I’ve asked my wife, Janice to take a couple of weeks to share about her trip to Africa. Enjoy!
A Harmonic Conversion of Worlds is how I would describe my journey back into the Dark Continent. On May 17th, I received an email from North Georgia State College and University. I was asked if I would be a DOI (director of instruction) for the ROTC CULP (Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency) program. Every year hundreds of Cadets travel the globe spending up to three weeks immersed in foreign cultures. I was asked to accompany a group of 22 American ROTC Cadets and 2 cadre leaders (Captains) to Burkina Faso, West Africa. When we lived in Mali, we used to travel to Cote d’Ivoire to the boarding school where our girls used to attend. When you get to the bottom of Mali, you can make a left or right turn. If you go right, you go to Cote d’Ivoire. If you go left, you go to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Well, until this trip, I had never gone left on that road.Back to the story—Five minutes after receiving the email, Keith walked in from work. I asked what he thought, and he said “Go”, so I went.
On June 3 the mission began. I hopped on a plane to Ft. Knox, Kentucky. The next day, I met the 22 American ROTC cadets ranging in age from 19-25 representing 18 States majoring in everything from Biology, History, Religious Studies, Nutrition, Nursing, Business, and Criminal Justice to Digital Art. I feel as though these cadets are the cream of the crop. Our cadre leaders (Captains) were very capable young men. One of the two did two tours in Iraq. The other is a lawyer, and he is also an ROTC instructor at St. John’s University.
On June 8th, the ROTC Cadets, Captains, and I hopped on a plane to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. On July 11th we arrived in Po, Burkina Faso (15 miles from the Ghana border). We drove to the Academie Militaire Georges Namoano. We were greeted by 44 African Military Cadets representing 10 different countries—Mali, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Chad, Gabon, and Guinea. They all speak at least three different languages. They were accepting of us. Two days later, we began working to teach them English. They were very eager to learn, and a good number of them knew quite a bit of English.
This introduction to my trip just paints a picture of some of those with whom I worked. Next week, I will go into more detail…..2 Corinthians 5:20 says “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”