Saturday, June 24, 2017

Go Gabon Closeout

Here are some closing statements and pics from team members.

Shaun Jones
Wow! What an experience to go to Africa and live, eat, work with the Gabonese. The relationships that were made on that trip with the people of Gabon,E4 and the men that came from GCAC . Definitely was a lot of challenges on this trip right from the get go with the lumber not being the sizes that we were expecting and I having to work with what we have. The big thing for me was the challenge that how on fire the Gabonese people are for Jesus. It is what I need to work toward to in my walk with the Lord. Will definitely go back if called to.

Todd Spears
It was an exhausting but fruitful trip! It was a great Gabon/USA CMA team effort that created a work camp next to the medical clinic work site that will host future short term missions construction groups, pastors retreats, and who knows what else. We completed the main structures and all that is left is finishing touches which we left in the capable hands of the Gabonese CMA church crew. Many thanks to Dan Lewan and his E4 crew, Pastor Jacob's family, and the various Gabon CMA churches for their loving hospitality while we were there.

Pastor Paul Goodman
We had a great team that achieved much against many variables beyond their control and connected and blessed many lives.

Rob Freyvogel
I can't say enough about what this trip meant to me. Working with the E4 team from Michigan was truly a blessing. I can proudly say we have new friends in both Michigan and Gabon. It is absolutely amazing how the love of Christ is universal and how tight the brotherhood is even halfway around the world. It's hard for someone who was not there to imagine how hard we worked yet still had such a great time. I highly recommend that if you can go next year, you should!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Friday Evening - Saturday

Friday Evening:

Bonjour! We had a FANTASTIC time at Charlene and Anoth's wedding last night! Anoth is the son of the president of the Alliance church of Gabon. We met some great people and enjoyed a Gabonese feast.
In Gabon, Christians have three weddings per marriage. There is the Cultural Wedding that happens on the family level, the Civil Wedding that happens at the mayor's office, and the Church Wedding. After that comes the reception. We were all very honored to be invited as part of their very special day.

Mama Marta!

Charlene and Anath!

We have all become very fond of a grapefruit flavored soft drink called D'jino (Gino) that is only available here. It is delicious!!!!!!!


Today was another productive day at the site and we worked as late as we could before darkness set in. We assembled the outhouse trial, put up 1/3 of the roof, and walled in most of the porch.
Our Gabonese driver and brother in the Lord, Eddie, built most of the bunk beds. He is an amazing guy! He is definitely the unsung hero of the week. We stopped at Mama Gisselle's fruit stand on the way home. She treats us well and always throws in a few freebees.
African fruit is soooo much better what we can get in the USA.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Thursday - Friday

Greetings all! Sorry that I was not able to send an update Thursday as Internet was down the last couple of days. Nevertheless, believe it or not, life can go on without internet access. (Apologies from the publisher back home for not posting on Friday. I forgot!)

Thursday we made great progress! We finished the walls, stood them into position, and tied them to one another and to the floor. It was definitely looking like a building by the time we left the site!

Shaun, Ulrich, and Todd

JC, Josiah, Mikalo, and Ulrich

Dan, David, and Todd having lunch

Jacobe and Dan the Man discussing strategy for the rest of the week.

Friday was a very interesting day. We worked on the foundation and floor for the screened-in porch. Pastor Paul Shultz and Josiah must have carried about 40 wheelbarrows full of gravel up the hill from the main construction site. That was no easy task in the merciless African sun.
We also made the short support walls that go towards the center of the building that give the roof some slope. We only worked until 4pm today before the rain started, but that was just perfect as we had to head back to base to get cleaned up for a WEDDING! That's right, we were invited to a wedding! More on that tomorrow. I can tell you that when it rains during the dry season here, it is not so dry. It really, really came down hard.

Building on the hill and the gravel pile where they got the gravel.

Josiah purposely getting rained on. It felt great!

