This Sabbath morning I was up at 7:30 so I could have breakfast and be ready to go at 9:00, which I was. I was prepared for a later departure, it’s often difficult to be on time with so many chaotic factors in play in Abidjan, and in fact Paul and a new driver, who introduced himself as Mr. Yao, arrived at 10:15. Yao sounded Asian to me, but he was local.
We drove to Paul’s house, a different one in the same compound where he lived before. The distance was not far as the crow flies, but the road is poor in places and the traffic dense and selfish, so we travelled as the bat flies rather than the crow, and it took an hour or more, almost as long as it takes to drive to La Mé. The reunion was joyous, we were very happy to see each other again. I saw that Elise, who was baptized three years ago, right at the time she gave birth to her son, has just had a daughter, a very calm and happy baby.
As soon as we arrived, I handed out our 2018 Church calendar (in French only) and I was happy to see their fascination and their joy in receiving it. They paged through transfixed until we were ready to start the service. Since we had arrived late, that almost immediately. We sang hymns and prayed, then I spoke for about an hour on what the bible says about of how to pray. Afterwards we sat and talked for a while, catching up on news. The young people in the group are all looking for work, which is difficult to find.
The ladies served lunch: chicken and onion with fries, as well as rice and the green viscous sauce that is so loved here, the texture of which has guaranteed it has never passed my lips.