This is most definitely worth the read. I share it for three reasons – 1) it shows how incredibly tough life is in Burundi, 2) despite the toughness, or maybe because of it, it highlights the depth of faith of folks I get to interact with, and 3) it shows the beauty of God’s faithfulness through your giving to GLO so we can provide hope and rescue to many out here.
So the context: A few weeks ago, I gave a financial gift from one of our supporters to a widower friend called Peter (actually names are changed to protect his family’s identity) who has been going through a torrid time. Part of his amazing/beautiful/tragic story is included at the bottom of this, which I wrote in 2010. Alli, a wonderful Canadian co-worker who is very close to Peter, sent me this email, which I share with you with both her and Peter’s permission:
I just wanted to share a series of text messages that preceded the incredible gift Peter received through GLO. He’s a man of faith who has ridden many storms but after a few days of being ill, he wrote to me...
“This morning my body is great apart from an empty stomach. You said you like to know my situation and my heart. This morning my babies (children) didn’t have anything to eat before going to school. Luckily God provided a midday meal for the two youngest, but not the older four. For them, I’m waiting for a miracle every minute, that when they come home from school at lunchtime they will find something to eat.
May I claim to be blessed because I am all out of options?! May I rejoice I am at the very end of my rope with nothing left to hold onto?! Of course that’s exactly what I should be doing, trusting God to take control and care of everything while I stay in my bed just waiting. But the truth is that it’s not easy. If you have a secret please share it with me! I have to make sacrifices as I wait for the period of the seven skinny cows to be over. I pray that you will read and interpret this with love! Love is all that remains when everything else is over."
3rd October, upon receipt of gift from GLO:
“Halleluia!!!! God is so so so good! The totally unimaginable has happened, so long hoped for, so long awaited. God has just done it! I can pay all my debts, I can pay the costs to wrap up my degree, I can pay several months of rent AND feed my children!! Isn’t He wonderful? What an amazing grace!!! I am crying with joy!!"
Simon, do send this on to those who gave the money for their encouragement. Peter is a widower, father of six, who determined to break a curse on his family - a curse that kept all previous family members in poverty, intelligent but never getting a degree, strong but all dying before the age of forty. He is the first to break this pattern but the enemy has thrown everything possible at him to try to stop him. He was miraculously healed of incurable cancer but his young wife died of cancer while he was pursuing his university studies at night school. He first registered in 2007 and finally graduated with Distinction last week, October 15th, 2016. Please continue to pray for this brave man, that the Lord will continue to use his living testimony for the Kingdom.
Thanks dear Simon for being a powerful inimitable indefatigable agent of hope for so many Burundian heroes.
What a privilege to be able to help such precious people! All we do is through the generosity of folks like you around the world. I get the joy of actually doing the face-to-face giving, but I want you to feel a part of it. God bless you loads! If you want to help for the first time, or for the umpteenth time, please do so at www.greatlakesoutreach.org/donate
Blog over, but if you want the amazing back story, read on:
Written on 29th June 2010 - Bitter/Sweet or Sweet/Bitter News of Death in Burundi…
Sarah is dead. The funeral is today.
It seems so wrong. Many prayed and fasted - some believed and even claimed - but all hoped that God would heal her, yet finally she lost in her protracted struggle against breast cancer. The night before she graduated to glory, frail Sarah had called her six children around her, and with poignant strength of voice told them she was leaving soon. She then gave each advice about the future once she had gone. And now Peter has had to break the news to the kids, although the youngest is only a toddler (born 2 weeks before the mastectomy) and cannot possibly comprehend what has happened. On learning of his mother’s death, 4-year-old Francis blurted out: “O Papa, if Mama is with Jesus, will you take me there too?”
It seems so deeply wrong in this case because of Peter’s story. The sting of premature death (she was thirty one) is always doubly painful, but God’s intervention in healing Peter seemed to suggest He would surely do the same for Sarah.
