First day in Mauritius

Trip Start Mar 26, 2012
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Trip End Apr 29, 2012


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Where I stayed
Gold Crest Hotel

Flag of Mauritius  ,
Friday, April 6, 2012

I slept very well last night, the first good night of sleep I'd had in three days. So I woke feeling well rested and thankful for it.

I caught up on "office" work during the first part of the morning, then went to run some errands. I changed some money, bought bottled water and a contribution to bring to the dinner in the evening. I walked through the colorful Quatre Bornes market which is located right next to the Gold Crest hotel. Different days of the week feature different wares at the market. This day it was mostly clothing.

At lunchtime I walked down the main street to an Indian restaurant I like called the Happy Rajah. The Chicken Tika Masala is excellent. I noticed when I came back from lunch, that I had a ticket on the windshield of the rental car. The city has changed the parking permissions for the space where I had parked. I’ve been coming here and parking on this street for years and those spaces were always fair game before. Now one needs a permit, and I hadn’t noticed that in the darkness. I moved the car to a better spot.

In the afternoon, I finished my weekly letter and news update for the French region and Bernard Hongerloot proofread it for me from Switzerland(!). We had agreed on a time when we’d both be online and available so that we could work together on getting it ready. What changes technology has brought of recent years! One can write a letter from the middle of the Indian Ocean, someone else can proofread it in Switzerland, it can be e-mailed out to a list of people in North America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and islands in the Indian Ocean, and it can be posted on a website available to anyone with Internet access, all in a matter of a few hours or in some cases even minutes.

By the end of the afternoon it was time to drive down south to the Prodigue’s home for our NTBMO meal and evening. The ten of us enjoyed the cool evening breeze (but not the mosquitos – they put out some repellents) and talked about many things: greetings from many people, my trip so far, news of people they knew from previous visits, fall festival plans, news from the work of our Church association, the political situation in the world, the current economic and political situation in Mauritius, and many more things. Around 7:30 pm, we had an aperitif, and shortly thereafter, we moved to the table. The meal was a wonderful combination of dishes that reflected the diversity of the social background of Mauritius. There was a delicious French velouté of pumpkin as the first course, then lamb and chicken curries with Indian nan (a flat bread), and a Chinese sweet and sour fish dish served with rice. All this was accompanied by a very nice French red wine, and America’s contribution: Coca Cola (oh well).

We talked and ate until about 10:00. We shared stories of how we were called to the truth, and of times we believe God intervened in our lives. Laval said he believes that blessings sometimes come in cascades, were one blessing leads to another and to another. He explained how after praying for a better job to lift him out of unskilled employment, a series of unexpected events him to a much better job, which led him to move to Reunion, which led him to meet his future wife, all greatly appreciated blessings in his life.

I was asked to comment on some questions. For example how can we tell the difference between blessings sent specifically from God and the events of “time and chance” that happen to all men according to Ecclesiastes 9:11. Good things happen to unbelievers as well as to believers so how can we identify God’s blessings? My answer was essentially that all good things come from God (James 1:17), and that God does good to unbelievers too (Matthew 5:45). Human life itself, and all that is needed to sustain it, is a blessing from God. Although God is working directly and intimately with Christians now, He will work personally with everyone in the future and is preparing for that time already by various events that occur in their lives. I also pointed out that Jesus said, and set the example, that we should ask God for our needs and even our desires (for example John 16:23-24). The more specifically we pray about things and ask for help, the clearer it becomes when our prayers are answered. And there is always an element of faith involved in perceiving and understanding such matters.

It was an interesting discussion covering a number of such questions, with examples and counter questions put forward by different people.

We finally finished about 10:00, several of us had to drive back north, with a number going all the way to Port Louis, farther than I had to go.

We said goodnight until 2:00 pm tomorrow when we’ll meet for our service.
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Comments

mary hendren on

Hi Joel,

We enjoyed seeing the photo of the group at NBO and hearing about the topics discussed. Laval's comments on his cascade of blessings is thought provoking, as were several of the questions brought up. Tracing the line of God's blessings and interactions is awesome. We hope the remainder of your stay is enjoyable for everyone.

Regards,
Mary

Judy Dane on

Thank you Joel, it is a great feeling to enjoy the brethren through your blog. I am equally impressed by the technology that allows us to enjoy pictures of where you are and have been and to marvel at all of God's blessings.

Tess Washington on

Technology as we are seeing it and using it in our daily lives came from God as a blessing! He created all things and I think He is allowing it to be developed further for His work to be done in the speediest and efficient manner in matters of hours or even minutes as you had mentioned. It is wonderful to see you and the brethrens in Mauritius enjoying the NTBMO! We truly are a a part of God's body of believers...the family of God that is being formed now and will be revealed in the future!

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