Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Trip to Sinoe

Red meets green meets blue!
This past week, Deb and I took our annual adventure to Sinoe. You might remember last year's trip, which I wrote about herehere, here and here. The cast of characters was alittle different this year--Joseph (our driver, who also attends Pastor's church) drove us there and back, we drove down with Pastor Wleh and his wife Shirley, and Josh and Sam weren't with us. Because of some road improvements (thank you, China...), the trip there only took us 9 hours. We hit some serious rain, which slowed us down for while. Overall, the road was so much better--we used 4-wheel drive twice and only went through one puddle where it came up and over the hood. Hmm...maybe I should paint a better
This is what we looked like when we arrived!
picture of the road for you...after you get to Buchanan (the last real town before you go into the bush), the first part of the road is a wide and graded dirt road, and we were able to go 30-40mph on it. The further into the bush you go, the more narrow and more ungraded the road gets. After you go through the rainforest in River Cess, you're on a one-car-wide road with lots of fun obstacles! From our house to the orphanage (which is just before Greenville) it's 200 miles. Yes, 200 miles in 9 hours!

Making block from a termite mound.
We didn't have much planned for the trip, other than visiting with Pastor and Shirley to see what's going on and to deliver Christmas to the children living there. It was actually nice to not have a big to-do list, and we were able to spend more time just living life with the people there. A few other cars had traveled ahead of us--with construction supplies and men to work, and so our first day there was spent working on the new school building. It was actually pretty cool--they closed school for the day and the students came to learn how to make dirt block and spent the day making block. Talk about ownership and taking pride in something! 

It was also a different experience because it was the first time that Shirley had traveled with us. We are totally capable of really roughing it (take a walk with a shovel to go to the bathroom, a quick bucket bath in the middle of the pineapple field under the stars and sleeping in a grass mat house), but of course, Mama Shirley waited on us hand and foot. She brought new sheets and pillows and blankets for us to use, she never stopped cooking (and even brought special ingredients with her so she could make doughnuts for us), heated up bath water for us at night and made sure we had more than what we needed. We joked about the Mama Shirley Guest House in Sinoe (which they plan to have by 2015, and coincidently, Mama Shirley runs the guest house at Carver Mission, where our guests frequently stay).

We made a quick trip into Greenville to buy some supplies and to get a few things to complete our Christmas shopping list, but other than that, we stayed out in the village. Life is so simple and slow and quiet--but there's so much hard, manuel labor that goes on non-stop to just live. I felt pretty stinkin' lazy...especially because between Shirley and the kids, we pretty much couldn't ever lift a finger. But on Tuesday night, we did something pretty special for the village. Pastor has the full set up to show the Jesus film, so we showed the movie in Kru (the local dialect) on a projector and big screen in the front yard. It was pitch black dark, but people just kept coming--I'd say there was 100-200 people sitting, standing and laying out in the front yard watching the movie. It was a pretty surreal experience--sitting in a hut in the middle of the bush in Africa, watching the Jesus film in a language you can't understand, with people clapping every time Jesus performed a miracle! Pretty amazing! 

The road after the rain...deep as an entire tire!
The drive home was shorter--it only took us 8 hours and we didn't hit any rain! Pastor and Shirley stayed in Sinoe, so it was just me, Deb and Joseph and we didn't have a big heavy load, so it was a nice drive. Although we got very little sleep (those dang chickens!), it was a very enjoyable trip. It's always great to see someone who has such a heart for what they're doing, and they're doing it well (especially considering what little they have). You can be praying for Pastor and Shirley, as they'll be in Sinoe until the end of May. Pray for provision, protection and good health. Pastor will be working on the new school building, as well as a huge agricultural project (they spent 3 months in the Philippines in the fall learning about organic farming). You can also be praying for the children--11 children live in the orphanage, but with the caretaker's children, there's over 20 children living there. Also pray for the caretakers--Emma, Emmanuel, O'Hennessy and Angie. They are such hard workers--they worked non-stop...up at 4am and in bed at 11pm. Pray for provision for Pastor and Shirley's dreams for Sinoe. After more than 20 years of pastoring a church, they feel called to leave Monrovia next year to live at the mission full time. They envision a new orphanage building, a new [boarding] school, a guest house, a road, a well....so many God-given dreams! Here are some photos from our time there:

The backyard...pineapples!

After I showed the Old Ma her photo, she couldn't stop laughing...beautiful joy!

Ah hmm...our dinner.

The current school building.
The soon-to-be school building.
The kids made over 100 blocks that afternoon!
Getting water from the creek.
Carrying water home.
Heavy water.

This girl cooked non-stop!
My friend, Sam.
This village is moving up...making homemade streetlights!
The bush.
Dusty road when there's no rain. Dust cloud!

1 comment:

Mom said...

Looks like this trip was less stressful than last year. I want to go there!