Peter is one of the most godly men I know. His testimony is a powerful one. He was a wild womanizer and musician who worked for Burundi’s secret service, and so got up to all sorts of colorful and unsavory acts before his conversion. I first met him about eight years ago when he’d been miraculously granted leave from prison. He was very sick, and needed medical treatment, but the head of the prison had refused him permission, saying: “You’ll only ever be allowed out of here over my dead body.” Under the influence of a massive fever, Peter had replied: “You will watch God take me out of here under your very nose!” He returned to his cell, and an overnight prayer meeting was convened. Nobody was allowed to leave before the Lord had answered their petition. They prayed through the night, and after 9am, one of the group said: “I believe the Lord’s just told me that you’ll be released by 4pm.” They packed his bags in faith, and at 345pm a prison officer opened his cell, looked at his packed bags, and said: “Who told you that you are to be released? Give me your telephone!” Peter replied: “I have no phone. It was God who told us!” And he was carried out of prison under the nose of the head honcho who had said “over my dead body”.
Peter was very sick, and I used to visit him in hospital. He had an armed guard to make sure he didn’t try to escape, but that wasn’t needed. Peter exuded peaceful joy amidst his personal suffering, and drew other sick patients to the Lord. He grew thinner and thinner, and I flew back in the spring of 2003 to prepare to get married to Lizzie, not knowing whether I’d ever see him again. However, a year later, when we returned, a new fatter Peter greeted us. During my absence, two men had come to him and told him: “We know that you’ve been told you only have three months to live, but we believe God is going to heal you for a purpose.” And here he was, living out that healing. His weight had almost doubled. But he was still separated from Sarah and the kids because of now being back in prison.
His crime? He had allowed a ‘friend’ to use his bank account to transfer some funds, and it transpired the money in question was stolen. It showed up on many accounts including Peter's and his ‘friend’ fled the country. Peter was immediately put in prison and would not be released until that money was returned or the guilty man gave himself up – neither eventuality very likely. But the believers in prison set aside four days to pray and fast on the issue, pleading with the Lord to convict the thief to give himself up. On the fourth day of their fast, he was in neighboring Congo about to commit suicide when the Lord spoke to him and said: “Go back and give yourself up because many people’s lives are ruined because of your behavior.” And so he arrived and admitted his guilt to the police.
Peter’s release was delayed another two years, even though it was clear he was innocent. He developed rare incurable cancer in his throat. I have a photo of him with huge swollen jowls. A mutual friend sponsored him to go and get treated abroad at significant expense. He finished a course of drugs and then just surrendered the issue to the Lord. When Sarah subsequently contracted cancer herself and they traveled repeatedly to the cancer specialist hospital in Uganda, the specialists refused to accept that Peter had had the cancer he described. Even when he produced the paperwork they said there had to be a mistake. It simply wasn’t possible.
The rollercoaster story has more in it, but I’ll stop there.
That’s why we thought Sarah wouldn’t die. God has intervened repeatedly and undeniably in Peter’s life. They had been forced to spend extended time apart, and now at last they were back together. Surely the Lord would do for her as He had done for Peter…? And yet slowly, inexorably, with the occasional upturn, the cancer took her. Faith means embracing question marks for much of the time. There aren’t always tidy answers to our big questions.
Yet Sarah was so grace-filled and dignified in her fight, working until just recently as the family needed the money to survive. Peter’s job is to help rehabilitate former child-soldiers and prostitutes and equip them to choose better lives. Despite incredible odds heaped against him, Peter managed to earn distinction in the first two years of university where he is doing a 4-year degree at evening classes. He earns about $100/month. Now he will somehow have to care for his six children without his life-mate. Aaarrgh!
So Sarah is dead. It’s terribly sad. There are lots of tears being shed right now. But today as I think about her, death really is more sweet/bitter than bitter/sweet for followers of Jesus Christ, the Resurrection and the Life. For the first time in years, she is free from pain. For her loved ones, the bitter grief is slightly mitigated by the fact that “we do not mourn as those without hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” (1Thes.4v13-14)
As I say so often, life is a gift. Live it fully! Health is a gift. Appreciate it! Loved ones are gifts. Cherish them! We have so many gifts… So let’s enjoy them, maximize them and share them.
Do pray for Peter as he faces up to the latest massive challenge in his ongoing pilgrimage. And if anyone wants to help him and the kids, do get back to me.
I’ve just finished reading a book on the life of Adoniram Judson. What can I say?
