Working the Bees
Life has a lot of energy with two twenty something children to try and keep up with.
Today, Timothy, Marcie and I paddled our canoe about an hour upriver to the village of Kimbuma. We are working with them on conservation. We have been trying to designate part of their land as an official conservation area. We have had lots of obstacles, but we are still moving forward. We need a habitat for the endangered Congo Clawless Otter, but also other animals which have nearly disappeared from this area.
The grassland across the river has not been burnt for hunting in about five years. This year, however, the land chief has decided to set the grassland in a fire circle. People from villages around will follow the fire with their guns to shoot anything that comes out. The next week, hunters will camp out in the area to hunt down anything that escaped the fire. We got together with the village of Kimbuma to try and strategize how to prevent complete anielation of the wildlife.
We pray for rain before Saturday, or better yet, a lightning strike so that the land burns before the crowds gather. I want to take Timothy up in the air over the area, so that we can document what the area looks like before, then after. Timothy and Marcie will go to the fire to document the utter destruction. Maybe with pressure on the higher government officials, there can be some decisions made about the land use practices of village level.
Rita is preparing for her women's meeting this afternoon. Marcie and Timothy are also preparing to do an agriculture seminar for the women and youth. They caught a swarm of bees the other day. They are figuring out how to grow local (wild) tea, and they are showing people how to roast cashews. We are also doing a nursery for over 1,000 acacia trees. We hope to put them in the ground in October when the rains begin in earnest. This variety of acacia is good for the soil, and the wood is excellent for firewood and charcoal.
Remember the pastor who we sent to Kinshasa to get treatment after being bitten by a rabid dog? That was eight months ago. Last night someone died with rabies. He was bitten by the same dog that bit pastor Ndungu back in November or December. We know now that we did save the pastor's life from rabies.
I am preparing for yet another general assembly. I will do several messages on the theme: "Serving God in a new way". Thanks for your prayers for inspiration as I prepare these messages. We are meeting to select a new general secretary for the Baptist convention. We are also dealing with the issue of church organization.
My brother and his son are in Congo for a few days. They will go to the bridge by truck, then float down to Kikongo by canoe. We can't stand missing a good canoe trip, so Marcie, Timothy and I will probably take a small boat up to the bridge to meet them, and float down together.
Mazu (the otter) has adjusted pretty well to sharing a house with four people instead of just two. Mazu enjoys the river every day. She only trusts having Rita around when she is in the water.
In spite of our active house, some young men brought us a baby antelope. It is a Bay Duiker. It takes a bottle well. The other antelopes have been making the new one feel at home. It is sure low maintenance compared to Mazu!
The dry season brings lots of wind. I'm not sure about getting up in the air this evening.
Thanks for your prayers.
Glen, Rita, Marcie and Timothy