Ivanildo Trindade (left in photo, with restaurant owner in Paris), associate pastor of outreach ministries at the Grace Brethren Church of Wooster, Ohio, is currently in the Central African Republic with a missions team.
He is blogging about the experience. Here is a short excerpt. You can read his ongoing reports by logging onto http://woostercar.blogspot.com/
Coming back to Africa again has reminded me that my problems are of a complete different nature than the ones faced by people here in this country day in and day out. Everywhere you turn you see people on the streets with not a whole lot to do. Young men hang around market and public places. Several of them this morning were offering any kind of help with our luggage just so they could get a little coin.
The burden of living among abject poverty screams at you wherever you look. In my mind I imagine people walking and everywhere they go they see signs posted: “No outlet.” “No exit.” The whole world seems to conspire against them.
The sign of oppression is everywhere, from the visible sights of pickup trucks with submachine guns roaming the streets to the more elusive expression of people’s faces denoting fear and perhaps allegiance to a force too strong to conquer, so they think.
Well, part of the reason we are here is to help people see that there is hope. We want so much for them to realize that “greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.”
We desire that they come to the knowledge of this beautiful Messiah we love so much. We want freedom to ring true in their hearts. We long for them to sing for joy at the appearance of Christ.