My logic in risking life and limb in Burundi over the last seventeen years or so has always been the same. Either Jesus truly did die and then rise from the dead, or He didn’t. Either He is the Saviour of the world, or He isn’t. Either He is the only way to God, or He isn’t. If He isn’t, I’m wasting my life, relatively-speaking (although we are helping lift lots of folks out of poverty and suffering). But if He is who He claimed to be, then no price is too high, no land is too distant, no task is more urgent than to share this costly message to the nations.
Yet when I read of yesteryear’s heroes of the faith, their single-minded devotion blows my mind.
Consider Adoniram Judson:
After spending a few years actively antagonistic to the faith, God nailed him and called him to Burma. Regarding his desires to marry Ann, he wrote to her father:
“I have now to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of him who left his heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with the crown of righteousness, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?”
His father-in-law duly consented, and the Judsons reached Rangoon in 1813, not knowing if they’d be executed immediately by the King, who put to death anyone he pleased on a whim. They spent six years learning the language and seven years before seeing their first convert. All three of their children died, followed by Ann. He married again, and was widowed again. In total six of his children died. The only time he went back to the USA in 38 years was when his second wife was sick and needed repatriating, but she died at sea. He took twenty years to translate the Bible. He spent seventeen horrific months in the notorious Ava prison during the Anglo-Burmese war, suffering indescribable treatment. As a result, for the rest of his life he bore the scars made by the chains and iron shackles which had bound him during that time.
Yet upon his release, he went back to the regional authority to gain permission to resume preaching the gospel. The scornful ruler denied his request, saying: “My people are not fools enough to listen to anything a missionary might say, but I fear they might be impressed by your scars and turn to your religion!”
When he first arrived, nobody had ever heard the name of Jesus in the Burmese kingdom. When he died there were 7,000 baptised Karen willing to stick their necks out (literally) as Jesus-followers. Now they number in their millions.
Back to my logic at the start. Either he endured unimaginable hardship and loss for nothing, living for a delusion, wasting his talents, and worse even, sacrificing others’ lives in the process,
he, his wife Ann, and the many others who followed in his footsteps (many dying after just a few weeks of their arrival) laid down their lives for the highest calling. They counted the cost and gave it their all.
In comparison, how lightweight and inadequate I (and you) might be tempted to feel. And yet, that is not the purpose of writing this. Instead, I choose to be inspired afresh.
Few of us will go to such harsh climates and contexts as the Judsons, but we are all called in different ways to a self-sacrificial lifestyle - to love others at a cost to ourselves.
And maybe some of us have begun to hear the call to 'leave our nets behind' and follow Jesus wherever he takes us - even to dangerous and difficult places, where there is no church, where there are no gospel workers?
There is terrible poverty, violence and suffering here in Burundi, but there is no doubt the Church here is established and growing; whereas there are still so many places across the world where the gospel has never gone or never taken root and there is a great need for passionate followers of Jesus.
That's why this year I have become an advocate/ambassador for Frontiers.
These guys are all about unreached peoples, all about loving our enemies, all about the world's 1.7 billion Muslims - most of whom have never met a follower of Jesus.
Do have a look at their website, or join them on Facebook: fb.com/frontiersukfriends and Twitter: twitter.com/frontiersuk, especially if you have been inspired by the life and sacrifice of Adoniram Judsom. And if, amongst the various missionaries your church supports, there isn't any engagement with unreached people groups, could you flag that up and help rectify it?
Dieudonne’s father was a respected judge, a community leader, a man of peace. But in 1993, amidst many hideous atrocities of war, he was murdered by being buried alive in a pit.
They say time is a healer, but also confronting the hurts of the past is crucial. It was years before DD was allowed back to see the site where his father had been killed. However, as a beautiful testimony of what God had done in his heart, he sought out one of the men responsible for his father’s murder. They were able to embrace, give and receive forgiveness, and go arm in arm to that very spot to speak about forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing.
Fast forward more than two decades, and DD is still investing in that shattered community. Under the auspices of his organization, New Generation, he has brought together those perpetrators of violence in the war and their victims’ families to work together in a cooperative. These include Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and animists. It is called ‘Healing of Memories’. The government has given them a huge plot of land, and we’ve contributed $2k to help with seeds and start-up costs.
