Captain’s Log- 17 November 2013- “1000 Zandi Bibles flown to Central African Republic”

hundreds of school kids at the Zemio Post airstrip in CAR

hundreds of school kids at the Zemio Post airstrip in CAR

I had a great trip up to CAR this week.  In Bunia we loaded up 1000 Zandi language Bibles and flew to Isiro where I picked up Wendy Atkins, a missionary with Africa Inland Mission, and then flew up to Zemio on the CAR/Congo border.  It is quite a beautiful place on a hill overlooking country that looks like elephant and buffalo should be roaming in the grassland and along the winding river that is the border between the two countries.    It was a surprise to see Ugandan troops guarding the town airstrip against LRA activity, but there were hundreds of kids there as well and all wanted to see the plane.

We hand over the Bibles at Zemio mission.

We hand over the Bibles at Zemio mission.

After a short 3 minute flight to the mission airstrip we parked in front of the old hangar surrounded by large, aging mango trees and the people came to greet Wendy.  They were so excited to see that we had brought boxes of Bibles along and, after we unloaded them all, we had a prayer of dedication.

Men stack up boxes of Bibles for distribution in the area.

Men stack up boxes of Bibles for distribution in the area.

I had a chance to talk to a couple of the Congolese pastors who lead a community of refugees who have fled the violent LRA in their area.  A group of them had tried to return to their homes in Assa, DRC last month, but after crossing the river and getting down the road about 8 kilometers they were surrounded by LRA, abducted and forced to carry loot for almost a week before they were released one by one, all their things having been stolen.  They came back to Zemio were there is relative peace.  It is hard to imagine the hardships endured as a normal part of life for so many here.  It is great to be of help and encourage in some small way.  Sometimes one is just a minor player in the group of people who make things happen.  But I feel blessed to be here working at the end of a long process in which many people did many and varied jobs to bring the word of God to the Zandi in their heart language.

We have a prayer of dedication beside the plane.

We have a prayer of dedication beside the plane.

In the remains of the day I walked though the long grass down the hill toward the river.  There were beautiful birds like the colorful Ross’s Turaco and big Black and White hornbills.  It was so wet that I could not get all the way there but it was great to watch the sun set in the Borassus palms and thick riverine growth of trees that line the Bomu river.  Another lovely day at the office.

Beautiful Ross's Turaco. the most beautiful part is the under wings being bright red.

Beautiful Ross’s Turaco. the most beautiful part is the under wings being bright red but I guess that is just my opinion.  They are quite stunning and unusual.  They also have a great call

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7 Responses to Captain’s Log- 17 November 2013- “1000 Zandi Bibles flown to Central African Republic”

  1. Kathy Love says:

    Jon and Cher; I’m from Eagle Point, Ore. and I haven’t been online for awhile.. I have been anxiously wanting to get back to your blog.. you didn’t fail to bring tears to my eyes with the Bibles you took to the village in their own language. I love reading your blogs and I will go over all of the one’s I missed.. You have the best and the scariest job in the whole world.. ( you know that already 🙂 I could not believe the colors on the blue, red and yellow bird that you posted!! It looks like something out of a child’s toybox.. God has an amazing imagination. I have loved seeing the animals and the wonders that you show (waterfalls etc). But best of all I loved seeing you and the others praying over those Bibles. Keeping you and your fellow workers in prayer for your safety. Thank you for showing us just what it is that you do over there.. Kathy

  2. LuAnne says:

    Was this your first time to CAR, Jon? Do they give you trouble entering the country?

    • Jon says:

      I don’t get up there often but I think this is my third time. They were great to us this time. The soldiers that double as immigration knew Wendy by name. No fees, a wonderful change from Congo and I think they were very excited about the Bibles.

    • Jon says:

      I don’t get up there often but I think this is my third time. They were great to us this time. The soldiers that double as immigration knew Wendy by name. No fees, a wonderful change from Congo and I think they were very excited about the Bibles.

  3. Jack Walker says:

    Such a blessing Jon, to read/see this “Bible” experience. Similar such was always a very emotional and spiritual experience for me, back in the day. During my checkout in Chiapas by Hatch in 1963, we flew Tzeltal Bibles and Uncle Cam Townsend into village for dedication, along with Wycliffe and Bible Society folks from Mexico City. Uncle Cam in his own version of Spanish gave short speech and prayer. The hundreds gathered made no reaction; for Spanish wasn’t their heart language.
    Uncle Cam then opened box and handed first Bible to Pbro Pedro, longtime pastor and bilingual translator assistant. He took it gently – brought it to his lips and kissed it … then holding high over his hear, he said loudly in Tzeltal …. GOD NOW SPEAKS TZELTAL … The thunderous shouts rang through the jungle trees and bright smiley faces abounded.
    In 2006, Jeannette and I drove through Chiapas with our daughter Angela, who had grown up there, and we visited with Tzeltal church leaders who told us, that of the 175,000 in latest government census, 112,000 are members of national Presby church!! When I asked if there any one factor – he INSTANTLY picked up his tattered Tzeltal Bible and with tears…. “having God speak to our hearts …not just to our heads”

    Blessings to you and Cher ••• Keep the Faith – Finish Strong!
    In the Grip of Grace … Jack & Jeannette

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