Report on Trip to Fateb-2019

Report on Trip to Fateb-2019

Board Members, Bob and Kathy Martin served at FATEB in January and February 2019. Bob worked on the Leadership Center while Kathy ministered to the women and children. Here is Kathy’s report of her time there.

CHILDREN’S PROGRAM – approximate ages 5 – 11

Presented 6 sessions telling the story of Moses:

                Baby Moses – God Cares for Us

                Moses and the burning Bush – God Talks to Us

God Sends Plagues to Egypt – God Gave Moses Courage

Moses and the Red Sea – God Keeps His Promises

The Ten Commandments – We Must Obey God

The Tabernacle of the Lord – God is Present with Us

We began each session with singing led by our translator, Joel.  Sometimes one of the children would select a song.  There were many hand and body motions accompanying very spirited singing.  The Bible lesson was next and there were always a few questions aimed at the children to see how they would apply the lessons in their lives.  Some of the children have had to make some serious choices regarding whether or not to obey God.  It was encouraging to see them beginning to apply Bible truths in their daily lives.  Approximately 25 children attended each of the six sessions.

TEEN GIRLS PORGRAM – approximate ages 11 – 20 Five sessions were held with the Bible lessons being Women in the Bible:

                Rahab – Joshua 2

                Deborah – Judges 4

Abigail – 1 Samuel 25

                Jehosheba – 2 Kings 11

Woman of Abel – 2 Samuel 20

Each of these women had to take a stand and behave in a courageous manner.  God helped each of these women to be strong and brave. We also began each session with singing.  Joel asked for a volunteer to lead the different songs.  Again, the singing was very spirited. The Bible lesson was next, along with a few questions for the young women to see how they saw God working in the life of the woman in the Bible and in their lives. They too were able to make connections to their lives from the lessons.  A craft was next for these women. One week we made butterflies – papillons to show how we are newly created in Christ.  Another week we made angel earrings.  Other crafts were to stitch a design on felt hearts – showing our hearts were happy with God in us, followed by making Valentine type cards to show their love and gratitude to God.  The final week the women were able to color a sheet from an adult coloring book – an activity they rarely have an opportunity to engage in.  Each session averaged between 20 -25 young women.


Marceline, Director of the Women’s School, graciously let me use two sessions of class time to present a Bible story and to do a craft.  The first session I presented the story about Deborah from Judges 4 and the second session, I presented the story of Abigail from 1 Samuel 25. 

The first craft was to make the angel earrings which very much delighted the women.  They were thrilled to have a new set of jewelry.  The second session, the women stitched a design on the felt hearts – again to show how our hearts are happy with God in our lives.  Approximately 25 women attended both sessions.  Gertrude was my happy translator.  She later asked if there was a way the women could purchase craft items used in making the earrings.  There is evidently someplace to purchase the earring backings locally, but other materials are non-existent unless the women come up with some creative materials on their own.


I was blessed to be able to accompany one of the local missionaries on her grocery shopping trips.  Because she had a car, we did not need to use a taxi and could make several stops in different stores on one trip.  Navigating the Super Marche and other permanent-type stores was fairly easy as items have a given price and they give change at the checkout.  Making purchases from the local vendors for produce was trickier because it was on the busy streets and one often negotiated the price and amount of product.  It was fun to see the hustle and bustle and the variety of foods and wares for sale.   Most heart-breaking were the three sibling children who came to our door selling fruit.  We had some emotional interactions and they continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

When a jackfruit tree branch fell in front of our apartment, one of the neighbors delivered a very large jackfruit to our door.  Lucy, our next-door neighbor, promised me she would show me how to make juice out of the fruit.  Lucy was good to her word and with her apartment floor littered with modern electric appliances, she pureed the jackfruit pulp and about 40 grapefruit to make us 4 liters of delicious juice. One day, Lucy drove me to the market to purchase some produce.  She drove us north of the city to where she used to purchase fish along the river shores.  She also showed me some of the homes damaged during the recent war.  Finally, Lucy took me to the neighborhood where she and her husband used to live.  She told how the rebels knocked down the door to their compound, then knocked down the front door. They terrorized the frightened maid and family friends with two very young children.  Lucy said she prefers staying on campus in a too tiny apartment with her husband because she feels safe on campus.

Many evenings, we would walk with missionary neighbors, Jim and Sarah.  We would travel off the main streets into the back alleys in the nearby neighborhoods.  If we were concerned about erratic electrical power and varying water pressure at our apartments on campus, the people in these neighborhoods had no running water (a community spigot was somewhere nearby) and they probably had no electricity to their makeshift, dirt-floored abodes.  .  We walked across rickety foot bridges which were over ditches which cut through the neighborhoods.  Dust was everywhere in the sweltering weather.  The people were friendly and would call out to us.  We skirted the edges of many a neighborhood soccer game in progress along the wider of the neighborhood streets.


Our long-time friends Bennet and Jennet run the Hope Orphan Center in Bangui.   We were blessed to be able to spend some time at the orphanage with some of the orphans.  They sang for us and I presented the Baby Moses Bible story about how ‘God Cares for Us.’  We then had the children make butterflies – again to remind them they are new creations through Christ. The orphans range in age from about 5 – 18 or so and there are approximately 70 children who come from their caregivers to attend Bible classes, English classes, computer classes and have their school fees paid through the orphan center.  Some of the older ones are ready to attend university or learn a trade.  Also, some of the older orphans do work at the orphanage such as office work, cooking for the children or doing laundry.

 Earlier in the day, we had traveled with Bennet and our missionary friends, Jim and Sarah, out of the city to the farm Bennet had purchased some years back.  He has about 40 acres of land and is teaching the orphans how to farm.   Some of the children really enjoy this opportunity.  There are fields of cassava, peanuts, pineapples, watermelons, root plants, some teak trees and some banana trees – the rebels in the recent war burned most of the banana trees on the farm, but some are slowly growing back.  Bennet’s vision is to build a school on the site that would serve the villages in a two-mile radius.  Longer term, he would like to be able to move the orphanage out to the farm and have a trade school for the children.  Currently, he needs approximately $26,000 to pay the government for stamps which will show the land belongs to him.  He has already paid the purchase price for the land, but the stamps are necessary to prevent others form taking over the land.

Bennet is a graduate of the seminary and currently also serves as pastor to several churches near the farm and is the lead for the English services which are held on the FATEB campus.

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