Miriam Pacheco, who is currently in the Central African Republic assisting GBIM missionary Barb Wooler in Pygmy and orphan-care ministries, is sending periodic e-mail reports of her visit. Here are excerpts from her latest, dated Friday, March 11:
Bala mingi ~ (bah lah MEENG ghee, Many greetings)
We have been having fun getting to meet with the orphan groups. Yesterday we took paper, crayons, colored pencils and stencils and had the group of about 35 kids draw pictures for their sponsors in the States. They had a wonderful time and were absorbed in the activity for at least an hour!
There are some good artists in that group, but at the end we came up with 19 missing crayons. They were nowhere to be found and no one admitted to tucking them away in their bookbag or pocket. So the leader told them when they get home “if they find them somewhere” (that way of thinking and handling a situation is very prevalent here – as if they just happened to appear in my bookbag!) to bring them back next week. We’ll see what, if anything, turns up
Please pray as the [CAR presidential] election is now only two days away. There is so much good that could be done in this country if the leaders who are elected are men and women of integrity who really care about the people. We’re all staying put that day though ~ not planning to go anywhere. I guess most of the city is shut down except for the voting, which in many neighborhoods takes place in the churches. We’ve been told that the Grace Brethren churches are not having regular services that day, but will have a very early service about 7 am and it will be a ½ hour prayer meeting. Sounds like a wonderful idea to me!
We have heard that in the southwest area of the country, a couple hours away from Bangui, there are some mercenary soldiers from the north (Chadians who speak Arabic) left over from the coup that happened a couple years ago and they are upset that they haven’t been paid what they said they were promised, and the rumor is that they are threatening to get what’s coming to them. But that rumor hasn’t been validated by more than a couple people, so it’s questionable. Could be they are just plain bandits who are following the cattle herders, because the herders are the one who have access to lots of money just by selling their cattle.
This has been a more relaxing day as far as the orphan work goes. All we had to do this morning was some shopping for groceries and Barb had a long meeting with a couple of the fellows who are working with the new recording studio being set up.
Tonight is pizza night! One of the African house helpers made the crusts and the sauce, and we brought some pepperoni and mushrooms with us. One of the other gals has green peppers and onions and we bought some edom cheese today, so it promises to be a good supper.
We’ll all eat together ~ Tim & Ginger Hock, Janet Varner, Barb and I (all with GBIM), and Jim Fultz with SIL. He’s renting one of the apartments here at the Mission. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even play a game after supper.
Thanks for praying for us. God is answering in some very wonderful ways. You are having a part in that work and I so appreciate your interest and partnership.