Guinea MOST Team, 2017 Tim and I drove from our town to Conakry, a good 12 hour drive each way. Roads are rough but improving! Stopped at this place to get a sandwich for lunch...yes, those are vultures. On Sunday before the team arrived we worshiped at our church in Conakry. Joyful as ever! The ladies arrived safely. On our first day, the church invited them to a meal at the compound. Live background music from our song leader, Michael! Meet the women! From the left: Carol, Lupe and Marsha... ...Deva... ...Lorrie and Jan... ...and at the right, Sandy, our fearless leader! Some of the day was also spent reorganizing and repacking for the trip. MOST was generous enough to send enough glasses so we can continue our eyeglass clinic as well. Beautiful cases are provided with each pair, made lovingly by volunteers. Supplies are all packed and ready to head out in the morning. Some treats that were sent for us by our cousin Danielle. Tim saved his, I managed to wolf mine down before the trip was over. 🙁 It didn't take long to meet a problem on the road. Thankfully we got there just about the time they were using a work vehicle to push things out. This guy almost tipped over. We stopped for lunch in Mamou, the ladies' second rice dish. Getting set up for the first clinic. James had two really great venues for us with lots of room. Tim starting off with his talk about physical and spiritual sight. Each patient got a Gospel bracelet with a different color for each part of the Gospel story. Tim enjoyed being with the children. They just wanted to hear more! At each clinic patients are registered with information for the leaders to then later keep on file. Testing is done first to see if patients are near or far sighted. Sandy testing for distance. Carol and I working on testing Carol testing for reading. Next stop was to Lorrie who found the glasses to match the test results. Then tested to make sure the sight was improved correctly. Last stop was Jan, who then fitted the glasses to their faces, washed them and presented them with the case and instructions on when to use them. Lupe assists in finding glasses for one client The team at work! Sandy with a satisfied customer! One of our biggest struggles in this French speaking country is always finding English speakers who can translate for our American visitors. Thankfully it all worked out. Our two missionaries with the EELG, James and Thomas. They did an amazing job of preparing and carrying out the work! On the way to clinic day two we got word that the vehicle carrying all our equipment was broke down. So we stopped for a little rest. The driver was tired. A good chance to take a team picture! Day Two: We got off to a slow start, but ended up seeing almost everyone. During the wait for the supplies Tim did some more talking! On Sunday we visited our main church in Gueckedou. The ladies here are introducing themselves. Giving our offerings. The team at our church in Gueckedou. Big crowd after service! We decided it was another photo op! The pastor of the church and president of the EELG, Julien Kotembedouno and his incredible wife, Bintu. Us and the Kotembedounos. Thus began our disasterous trip to Ouende. Mixed signals had us end up on the worst road possible! Our truck was a beast through it all. Things kept deteriorating. I started out driving our truck but after the first slide off the road I was done! The pick up accompanying us had more trouble than we had, so we stopped a lot to dig ourselves out. Lots of people came around to help. At one point it felt like we were carrying half the road on our vehicle! Rains have not stopped in the Forest Region yet! Even so, the Forest Region is one of the beautiful spots in Guinea. It was late and we were all pretty wiped. This was the spot that nearly did us in. At one point Tim came to the truck I was in and I asked how the ladies were. He said, "They're laughing their heads off. It's like they're smoking something back there!" But this was what met us when we drove up. Lots of singing and rejoicing! The team in front of the hotel in Ouende Pastor Bernard explains the clinic procedures to everyone. Two days in Ouende and both went pretty smoothly Our leaders were involved in all the clinics. Deva loved to call people with good vision "Eagle Eyes." They weren't sure what that meant, but everyone laughed! Registering in Kissidougou, our last clinic A larger town, we had a lot of people show up. A good translator always mimics your actions as well as your words. When you get down to sacrifice, so does he! And when you die on the cross, he better as well! Introducing our team for the last time. One happy guy! "Walking and leaping!" Somewhere on the road, Tim found out he is related to one of the team members, Carol. Both have grandmothers from the Loesel line! I have two namesakes in Africa, one in Canada, and one in heaven. This is James' daughter Beth. She's a lovely girl! The school where James' kids attend. They are hoping to become a CCCS school again as they once were. Last days in Conakry. We were able to do some souvenir shopping despite getting turned back with riots. The day they left was my birthday, so the team took me out for a fabulous meal. Despite the incidents it was a great visit! Tim and I are reading the history of MOST Ministries written by founder Gayle Sommerfeld. I highly recommend it!