Lost and Found
Our trip home last week became an adventure. Verlin had attached our trailer behind the pickup verifying the attachments as the lights were not working for lack of a part. Leaving at noon, he knew that the last two hours of the trip would be in the dark, where many potholes would rock us. We thought all was well on reaching our home office after a tiring 8-hour trip. Verlin got out to open the gates of our courtyard, then climbed back in the truck, sighing, “The trailer is missing!” It had disconnected somewhere on the trip. We had not felt the loss on the bad roads, and visual confirmation had not been possible without the lights. Fearing the worst, that someone may have been hurt, we turned around and traced our path for 4 ½ hours. We informed the two police stops nearest the last spot we remembered seeing it. There was no sign of it anywhere. We crashed at a hotel at 1 a.m.
Later that morning, we contacted friends. They notified the trucking syndicate and other mechanics who activated the transportation grapevine within eastern Cote d’Ivoire. The results amazed us. In less than ninety minutes, we knew where our “chariot” (French for trailer) was! A deacon, a house worker, three truck drivers, a policeman, and a chief of police had collaborated as Good Samaritans so that we could recuperate the trailer less than 18 hours after the plastic lock of the hitch pin broke. A trucker familiar with Verlin had found the trailer, stopped to pick it up, and transported it to the police stop of our hometown! After we signed to reclaim the trailer, the truck driver came by, and we were able to thank him in person and underline the many others of his community that he was helping in returning the trailer to us. The trailer has been used for community projects, helping families move, and otherwise providing many bits of help plus carry things for us.
No Man is an Island
The trailer saga underscores the truth that living in community matters. The Lord never intended those created in His image to live in isolation. The Church spawned from our Lord’s recognition by synagogue communities is designed to grow and stretch individuals while being redeemed within the community (koinonia). Many of our Lord’s commands relate to how we interact with one another — bearing one another’s burdens, the Golden Rule, and living as good neighbors, to name just a few.
Community Health Evangelism (CHE) pursues enduring transformation that involves every member of a given community. During this week’s university meeting to promote the upcoming scientific congress hi-liting CHE, 50 intellectual and medical leaders heard the former head of the sociology department echo a quote of Mahatma Gandhi, “Whatever you do for me without me is against me.” He noted that community matters. The assertion that faith makes the difference between success and failure in what community can accomplish was accepted. Verlin also networked with the administrator planning to train 800 nurses in SE Cote d’Ivoire with a church leader who uses CHE strategies in the region. Another university hospital researcher trained in CHE between 2013-2015 affirmed that CHE principles are now deeply integrated with his hospital work. To top it off, we learned from the AISEC president that the Raoul Follereau Foundation now plans to use CHE in Cote d’Ivoire within the 70 communities where they work. (This happens because of the partnership between the CHE-born NGOs of AISEC and RESCOF!) Community collaboration, which CHE initiates or strengthens by the work of the Holy Spirit amid humankind, matters whether you need to find a lost trailer, combat a pandemic, change agricultural techniques, reverse malnutrition, or reach an entire nation with the Gospel.
Prayer & Praise
???? Pray that September’s Scientific Congress and CHE training catalyze hundreds more CHE trainers.
???? A new and alarming crime has surfaced in Bondoukou recently. Children are being stolen as they go about daily life. Pray the groups involved will be caught and no more children terrorized.
Your Partners in the Gospel,
Verlin and Debbie
Christian Health Service Corps (CHSC) is a mission of dedicated medical professionals who participate in the CHE Global Network. Together, in a loose affiliation of individuals, churches, denominational, and nondenominational agencies, we share God’s Light and Truth through Community Health Evangelism (CHE). Verlin and Debbie accept donor partners to contribute as led to provide support as we maintain residential ministry in Cote d’Ivoire to expand CHE ministries under the auspices of CHSC & Ivorian partners. Tax-deductible contributions by check are to be made payable to the CHSC with Andersons #0118 written on the memo line. Mail to CHSC – PO Box 132 – Fruitvale, TX 75127. Give online via the CHSC @ www.che4a.org (3% fee) or TDF (0% fee).
AWA represents Andersons Witness in Africa.
It is also a brand of bottled water in Cote d’Ivoire, where we serve.