Day 7 – Friday – Village Altonodji
Dedication Service at David Nicholas Chapel
This morning when we woke up we again saw that people were already lining up for the clinic. First on the agenda, however, was the dedication of the dining hall and the new high school building including the science lab. We first met in the David Nicholas Chapel where the school children had gathered and the choir was already singing praise songs.
Among the speakers at the ceremony were a representatives from the regional council and from the department of education. Both referred to the partnership of Mission:Chad and Spanish RIver that has been in place since the beginning of Village Altonodji and which made these two new buildings possible. They thanked both partners for the contributions that they have made toward the education of the people of Chad.
Enabling Students to Love God with Their Minds
Dan spoke about the partnership in building the Village and the desire that the children that attend the school would learn about Jesus. He spoke of the love that we have for the children attending the school and quoted Psalm 139 that they were “fearfully and wonderfully made” and that our hope is that they would grow up and share Jesus with others. Dan then read a message from Scott Hafeman of Mission:Chad who expressed the prayer that the school will “enable its students to love God with their minds and hearts and to serve the people of Chad in Christ’s name.”
After the dedication ceremony we went to the dining hall and science lab for the ribbon cuttings and to tour each building. The dining hall has a kitchen and tables where the children will eat their meals with an office for the staff. The science lab has several tile covered tables for doing laboratory experiments. The building has two additional classrooms for the grammar school. After the ceremony there was a reception for everyone in the library building.
Frustrations, Fixes, Laughter
We then started back at the clinic where Jackie, Katrina and Michel, the nurse at the VIllage, began seeing patients. Harry and Joe assisted them by taking vital signs and filling prescriptions from the pharmacy.
Earlier in the week we had noticed that the swings near the entrance to village were broken (this is where the well known picture of Pastor Bako and the orphans was taken) so Dan, Craig and Ken went into Moundou in search of chain and hardware to fix them. At the third building supply store we were finally able to find what we needed. After a somewhat frustrating week dealing with pump and generator problems (and a lack of parts and tools), Ken was able to get both swings working again and it wasn’t long before the kids were laughing and having fun on them.
After a lunch of rice, potatoes and goat meat along with some of Jackie’s special recipe black beans, the medical team went back to work in the clinic and were able to see more than one hundred patients. Jackie treated one woman who had infected wounds on both feet and was barely able to get to the clinic. Ken donated a pair of socks and his sandals to protect her bandages on her walk home.
Difficult Yet Rewarding
It has been a difficult week but at the end very rewarding in that we have seen first hand how God is using Pastor Bako and his ministry to impact so many lives throughout Chadh from the pastors to the orphans to the communities surrounding the new church plants. It has been a privilege to be a part of this team and to see God at work in Chad.
We are looking forward to starting the long journey home tomorrow morning.