DD drove me upcountry and we met with about ninety families and shared with them. They work the land together, receive a daily wage, and a share in the crops, whilst a percentage is kept for reinvestment. It’s a beautiful model, exemplified by DD himself. I asked if I could meet his father’s killer. He replied: “No, sadly he died a few years ago. Now our family personally sponsors his two children for their schooling.”
Beautiful. And costly.
Two things in closing:
1) Does DD’s story challenge you to make amends with any broken relationship? The fact that he was the victim in this makes it all the more powerful. As I shared with them from Jesus’ parable of the unmerciful servant, forgiveness is not free, easy, deserved or logical, but is God’s command to us. As he said: “If you want to be forgiven, you must forgive. If you won’t forgive, you won’t be forgiven.” Worth pondering…
2) I love the fact that just a relatively small sum of money like $2k can provide ninety families with the dignity of having work, and then the provision of salary and food, all whilst modeling stunning forgiveness for past atrocities. If anyone wants to help further with this, we’d love you on board! Go to www.greatlakesoutreach.org/donate Thanks!
23 September 2016
Proximity 2016 - Simon Guillebaud - Ministry In Perspective
I know some people really struggle to believe the stories I share from our annual summer outreach. Maybe you need to come out and meet these folks for yourself!
In any case, in what was a massive and complex logistical operation, last month we sent out 701 volunteers for two weeks, who worked in every single province and in twenty-two different hospitals. This outreach was formally approved by both the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Health (which is amazing considering the current tensions and suspicions in the country because of rebel movements). The hospital authorities were mostly very receptive, although there was some opposition. Sometimes the opposition was overcome by the whole team donating blood.
Here are a few stories:
17-year-old Aristide from Cibitoke was pronounced dead by the doctor, who withdrew the drip and covered his body with a sheet. The mother started weeping hysterically, and her cries drew the attention of our team nearby. One of them came rushing in, and felt led to claim his life back from the dead. After praying over the corpse, Aristide started breathing again, and he and his mother promptly gave their lives to the Lord, along with another forty-one people who witnessed or heard about what happened.
A 13-year-old boy at Ngozi hospital had swallowed a 7cm nail, which showed up clearly on the X-ray. He needed emergency surgery but his mother was freaking out because they couldn't afford it and she thought he'd die at any moment. The team gathered around and prayed for them. He then pooped it out - ouch!
A mother at the hospital in Nyanza Lac was about to give birth. She had previously had six stillborn babies (a problem in the West that could have been treated, no doubt, but here access to healthcare is about as poor as it gets). She was in total distress, as you'd expect, so our team took her aside and prayed for her. Others told them to leave her alone, but she rebuked them, saying she needed God's help. Shortly thereafter she gave birth to her first living baby (who is still alive and well), and gave her life to the Lord.
So our 701 folks spent their time washing seeping wounds, soiled patients, stinking societal rejects, and loving them in practical ways like doing their cooking, laundry, and general cleaning. They prayed for them, encouraged them, and listened to them. Just under 7,000 inpatients were ministered to, along with many more family members and staff. They reckon about 24,000 heard the gospel and 3,345 people made commitments.
Loving people in word and deed. Bringing hope and healing in humility.
Thanks for all of you who prayed. So much could have gone wrong on so many levels. I'm very proud of our guys working in extremely difficult and unusual circumstances (which is why this year for security reasons they stuck to towns). It would have been reasonable and sensible maybe to cancel the outreach, but they went ahead and God honoured their risk-taking and boldness for Him. Wonderful!
We arrived back again yesterday in Burundi after a summer of speaking at multiple meetings around the UK and also many precious times with family and friends.
It’s great to be home. Yes, Burundi truly is home.
However, that doesn’t mean all is well here. Far from it. I was shocked to see how much visibly thinner a friend was who just came by to see me. Most people are very, very hungry. Many others are very, very frightened. The future remains very, very uncertain.
I stopped in on a friend, and voiced my feelings of joy at being home, but also of deep concern for the children and wanting them to be protected from the many potential scenarios my imagination offers up in its darker moments. She replied: “It’s so good you’re back. Your presence with them here is an act of defiance for all those naysayers wanting to see this nation fall apart.”
