Arrival in Koudougou for Barbara and Steve

(From Barbara, team leader – lightly edited)
It is 8:15 p.m. local time in Koudougou.

Although we thought we would have a working phone in our hotel room, we do not so we are going to have to try to connect at a little telecenter nearby.

We had a 2 hour orientation this morning in Ouaga before leaving for the noon meal at the rec center of the American Embassy…the students all had hamburgers/sandwiches and FF before we headed for the village on a paved road for 2 hours to Koudougou and then on to the village of Bouldie 45 minutes away from Koudougou on a red dirt road that drives like a HUGE rub board. When we arrived in Koudougou, Steve and I unloaded our stuff in our hotel room (well, the students graciously carried everything for us!). While we waited for a tire repair on one of the 4-wheel double cab trucks, David and Tammy (local missionaries) took us to a road side drink stand for some refreshing cold water in a plastic sack. You bite a hole in one corner of the sack and drink…not too many spills nor dribbles off the chin! Memories for Steve and me…obviously a new experience for all but Grant who did this in Morocco.

We arrived in the village around 3:30 p.m. and thankfully the heat was not too oppressive under a big shade tree. We were wonderfully welcomed by all and they served us a drink of water mixed with powdered millet and sugar (served at very special occasions). The students were SUPER…most everyone of them drank some of this drink…kinda like sweetened flour in water. Steve and I helped a couple of the girls finish theirs since they were struggling a bit with the taste. The pastor of the local Baptist church (attendance last Sunday was 125…44 of them being children) and one or two others speak French. Everyone else speaks Lyele but the students quickly started playing with the children…great sight to see! When Steve, Tammy and I left at 5:15 p.m., our students were playing frisbee or blowing bubbles with the children. These people live in mud huts…have nothing that would even resemble modern conveniences but such is their life and they love it. By now the students have bedded down under the stars to the sounds of guinea fowl, goats and donkeys. Whether they sleep any or not…well, that is questionable the first night.

Tomorrow morning Steve will begin the discipleship studies with the pastors here in Koudougou. He wants to train them so that they can in return share it with their church people.

I am still a bit washed out but do not think I have much fever, if any, tonight. I am trying not to push too hard because I know what will happen. For those of you who know me well, I drank more water today than I would probably drink in TX in three or four days! Dehydration happens so fast here but may I assure all of you that the students are drinking lots of water. David (missionary) and Kerry (ISC missionary) are in the village with them all the time…and they are truly “bush” missionaries who know from years of experience how to care for all of us.

Pray for Steve to have the gift of French to clearly proclaim the Word and pray for the students to show Christ’s love in servant evangelism. I am claiming Ephesians 3.20 for all of us!

Lovingly to all!
Barbara/Mother/Maw-Maw

Matthew IrvineArrival in Koudougou for Barbara and Steve