Mourning and Joy in Mauritius

Trip Start Mar 14, 2013
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Trip End Apr 05, 2013


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Flag of Mauritius  ,
Monday, April 1, 2013

Today was a very enjoyable day. I woke feeling rested in spite of the exertions of yesterday. After breakfast I drove out of Quatre Bornes to the south. Almost all shops were closed and there was very little traffic, due to the national day of mourning declared because of the terrible flash-flooding that happened Saturday. About 6 inches or rain fell in two hours and the whole center of Port Louis flooded; the photos and video on the news and the Internet are quite frightening.

Most of those who died had shop stalls in a pedestrian underpass that I have walked through many times. The victims were trying to gather their belongings when flood waters poured in from both ends of the underpass simultaneously. There was nowhere to go.

Thinking on all this, I drove to Rivière des Anguilles (Eel River) for a happy occasion. I arrived at the Prodigues' home at 9:30; all four people who gather for services were already present. We caught up on the news and talked about all sorts of things for an hour before starting our service. We sang hymns and had an opening prayer, and then I gave a news update of my trip and of developments in the work of our church association. We gave our offering and then I gave the sermon. We finished about noon and Mrs. Prodigue began setting the table for a Mauritian meal. Such meals often contain dishes from several culinary backgrounds. On the menu today was raw vegetable salad with a vinaigrette (French cuisine), followed by sweet and sour fish on rice (Chinese cuisine) and curried beef (Indian cuisine) accompanied by red wine (back to French again). The wine was from South Africa which produces excellent wines. The vineyards were originally developed by French Huguenot (Protestant) colonists who went to the Cape area when they were chased out of France by the wars of religion.

It was a delicious meal and we enjoyed our conversation as we ate. We talked about the flooding in Port Louis and how it happened, and as usual international relations, the issue of gun control in America (much of the world is following that debate), healthcare issues in America (that debate is being followed too), and compared health care and insurance systems in Mauritius and Africa. One of the members in Mauritius is a RN, so she is very knowledgeable about how the system works in country. We also discussed questions of Bible prophecy and some points from the sermon I had given.

After a dish of ice cream to finish the meal, we moved out onto the terrace to continue talking. From the hilltop where we were sitting, we could see the Indian Ocean 5 or 6 miles away, and a pleasant breeze kept the temperatures perfect under a bright blue sky with puffy white clouds. They asked a question about what if anything the Bible says about Africa in prophecy. I mentioned that there were a few indications and that I would give than more study and prepare a sermon or Bible Study on the subject. There will be a lot of interest for that topic.

We enjoyed a cup of coffee or tea, Mauritians mostly drink tea, as we talked and reflected on the meaning of the day and the hope we have in the promised the Bible reveals for the future. They expressed how thankful they are that the Church makes it possible for people to come visit them once or twice a year. Though we know have electronic means of staying in touch, in such small and isolated groups (Mauritius and neighboring Reunion are long way from almost everywhere), personal contact is very much appreciated.

Around 4:00 pm two ladies left to start the trip back to Port Louis. I stayed a while longer to talk with Mr. and Mrs. Prodigue about Feast of Tabernacles planning. I finally left a little before 5:00 telling them I planned to come here again just before the fall festivals.

It was a very encouraging and enjoyable day on which to end the spring festivals. Tomorrow I will have part of the day here on the island and then will make the long overnight flight to Paris.
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Comments

Tess Washington on

It is good to see our brethrens in Mauritius...they are truly a little flock in that part of the world but nonetheless they are members of the Body! We will remember them. Your trip has been meaningful and rewarding not only for our African brethrens but for all of us who came along with you vicariously! Thank you and may you have a wonderful trip back to Paris and to the US!

mary hendren on

Hi Joel,
What a beautiful setting to end the spring Holy days and your trip. Thanks for the commentary and photos. We trust that you will have a safe and pleasant trip home.

Regards,
Mary

Tommie Briley on

Hello, Mr. Meeker! It has always amazed me how so much of the world outside the US (whether greatly educated or not, thanks to global media) follows our country's politics, religion, history….how we frequently make their headlines. It is a lesson we Americans would do well to learn from. Would love to hear that sermon/bible study on African prophecy!

Happy to read of the encouragement and strengthening all received. It is rewarding and encouraging to us, too, to learn of the faithfulness of our brethren in places like Mauritius. Please continue to let our brethren overseas know that we are thinking and praying for them. My prayers continue for you as well.

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