Jos' summer birthday party - he loves his superheroes!
I like that. Presence as an act of defiance. Hope edging out despair.
The situation remains fragile, but more stable apparently than when I brought the family back in January (see 17th December blog Packing for an Uncertain Future and 1st January's Toughest of Calls to Make). That felt a much heavier decision, going against the advice of most of our Burundian leaders. One senior UN friend in Geneva had deeply discouraged me with his verdict at the time:
The Burundi that you and your children and your wife remember and are nostalgic for is gone and will not come back. That chapter in their life is closed. Which does not preclude that at a later stage they return, and a new, different Burundi chapter may start. But not any time soon.
More positively, one of my closest Burundian friends had also written:
I just finished reading your last message announcing your arrival soon. To be honest with you, since you informed us that you had resolved to come back, I've been thinking of you every morning when I wake up with one question: can I/should I advise him to bring back the family here or to stay on in the UK? Honestly, my sincere answer was “no, they should stay”, “I don't see things improving as soon as we would have hoped or wanted” At the same time I knew that you had chosen to come back not because things were better or were going to improve soon but because you feel called to be part of what things are now. And, when that calling comes from God, all our 'wisdom' should stop since we can't be wiser than Him. That is why I have been unable to tell you what I thought. I feared I would have told you the opposite of what God had said! I like very much your rationale about security, God's will, and our (im)mortality (we’re immortal until God calls us home). You know that I share it 100%. The challenge is to always match the words and the deeds. Every time that it happens, we should thank God who enables us to do so. So, welcome brother!
That was back in January. I’m so glad we took the decision we did, because being here during the last tough stretch was important in terms of encouragement and solidarity with others. You vote with your feet.
Although the security situation is definitely more stable than then, the poverty is only deepening. Our contribution remains literally life-saving many times over.
So we’re back for another stint. Kids start the new school year this Thursday. Friday to Sunday we’re having our strategic ministry leaders/spouses team-building retreat. These folks could have fled, as many have done so, but they’ve chosen to stay and try to be a part of the healing and transformation of beautiful broken Burundi.
By our presence, choosing to stay.
With His presence, the only Way…
We returned two weeks ago in time for Lizzie’s ailing Mum Rosemary’s 80th birthday, during which we went out for a very special celebratory ice-cream. Her condition quickly worsened and after spending most of last week in hospital, she graduated to glory in the early hours of Monday morning. She’d wanted to make it to her other daughter Sarah’s wedding on the 23rd of this month, but in the end it wasn’t to be and she has been released from her substantial pain. We are so grateful to have been in country and now to be able to be with and help Gramps (David). There will be a Thanksgiving service for Rosemary at Highfield Church at 230pm on Wednesday 13th July, to which all are welcome.
It’s been beautiful to read Facebook comments and receive letters expressing gratitude and fondness for Rosemary’s life and the impact she had. She’d been a nurse in India, where she met David. David's job as vicar then took them to Kent, and then onto Manchester, before spending their retirement very actively in Southampton. I am so hugely grateful to her and David for their total support to Lizzie and me in our call to Burundi, they have been amazing grandparents. And of course, without her and David, I wouldn't have landed Lizzie!
And on a lighter note for your amusement (I know Rosemary enjoyed it), here's sharing one of my favorite recent family pictures. We had a horrible journey back from Burundi, which included four flights, and two of the three children vomiting countless times, beautifully decorating my sweatshirt amongst other things. I myself was battling malaria and/or amoebic dysentery (was taking meds for both) and thankfully didn't leave a mess on the plane, holding out until back in the UK, whereupon within five seconds of sitting in my kind friend's vehicle, which he'd committed to lend to me, I'd lost control of my faculties and it was a veritable shitastrophe! Meantime, Lizzie had driven another car back to Southampton with more pukings in the mix, and arrived without access to the place where we were staying. So below shows the wreckage of the Guillebaud clan, with Grace passed out on the grass verge, and Zac sprawled on the roof of the car, inside which Josiah was fast asleep. The joys of family travel - we can laugh about it now!
