“Shaking a stick at a Black Mamba in a local brick kiln was not my best move. I was just 18 and deciding to ignore the advice of Jim Bailey was not a good idea. Not because I was bitten, but because I felt the bite of Jim’s displeasure! I learnt a lot from the trip. Not to touch a shower pipe which gave me a shock and not to share a room with my good friend Patrick who snored!
Joking aside, the trip to Ameva probably changed me more than I changed it. We led a kid’s club expecting 40 children but were amazed to see over 120 turn up! We hauled bricks, painted whitewash on walls, and as a budding medic I spent time with Celia in the clinic seeing patients. We played football against the local team; I was scared I would stand on their bare feet, but they gave us a good beating nonetheless. We attempted to sing and dance with the church choir and I am sure caused much amusement with our lack of rhythm. We were forever impacted by the infectious joy they had in the Lord and years later I still sing and hum some of these songs.
Visiting a local village in a time of little food was humbling. As we left we were presented with a platter of food by the church. They were about to go hungry in order to give their visitors a gift. Tears streamed down my face as we left in the truck as I was struck by the faith, hope and love of these dear people.
I have remained in touch with one young man we met on our trip; seeing his growing family and his preaching ministry flourish is a great joy to me.
I am aware our trip was just 3 weeks in a long history of Ameva Farm. Whilst we helped in a small way, the trip has left deep impressions on me that have shaped my faith and ongoing involvement in world missions. I thank God for John & Celia’s faithful example, their perseverance, and the clear hand of God on their lives and that of the Project. I am grateful to have been a small part of this. I am also much more respectful of dangerous snakes!!”