Day 6 – Thursday
Today we left early to go to Gouri which is about nine miles from the Village Altonodji. We drove up and saw the new brick church building which is under roof but is still not quite finished. Next to the church was another three room brick building which is the home of Pastor Sylvain (the church planter) and his family.
Over 100 Patients Served Before Lunch
On the other side of the church building there was a good sized thatch covered shelter area where we set up our mobile clinic. It was over 100 degrees as it has been every day this week. We again set up three nursing stations, with Jackie and Katrina and Michel (the nurse from the Village). Harry took the blood pressure and temperature measurements, Dan, Ken, Joe and Craig manned the pharmacy. We were able to see over 100 patients before we stopped at about 2pm to have lunch.
Our lunch consisted of a salad of beets, string beans, cabbage and carrots which was delicious, and some of us had boule, which is a native dish made from ground millet and water (tasted sort of like matzoh balls) served with fish and a sauce for dipping. I would have to say that boule is an acquired taste, as it was a little bit gritty. We also had fresh bread with the meal.
Over 150 Attend Church Dedication Service
After lunch was the dedication service which started off with a walk-through of the new church building, followed by a gathering of about 150 people under the thatched roof shelter with lots of children looking on from the sides. Just as in Bekonkjo, there were several speakers including elders from Pastor Bako’s church in Moundou and a representative from the Church Planting Committee and Pastor Sylvain and his family were introduced. The village chief was ill and in the hospital but sent a representative who expressed his gratitude for having the church building in the village and asked for prayer for the chief who is not a believer but, as Pastor Bako said later, “God is working on him”. There was even a deaf pastor who spoke and signed a message of appreciation for the new church. All the speakers spoke of their gratitude for the partnership of Spanish River and Pastor Bako’s church (simply known as Church Number 8 ) in planting the church at Gouri. Dan responded by thanking them for the opportunity to be a part of this outreach project and for their wonderful hospitality during our stay.
Paganism Driven Out With the Gospel
Pastor Bako explained later that the area around Gouri is mostly pagan (practicing animism) and that there is a big problem with alcoholism in the community. The people at the Gouri church are primarily new converts which was exciting to hear. God is at work in Chad bringing light into a dark land!
We made the short trip back to the Village Altonodji where we ate and went to bed early after a long day.