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Today was the long day of this three day seminar. There was more material, more questions, and more intensity. There was a lot accomplished in terms of the passing of sheer information. Africans learn differently than most westerners. They tend to be cerebral in the acquisition of knowledge, but in teaching more than preaching, they need concrete ways to get concepts. They don’t hang on to theory very well at all. I guess that is true of most of us, but I noticed that when I told a personal story to support even the most mundane idea, they would sometimes break out clapping!
Tomorrow will be a half day lecture and then we will wrap up just after noon. They will only receive a certificate for one unit of study, but they will have earned it, and it appears they have benefitted from it. I have met some other Baptist men here at my hotel with whom I hope to correspond. There is one son of a pastor in my class who has told me his dad pastors a church up near Goma north of here. There was some rebel action there last year, but it is now settled down and back to normal. There are about forty pastors who know him and may want classes. Pray with us about this contact.
I have been eating twice a day here, and the last two days I have eaten at one of the pastor’s homes. It has been so filling that three meals a day here would be overkill. It also has saved me having to buy my dinner here at my hotel facility. Tonight, I simply asked them to bring me some hot water for coffee. When I went out to order some hot water from the house boy for my morning “shower”, I heard some Africans talking, and the word “mazoongo” drifted over to my ears so I turned and said, “Are you talking about this one?” pointing at myself. They all broke out laughing and came over to me to find out who I was and what I was doing in Africa. They asked several questions about my family to a nearby employee who spoke both English and French, so he helped us to talk for several minutes. I showed them pictures and for a few minutes we had the sweetest moments together as pure strangers. They wanted me to greet my family for them when I returned to America, and I promised them I would do it. What a hoot sometimes!
Well, the work here is nearing an end, and it has been good. I’m sure you are reading Grace’s blogs as well, and I hope you are enjoying her ministry to woman. It has, by all accounts, been very blessed indeed. I will follow up in a few days.