Linda Cooper and I left on Sunday, Dec. 12, to travel to Dar es Salaam for the East African Baptist Women’ s Union Meeting. We traveled safely and arrived on Monday, Dec. 13 about 11:30 p.m.
Today (Tuesday, Dec. 14) we spent the afternoon and evening greeting women as they arrived for the meeting. Most started arriving about 6 p.m. Those that are coming in from out of town have traveled by bus to get here. Most have spent an entire day on the bus.
A group from Nigeria arrived on a charted bus and had been traveling for several days. As the Nigerian ladies began to exit, the other ladies gathered around the bus and began singing. What a welcome they gave to their Baptist sisters!
The meeting officially begins on Wednesday, Dec. 14. We’ve been given special outfits to wear for the opening ceremonies. Our outfits include a traditional African skirt and then a shirt printed with the conference title. Everyone will be in uniform for the opening session.
We’ve already met many wonderful people including pastors who are so supportive of this meeting. I was happy to see pastor Samuel (can’t spell his last name) from the Kidoni Baptist Church again. I spoke in his church two years ago. His church has loaned extra chairs, a tent, and musical equipment. We took note of chairs that were labeled KBC – then realized that the letters stood for Kidoni Baptist Church!
Linda and I were touched by the commitment of these ladies not only to get to the meeting, but also by their willingness to sleep on the floor. Ladies are staying in classrooms that have been emptied of furniture for the meeting. They are rolling out mats to sleep on concrete floors and not complaining!
Linda and I will be speaking in the Thursday session. Pray that we will be an encouragement to these ladies as they seek to fulfill the Great Commission.