Leading the Blind - On the first morning of the workshop, I dropped a contact lens from my left eye. (This happens about once a year on average). Nancy helped me search for it and it took about 30 minutes before we turned it up. But the next morning during our prayer time I lost the lens from my right eye. My lens often slips off my eye because I can’t pray very long with shedding tears. The right eye is the most critical to my vision and we looked for it for over an hour. Then I had to go on to the workshop, but Nancy kept searching for it for several hours, completely cleaning our room. But it was gone. Wow, that was discouraging. I wasn’t sure how I could continue and Mustapha carried a big load of the training for the next two days until I adjusted to using one eye.
Is God Calling me to missions? - The participants began to open up interact with us more by the third day. It seemed they were ‘getting it’ and eager to learn more. However, the basis of the training is not just to learn more but to obey what you know now.
For me the highlight of the five days in Siriat was the determination of our 20 participants to implement what they know in the home of the communities they come from. Two or three of the men said they felt the desire to go elsewhere on mission for God. I was blessed in particular by a 62-year-old retired teacher who said he thought God wanted him to move to another country to share the gospel. I asked him if his family was aware of his sense of calling to missions. He said he needed to talk it over with his family. I suggested that he pray about the matter for some time and see if God confirmed the urging he was sensing.
Computer Crash Crisis - On the Thursday after the final sessions of the workshop, we rushed around producing and printing copies of the workshop notes, participant lists and certificates. In our closing ceremonies Nancy passed the certificates and congratulated the participants on their faithful attendance and study. We took the official photos of the groups and were saying our farewells to all when I went back into the classroom to wrap up my materials and pack my computer. Then what every laptop computer user fears happened ... I bumped my laptop off the far side of my narrow table. It fell flat on the concrete floor ... aaaagh!!
I picked up the computer like it was my brain. All my files and communications for over two and a half years were on that hard-drive. There didn’t appear to be a scratch on the outer case. I opened the lid. That Apple Macbook was still running with no apparent damage. I couldn’t believe it. But it was low on power so I shut it down. As soon as I could I returned to my room to charge and restart the computer. No way. Now the computer would not read the hard-drive even enough to boot up.
Fortunately, back in Kigali, three months ago, I had backed-up all my files. But those were not accessible now here in Kenya. What were we to do? Well, we had completed the first workshop, that was good. And we had a three-weekend before the next workshop in another location. But I had only hard-copies of the materials and some files of notes from earlier workshops on my thumb-drive. Also we had Nancy’s computer, so we could still function. It just meant a lot of work to prepare for the next week. To be continued ...