Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving - African Style

How was your Thanksgiving?

We had a 30+ hour power outage, here in LBV. It was very hot without any fans and we had a couple of rough nights. Wednesday evening, after an amazing lasagna dinner, we were enjoying a movie with many people in our living room (including Dr. & Mrs. T., their daughter R, and the STMO crew) when the power went out around 10pm.

So we were without electricity all of Thanksgiving! Thankfully, our oven is gas powered and Alace, Becki T., and Rachel T. were able to bake 4 pies!!! We were also thankful that we slated our gathering for the STMO center (Brokopp's house), that hadn't been effected by the power outage. So, other people on our team supplied other things... yams/marshmallows, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, turkey legs/breasts, stuffing, etc. There were over 25 of us for the celebration of God's blessings. It was a great day. We gathered around 2pm and the place didn't totally clear out until after 9pm. We enjoyed the meal, dessert and coffee, board games, video games, and conversations. Pretty nice for central Africa!

Without power, the nights really come alive! We started to hear all the noises that we usually miss due to our noisy fans buzzing away. Screaming children, people noisily conversing in the road about 15 feet away from our bedroom, dogs barking, roosters crowing, and the occasional passing rain. Plus, without fans, I simply sweat lying in bed. It's so uncomfortable, but, eventually, I drift off to sleep.

I woke up early this morning (5am) to see Dr. & Mrs. T. off- they are driving down to Bongolo today and like to get a REAL early start. As I walked back into the house, I was talking to the Lord, explaining that, if it was OK with Him, we'd like the power to come back on.... and right at that moment (I'm not kidding), THE POWER CAME BACK ON!!! YESSSS!!! I knew this because, all of the sudden, everything that we had had turned on the evening before cranked up to life! An air conditioning unit, lights, fans, etc.

So, after making a tour of the place and turning things off, I climbed back in bed. A moment later our guardian, Gari, called for me from outside the house. He explained that there was water running in the annex building. So, it was back out to fix a toilet that had emptied during the power outage and, now, with the power back on and the electric pump pushing water back through the system, Gari heard water running. Good thing, too, because when water runs like this with no one knowing, it will continue to use more and more water from our reservoirs until they are empty! It doesn't take long before 1,000 liters is gone in this scenario.

So, NOW I could get back to sleep, right? NOPE... Just as I was finishing the toilet repair, the power went out again!!! Gari let out a "yelp" of surprise and all I could do was laugh. This Is Africa ("T.I.A." as some say). C'est la vie. This is not suprising. Often when the power has been out for a time, it will come on for a period of time, then click off, and then click back on for good moments later. It's an "electricity restoration aftershock" of sorts. I was glad that I had kept my flashlight in hand.

Toilet repair finished, I headed back to the house and, as I had done before, I reminded the Lord that having electricity was our preference, in case He had forgotten. And... right at that moment (I'm not kidding this time either), THE POWER CAME BACK ON ONCE MORE!!! I laughed again... I think the Lord was messing with me!

So, it's noon on Friday (Black Friday!?!) and we continue to enjoy uninterupted power at this time. We are happy the internet jumped back on line as well so that we can communicate! Lot's to be thankful for here. Christ continues to be our Saviour, Peace-giver, and Redeemer!

Love you all!!!


  1. Wow. Only in Africa. Ha ha. Stories like this just make me chuckle.

    I'm glad you all survived & had a pretty nice Thanksgiving with everyone! Wish I could have been there :-)

  2. Sorry for the power outage but I'm sure glad you have a gas stove and oven!