Dear Friends March 2015
Few people I know have traveled as extensively or visited as many remote places in the Congo as Esaie (Isaiah to you). A devout Congolese Baptist, he is a product of American Baptist missions, and the most sought after Solar Power technician in the country.
Not everyone can afford Esaie’s services. He spends much of his time contracted by multi-million dollar NGO projects installing solar lighting systems all over Congo. But for Katherine, he works for ‘a donation’ and the joy of serving his church community.
In January, a solar powered freezer, ordered eight months previously, finally arrived. So we drove to Vanga to deliver and install it. The Health Zone desperately it needed for vaccines. In the weeks prior, Katherine and Esaie purchased locally the needed accessories (solar panels, cables, and controllers).
During the 10 hour road trip to Vanga, ever pleasant Esaie entertained us with stories of his youth embellished with his great sense of humour. Middle school and high school he attended at Moanza, taught by American Baptist missionaries Bob and Anelise Smith, the Scofield, Chapmans, Rumohrs and others. Esaie reminisced how Bob once caught him cheating on a test. He and a friend, supposedly “sharing” a pen, were actually exchanging answers on narrow pieces of paper rolled up inside the pen barrel. Bob, far too experienced to be duped by such a ruse, caught them and assigned them to a week of ‘mission station yard clean up’ as punishment – an indelible lesson. How he wishes his children could by taught by missionaries now!
Esaie began doing solar installations twenty years ago. In 2003, IM missionary Dr. Bill Clemmer noticed a particularly professional looking installation at a rural health center and asked who had done the work. Subsequently, Bill contracted Esaie to do several dozen solar installations for the Sanru III project, all in rural health centers in remote Congo. Ever since, Esaie has been on the go; often hard to reach, beyond telephone coverage, installing solar systems to improve health care services in far flung Congo places.
Esaie’s work is meticulous; with everything just right. His cables MUST run horizontally and vertically, the controller (black box) must be level and easily readable. While hooking up the batteries here, he noticed a note on the solar fridge next to him. He had installed it in 2006. It still works, though needs new batteries.
We count it a joy to work with Christian brothers like Esaie and rejoice in the work the Lord has done in Congo through the lives of International Ministries missionaries of past generations. That work was made possible by partners such as you supporting the spread of the Good News in distant places. Thank you and God bless you.
Katherine & Wayne Niles