About a month ago, we were in one of our stores where we shop for food and saw Peanut M&M's. They were in the little yellow packs just like the ones we get back home. We paid way to much for them, but wanted to give them to our missionaries to tell them they stood for MARVELOUS MISSIONARIES. So that is the title of our blog this week, and express how much we enjoy serving with these fine young Elders who are working so hard for the Lord.
We have had a week filled with many great adventures! On Monday, we decided to head to Ponton Beach again to let our new missionaries see the "beauty" of Pointe Noire. Elder Johnston, Elder Rakotonindriana, Elder Etherington, and Elder Ndayizeye had never seen the beautiful Atlantic Ocean from this viewpoint, and our North American Missionaries know that looking out along the horizon is where we head to go "home". So it is always so refreshing to go.
When we arrived, there were about 20 Congolese young men diving in the ocean. They were doing backflips and cartwheels all along the beaches edge. Their swimsuits looked much like "underwear", but we enjoyed their enthusiasm and love for the water. Elder Garland had brought a soccer ball and they loved the idea of playing soccer along the ocean's edge. They set up goals made out of sticks, and the game was on.
We have to play along the ocean's edge because it is free from all of the glass and debris that everyone brings down to the beach. It is sad that they don't understand the "treasure" that this beach is and take better care of it, but this is their life and what they have known for centuries.
Our Marvelous Missionaries
Elder Gelinas, Elder Wright, Elder Ndayizeye, Elder Garland, Elder Etherington, Elder Rakotonindriana,
Elder Johnston, Elder VanAusdal, and Elder Hatch
Our Congolese friends would throw things on the water and see who would be the first one to retrieve it.
Elder Rakotonindriana & Elder Garland playing soccer. The "stick goals" were set up on each end.
We stopped to have our picture taken in front of the Ponton Plage. I was wondering if they had strawberry smoothies to order and some nice lawn-chairs to sit and relax in???
We were concerned about someone cutting their feet on the glass bottles left on the beach so Elder Bailey & Elder Gelinas went and asked if we could come and use the "Ponton Plage" to play some volley ball. This is a little "resort" area on the beach that could be wonderful! They were more that happy to let us use anything we needed as long as we bought a "soda" from them.. So the missionaries were more than happy to order a "soda" and we had a wonderful day playing volleyball together.
Elder Ndayizeye, Elder Wright, Elder Etherington, Elder Hatch, Elder Johnston, & Elder Rakotonindriana
Elders Johnston, Gelinas, Garland, Etherington & Rakotonindriana were Team 1, and
Elders Hatch, VanAusdal, Wright, Ndayizeye & E/S Bailey were Team 2.
Elder Garland refreshed everyone on the "rules" and they were ready to go!
Elder Rako serving for Team 1
Our two "big men" Elders Hatch and Etherington, going up for the "spike".
Elder Bailey serving for Team 2
Elder Ndayizeye loved volleyball and was a great player
All the missionaries were concerned when the ball seemed to get "stuck" on Elder Johnston's neck.
Elder VanAusdal is ready, and will Elder Rako "play the net?"
Elder Garland serving for Team 1
Elder Ndayizeye, Elder Bailey, Elder VanAusdal, Elder Wright & Elder Hatch
Team 2 rallying behind each other.....!
Elder Johnston is trying the "sitting down" move while Elder Rako is trying the "kicking move!
Whose feet are these?
We all had a wonderful day together and renewed our spirits for another week of "Hastening the Work of Salvation" here in Pointe Noire.
Wall of Fame
This is called "manioc". Everyone eats this for their food. It is made from the "Cassava Root" and wrapped in a banana leaf. The missionaries love it served with some Peanut Sauce, or tomatoes and onions. We haven't acquired a love for it at all!
These beautiful flowers greet us as we come to the Mpaka /Aeroport Church.
This is the local chapter of the "Boy Scouts" that were walking and singing along the road.
This is the little girl that lives next to the church. We have never seen the "grown-ups" but she takes care of all the little children, making sure they get across the street and watches that they are kept safe from cars. She has definitely filled those "flip-flops"!
So we will end another week here in Pointe Noire. We are grateful for each day and the opportunities that the Lord has blessed us with to do His work. We are also grateful for the Marvelous Missionaries that have been sent here to serve!
Until Next Week!