Hard pressed

When do we have work. I don’t have no rice. My roof zinc collapsed, I need help. My child not in school, no money. I can’t read it. My mother just died. I was in a motorbike accident. My wife had a baby, we need food. My daughter is sick in Phebe…..These are some of the conversations I’ve had in just the last couple of days as I’ve interacted with people in the village. It represents the diverse difficulties of their lives and a constant challenge to my focus of attention. My devotion for this morning captured it well in 2 Corinthians 4:8, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair“.

I’ve been working to get the guesthouse ready for actually be an income-producing guesthouse and not just my personal luxury suite. Beds and tables for each room, a dining table and chairs along with a faux leather couch for the living area and mirrors for the bathrooms are being made by a local carpenter, Silla, and his crew. I went shopping at Bed Bath & Beyond yesterday (yeah right…I wandered the market labyrinth with Amelia). I bought several lapas which are being sewn into window curtains by the gentleman in this picture who sits in a 5’x8′ tailor shop of his own, peddling away at his treadle machine for lack of electricity. In the photo he’s making one sample for my approval.

Further in the market we found bedsheets, pillowcases, and towels at a shop that has sacks full of goods that are most likely shipped from US organizations that collect items at those large metal parking lot donation boxes. After unpacking several sacks, we found enough “matching” sets of sheets for the new beds.

The Foton continues to have issues (the front axle spindle threads are essentially gone and have to be rethreaded) so I’m a bit landlocked again while it takes another retreat at the mechanic Kortuma’s “spa for aging Chinese trucks”.

Back at school, I like to pop in on the cooks to see what’s being prepared. Here is a rack of fish being roasted over our new coal pot. They look eel-like to me, but I like how there’s 9 square feet of little fish circles all over the grill.

I’m looking forward to a meeting arranged for Thursday with Lyn Gray of Liberia Reads so we can discuss with Sumo the possibility of implementing this program at our school. Plus we’ll be sitting in on a class at a school that’s just starting the program this year to witness firsthand how it works. Training would not begin until next summer to roll it out in the 2018-2019 academic year.

2 thoughts on “Hard pressed

  1. Hi, Jon, Those rooms sound pretty “roomy,” with nice accommodations. I’m sure “nice” is a subjective term. And those fish look interesting. I’m curious as to how they tasted. Are they delicacies, at all, or Staples (Sorry, had to mention that, since you referenced B,B & B).The Liberia Reads program sounds great. At this time of the Reformation anniversary celebration, I’m reminded of the early 1500s and learning to read (for many) in Germany, and how much that ability was influenced as a by-product result of Luther’s translating the New Testament.

    Stay well, Herk


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