Today we have a bonus blog post! Carter Strand provided us with this preview of his upcoming trip to Jonathan's House in Central African Republic. We are praying for a safe and fruitful trip.
It’s been four years since my last trip to Jonathan’s House in the Central African Republic (CAR). A lot has happened since then, in November 2019, just before COVID. I went with my youngest son, Jason during the week of Thanksgiving. It was great for me to see him start to understand why this mission has been such an important part of my life. My favorite moment of that trip was when he organized a race for the school children. There were hundreds of children in the race. He was bigger and faster than they were, so he ran in front of the group to show the route, with instructions that the children should follow him. However, I don’t think that the word “follow” was translated properly. I think it was something more like “chase”. As Jason rounded a turn on the course, he was tackled by a group of children who had taken a shortcut to catch him. So much fun……
I’m headed back to Africa on November 16 for a 12 day trip, and I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the positive changes since my last visit. We have solar electricity, running water in the bathrooms, a refrigerator, and SO MANY BABIES. News has spread that Jonathan’s House will accept babies if their mothers die in childbirth and there is no one else to care for them. Frequently in CAR, babies in this situation are just left to die. We recently accepted a child who was discovered in an outhouse with the umbilical cord still attached. Rescuing babies has become a huge part of our mission, and I’m excited to see this mission in action.
Now that I’m no longer in charge of the organization, I won’t have projects and meetings to fill my time. That will be fantastic. I’m really looking forward to just BEING there with the people that we are serving. I believe that is true discipleship. It’s just being with the people, where they are, again and again and again. I think that’s exactly what Jesus does with us. In that way, this trip will be very different than any of my previous trips. I’m hopeful that this will be the best trip yet, as I live with my brothers and sisters in Christ and witness the work that the Lord is doing in a place that most of the world has forgotten.
So many of you have been supporting Jonathan’s House Central African Republic for years. The work that you have provided for has saved hundreds of lives and helped to deliver the gospel to thousands. In the beginning, the support of several at First Presbyterian in Marshalltown was the only support that these children had. You planted a seed that has grown to produce fruit for many, and I will always be grateful for your help.