Well the BSN (Bible School for the Nations) has come to a conclusion and I am once again back home in Sterling, CO. The last six months have been an incredible time of growth in many aspects of my life, but the last month and a half is where I grew the most. In the final month and a half of the BSN we ran two BELT (Biblical Education and Leadership Training) seminars. One was in a community called San Mateo in Belize and the other was in a small village named Poko in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After finishing our seminar in San Mateo our BSN team split into two smaller teams. Myself and four others set off for the Congo while the other four set their sights on Nepal. Unlike DTS (Discipleship Training School) we were personally responsible for booking our own travel to get to Entebbe, Uganda. Seven days later, during which we took three MAF flights and a twelve hour truck ride through the jungle, we arrived in Poko. To be honest it looked very similar to what you see in National Geographic.
We were in a small village made of mud huts with grass roofs and there was no power or running water. (The people did wear clothes though) The church in which we were teaching was a larger brick building with a tin roof and we stayed in a smaller brick house. The church had selected volunteers who took care of our every need including cooking meals for us. Since I have returned home, almost everyone that I have talked to has asked me how the food was there. Before I left I tried to enjoy all the food I could thinking that the food would be horrible in Africa and I would not be eating much, but much to my surprise the food was amazing. We did eat many “weird” things while we were there such as grubs, monkey brains, and goat intestines, but there were very few things that myself or the people on my team did not like. With the volunteers from the church taking care of all our needs we were given plenty of time to prepare our teachings for the seminar and sermons for churches on Sunday.
Unlike the seminar in Belize where our maximum attendance was 14, we had close to 200 people fill the church in which we were teaching, and almost all of them were pastors or leaders in the church. Luckily, public speaking does not scare me because I was assigned to teach the first day of the seminar. The first lesson in the BELT curriculum is about pursuing truth and how truth applied in one’s life will bring freedom and joy as well as more success (success defined in biblical terms) in ministry. The next day the attendance had gone up so I must have not done too horrible of a job teaching (either that or my translator did a great job making me sound good). I had the opportunity to teach three lessons during the belt seminar, give two sermons in two different churches, and teach twice for a bible college. My teammates would make fun of me because it seemed as though every time I taught the people in the audience would cry. I loved teaching and I feel that the Holy Spirit has gifted me in that area. Coming back from Africa made me realize how much I loved the people there. They were the nicest people I have ever met. I have heard so many people say what I am about to say and it saddens me to see how blinded western cultures are by materialism because these people who have next to nothing and probably make less in a year than a minimum wage employee makes in a month are so full of joy and are the most hospitable people I have ever been around. I did not think I would, but I miss hearing the children run out of the huts screaming mandeli (white person), I miss walking around the village and seeing a smile on every single person’s face, and I miss the simplicity of life in Poko. I would love to go back to the DRC in the future. God blesses you.
Micah Hampton- April 2013 BSN Student