Mama Marta, Todd, David (Daveed,) and Shaun on the way out of PK27 complex. Mama Marta and family members have been making us great food everyday all week! They take such good care of us!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Consecutive long days in the the African sun is not for wimps (like me). Again, the ride back and forth also really wears on us. It will really be much better for the next work groups to have a place to stay onsite.
Today we finished setting the foundation blocks by covering them with wood. This was actually a really hard job as the soil here really defies digging. It has a thin layer of soft top soil then you get right into a red, rocky soil that just plain wants to stay together. It is very different than anything we ever dug in before. We then finished and installed the floors. We painted the wood that sits on the concrete block foundation and the underside of the floor with used motor oil to delay insect infestation. It was a black slippery mess but I think it is going to help. We also got the 4 long walls built and one of the six roof panels before finally calling it "quits" for the day.
Another note, did you know that you can't buy 2x4s over here? Anybody guess why? If you guessed the metric system, you would be right. They offer something fairly close but are still not quite like our 2x4s. The edges are not radiused like American 2x4s and they are not as accurately sized but overall, the quality is actually pretty good. I will try to bring a little scrap home for those that are interested.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


We had another fairly productive day today! After breakfast and devotional, we drove straight out to the lumber yard. The yard is owned by a Lebanese gentleman and he does a great business there. Pastor Paul worked a deal with him to use his electricity and we made great use of it. We might have made over 750 cuts today. The Bosch 240v circular saw that Pastor Paul picked up in Paris last month proved to be invaluable. Essentially all the boards are cut, labeled, stacked, and delivered to the site.
Pastor Paul took the rest of the crew to site about lunchtime and they worked on getting the concrete blocks leveled and set for the foundation. Pastor Jacob (Jacobe) stayed with the cutting crew (Rob, Todd, Shaun, and Pastor Israel) as he was our translator. He also starting teaching us French which was great fun. It is hard to laugh and saw at the same time!
We all met up at the site when the lumber was delivered. We helped the crew from the Lumber Yard offload and stack the lumber, then headed back to the church seminary school which is where we stay at night.
Oh yeah, we stopped at a great Fruit Stand on the way home and dropped off Ulrich the photographer. We bought some of the best fruit we have ever tasted! Thank you Mama Giselle!

Monday, June 12, 2017


Wow again!
We had a fantastic day and we are all sitting around just trying to relax a bit and catch our breath. We just got back from the PK27 site and after experiencing the ride there and back, I feel we are on the right track as far as next project priorities goes. Eddie is a super fantastic driver and got us there and back safely. The Jeep Fest in Butler had nothing on what we experienced today. The road leading to the sight is pretty much impassible in anything other than a Toyota Land Cruiser or something similar. We worked hard all day and got a very long way on site prep and building layout. We should finish up getting the pads leveled off by tomorrow at lunch time. Pastor Goodman and Eddie did some reconnaissance work this morning and found where we can get the necessary lumber. He found the owner of the lumber store and talked him into using his electricity to cut all the studs to length so he will take care of that tomorrow with a couple of guys while we finish prepping the pads.
We were blessed with cooler than average temps today and bugs were not a big problem like we expected! All is well! Praise the Lord!
Btw,  did you know that when you are close to the equator the days and nights are about 12hrs long all year round. For those that were confused in previous post, Josiah is part of the E4 Staff. That team is composed of Dan Lewan, Josiah Williams. and Paul Shultz pic to follow. You can use this link to the shared Google Photos album if you want to see photos from the whole trip: Gabon Google Photos Album

You can see more at

Checking out the foundation for the medical clinic, it's going to be pretty big!

This is Paul!

This is Dan, we call him Dan the man!

What, this old thing? Just our trusty Toyota Landcruiser!

Building some sawhorses.

Getting started on prep site.

Site almost ready!

Sean and Olrich.

Todd and Olrich the photographer.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Calm before the Storm

We had a great day today! We split up and went to several churches in the area. We are recruiting help for the week and this a a great way to do it! Pastor Goodman is a bit of Rockstar here and it has been a blessing seeing him have so many nice reunions! We were invited to a nice meal afterwards and it was FANTASTIC! We met soooo many nice people.
We then came back to base and relaxed for a bit before going outside to play with kids.
Josiah was like the pied piper and he always had about 20 kids hanging on him. He was showing them how to juggle and walk on their hands which he demonstrated for them with ease.
We capped the day off with a good meal and a planning session for this weeks construction.
Sorry for the lack of pictures. I'm having a little issue loading them. I'm working hard to resolve it.


Here is a link to Sunday's pictures!
pictures from Sunday 6/11