Most of the day Saturday focused on teaching spiritual warfare to the fifteen or so Hope Alive Country staff at the country office. I donâ€™t have to try to get them to believe in the reality of the demonic. Most have had personal experience with it. Most have been taught that you have to go to a gifted pastor to deal with the demon, so my approach to get the person who has been attacked to do their own spiritual work â€“ usually with help from your friends â€“ is very different.
This picture of the group is â€œAfrican styleâ€ with everyone as stiff and serious as possible. They laughed at the â€œrequiredâ€ pose so hard we almost never got the picture taken. â€œAmerican styleâ€ (below) felt much better for this fun loving group.
There are so many fascinating stories here. William, in the sport jacket at the back of the left picture, is a Hope Alive! Africa graduate who is now moving into a mentor role. He is getting 10 students assigned to him so he can mentor the student and also whatever family the student lives with. Where death is so common, it is some times a biological parent, but often an aunt or even an older sibling. Keeping students in family arrangement is crucial to success in life in Africa. He will do Bible study, teach life skills, help with homework in order to help the student learn spiritual and earthly life.
Sunday was Lugogo Baptist Church (http://www.lugogobaptist.org/). We already at the building both Tuesday and Wednesday for HA! sessions, so there were many familiar faces. But I had not met Abby yet. Neither did I get to hold her. She had a very good place with Catharine. The worship was African which means whole person worship which feels a bit weird to this American fellow, but one does get into it. A little girl in front of us was really going until I turned the camera on (of course). You can see her here.
Later a fellow from Congo did a song â€“ full of energetic praise. The congregation joined in. About half way through a group formed spontaneously (I was told â€“ and itâ€™s typical) and danced to the front to express their praise. You can see them here. Sherry thinks this would be good for Grace, my church back in Gresham.
Friday I noticed that I had a sore spot on my right leg above the ankle but didnâ€™t pay much attention. Just a bump. It didnâ€™t improve on Saturday. It was a little hard to sleep since it was painful if I laid on it. I showed it to Sherry and Catharine Sunday morning. Both were concerned. Sherry thought it looked like the cellulitis I had four hers ago, but that spread rapidly and caused both fever and great pain, which were not present. Catharine thought it looked like a bite, which made sense to me. She recommended using a cortisone crÃ¨me which had worked for her. It made the red much deeper and felt good but did not change the pain or the knot.
Catharine knows a physician who is part the World Venture team. He and his wife had arrived on the Saturday midnight flight. I was planning to chat with him Monday â€“ donâ€™t want to cause problems â€“ but both ladies wanted to advance the agenda. Catharine called his wife, knowing she would be going to Dorothyâ€™s shower. Jay was still sleeping but called back later. Catharine sent him a photo and he asked lots of questions before arriving at the cellulitis diagnosis and prescribing an antibiotic. We drove to the pharmacy and bought them over the counter (how different from USA!). I followed doctorâ€™s orders and started taking them immediately.