entry, I hear the muezzin calling neighborhood Muslims to their evening prayers at a nearby mosque: "Allah Akbar" is repeated several times, part of the daily ritual in much of Africa… Dusk is giving way to night; the street noises are quieting slightly. The friendly African night is taking over with its relief from the heat of the day.

This morning Guy arrived a bit before 10:00 for the drive to his house which, due to the heavy traffic and poor state of many city streets, is over half an hour away. The heat had increased noticeably as the memory of yesterday’s rain receded. We drove over washboard sand streets and some new repaved streets in good condition. We passed shops of every description, many displaying their wares right out on the sidewalk. There were masses of motorcycles, many of them taxis and vehicles ranging from new to old and literally falling apart.

Just as we arrived at the Ahialegbedzis’ home, the power went out once again, but not due to any rain: the sky was bright and clear. A power outage is not an unusual occurrence, so preparations are available in virtual permanence. Guy quickly brought a large battery, and changed the wiring over, so that the fan (much appreciated in these temperatures) and the CD player (for hymns) would run on DC battery power instead of AC. We started as soon as the glitches were regulated.

We sang hymns, said Amen to an opening prayer and then listened to announcements, much of which came from the president’s letter and our weekly French-language newsletter. When the time came, I spoke on the topic of suffering, that of Jesus at his final Passover on earth, and that which is part of the Christian life.

After services we shared a meal the ladies had prepared: a raw vegetable salad with boiled egg and vinaigrette, followed by rice and a bean casserole with a local variety of snapper, broiled. It was copious and very tasty. We talked about all sorts of things as we ate. The recent history of our Church going back 60 years or so, current events, plans for the future and so on.

After the meal and conversation I set up my laptop to show photos of the history of our church movement going back to the 1940s, as well as photos of previous trips of mine through Africa. Then I offered to answer any questions they had and this turned into a Q&A Bible study for both the adults and the children.

The adults asked questions about our organizational structure and some points of prophecy.

The children asked the harder questions (isn’t that often the case?):

-         If Adam and Eve hadn’t sinned, would we still be living in the Garden of Eden?
∑         If Satan hadn’t rebelled, would God still have created people?
∑         Why are there both Passover and Easter (jn French the words are very similar, the difference is only between singular or plural: P‚que or P‚ques.

When we finished our group discussion, several members asked to see me individually to ask advice or for help with personal situations. Since I can only visit twice a year on average, the chances to talk are not frequent.

 By the time we were done, the sun was sinking in the sky and the day was beginning to fade. I said goodbye to everyone, and Guy drove me slowly through the congested, potholed streets of Lomť to the hotel. The manager of the hotel had told me, yesterday of a special chicken dish on which he was working, which wasn’t on the menu, and asked if I’d like to try it. I had agreed, so he had it ready at 7:00 pm, the normal French dinner time. It was delicious. This little hotel is really a gem; it’s basic, but inexpensive, and the food is very good.

Tomorrow we’ll make a church visit in the morning and have a leadership seminar in the afternoon. 
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Comments

Tess Washington on

It is good to see you and our brethrens in Lome Mr. Meeker! And it is good to know that even the children asked questions...

maryhendren
maryhendren on

Hi Joel,

We enjoyed reading about your lovely day, the meal, the Q&A. What about Adam and Eve? Is there a place on the blogs where you include your answers to these interesting questions:-). It's a blessing to see the photos of you all sharing a meal and meeting together in peace. You continue to be in our prayers.

Regards,
Mary

Bernard Hongerloot on

Hi Joël,
Exciting to read your blog. Keep up the excellent work. Thanks for your love and dedication for God's people. Say Hi to everyone. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Yesterday in Cincy, before my sermon, I asked the Brethren once again to keep you in their prayers. Heard afterwards that many DO pray for you. Take care.

Bernard

Margaret Howard on

I am so happy for these people that you are able to spend some time with them. Am a bit "jealous" of you, as I would truly LOVE to visit them myself.

Elbert Gargar on

Hi Mr. Meeker...happy to read updates of brethren on the other side of the world. Pretty sure that visiting this place is difficult and the risk is there as well reading in your account. Our prayers are with you and please convey our warmest regards to the brethren.

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