Below are my/our summer plans, just keeping you in the loop in case you want to come along:
21st June – arrive back from Burundi
22nd June – Rosemary’s 80th birthday
25th June – Men’s breakfast at St Luke’s, Wimbledon Park
26th June – 1030am St Paul’s Catholic College, Burgess Hill, then 3 Counties Church Haslemere at 7pm
27th June – ANCC, Kick Off
28th June – KCC youth, Hedge End
30th June – Isle of Wight, 730pm in Newport
1st – Sunday 3rd July – annual mates’ weekend
3rd July – 2 morning services at Sunnyside Berkamstead, evening St Andrew’s Chorleywood
4th July – Lunchtime event and then GLO board meeting
5th July - 7.30pm Church of the Holy Spirit, Aylesbury
6th July - St Mary's, Beaconsfield
7th July - St Mark’s Battersea Rise Happiness auction event
8th July – King’s school assembly
9th July – family cricket match
10th July – All Saints Marlow, 915am and 11am
11th July – King’s School assembly
12th July – Wonersh Parish Church
14th July – evening Hutchinson event
17th July – St Mark’s Battersea Rise, 3 services
21st July – Men’s event in Harpenden
23rd July – Sarah and Kevin’s wedding
24th-29th July – New Wine, daily talks on Isaiah 48
30th July – Men’s breakfast at Christchurch, Virginia Water, 8-915am
31st July – Hertford Baptist Church
1st August – Jos’ birthday
2nd-17th August – Family holiday in France
20th-27th August – Lee Abbey, a week of talks on 'Encounters with Jesus' - Never the Same Again
30th September – Back to Burundi
Oof! See you sometime at one of those events maybe. If not, have a great summer your end!
I'm not sure what's going on with the blog, but you were sent one from last February yesterday, and the previous one came through twice. Sorry about that. Trying to work out the glitches. Have a great day!
10 riders, 3 support crew, 800km, 48,000 feet of climbs in 7 days.
Those stats don’t do justice to what was simply an incredible week on what was the fourth annual GLO cycling tour. Due to the insecurity in Burundi, we had to do it in Rwanda instead. I was sad about that, because I wanted to expose the lads to Burundi and her amazing people, but Rwanda’s hills and our chosen route proved a significant step up in challenge. In fact, Geoff, who's now done the tour in both countries, said this week was twice as hard as back in Burundi. Oof!
Words can’t do justice to such a week; but it’s mission accomplished for me when I get to pack them off back to their loved ones today alive and (relatively) well, when we’ve raised close to $45,000 for the poorest of the poor, when repeatedly I’ve seen grown men weeping either by sheer physicality of the challenge or during intimate times of raw sharing in our evening team times – beautiful.
I (and the others) feel physically wrecked. Some of you knew (and prayed) about my bust finger which I thought might preclude my participation. Thank God it wasn’t an issue at all. Instead many of us battled flu, asthma, bucketloads of snot etc, probably caused by the extreme changes in climate as we went high and cold and hot and low through mountains, jungle, valleys and more.
Schoolkids rushed out of classes screaming us along, busses tooted their encouragement, and each cyclist tooted his own encouragement due to the 1,639 bananas, 722 cliff bars and 421 gels that were consumed and played havoc we our gut.
Friendships were renewed or deepened. New resolutions were made. Humbling appreciation was recognized that we weren’t born in such a difficult part of the world and that therefore we are answerable for the incredible privileges we have been given.
We finished last night with a surreal and fantastically entertaining night at the British Embassy, celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday. We appreciated her thoughtful consideration in helping the tour end with a bang.
I just love it that I repeatedly heard in different formulations: “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
So that’s a snapshot of the 2016 Tour, the hardest yet. Thanks for praying for us, thanks to those who sponsored us, thanks to Kimberly of Team Rwanda who helped in organizing it, and famous retired Kiki of Rwanda’s national cycling team who coaxed us up the steepest inclines, thanks to Bosco, Jean-Paul and Eric for driving ridiculously slowly behind and in front of us and cooking us amazing food, and thanks ultimately to God for His protection, the beauty of His creation, and for the chance of a lifetime for this group of men to regularly cry out in pain, disgust, and jubilation as the adventure unfurled.
Fancy joining the five of us already signed up for next year?!