Trip to Seychelles: Update 3 – Baptism!

July 9
On Friday (July 6), we had three appointments with various brethren, some of whom requested teaching or counseling on various topics. One couple we met with is building a nice house on a steep hill with no street access, but they currently live in a glorified shack. As we discussed the local church, we drank our tea with ants crawling all over the kitchen table. These early meetings have proven to be informative in helping me choose lessons that will benefit the church the most.
On Saturday, Andrea and I woke up early and went to the local farmer’s market, where we found an abundance of fresh fish, chickens (one of whom was about to lose its head), and tropical fruits, vegetables and exotic spices. Later the same day, a husband and wife team of Christians that owns an outdoor tour business for trail hiking and off-road adventures took us on an adventure of our own. They might be the best tour guides on this island, and we got a nice escorted hike through a tropical forest down to the beach free of charge. Along the way, we saw wild pineapple, bread-fruit, cashew, vanilla bean, karambola (star fruit), and cinnamon trees, as well as breathtaking views from a mountain to the transparent turquoise-blue waters in the bay below. It also gave us an opportunity to talk about some important spiritual matters with them.
Yesterday, on the Lord’s Day, I presented three lessons, and Andrea did one for the ladies. The brethren were very receptive and asked a lot of questions. The singing was from an old version of “Hymns for Worship,” but the melodies took off in an “island” direction. These folks can sing, but they do it their own way.
Then, in the afternoon, a young man still in his teens was baptized into Christ, and they asked me to do the honors. The “baptistery” was a pool, separated from the surf by granite rocks, on the beach – certainly the most beautiful “baptistery” I’ve ever seen! Some of the brethren gathered by on the rocks above for what proved to be a very touching moment for all, especially afterwards when this new brother told of all those who had influenced him to see the truth.
In the evening, we hosted a young couple that attends regularly with the church, but neither of whom has yet been baptized, into our apartment for a piece of cake and hot tea. He’s a very intelligent man, fluent in 3 or 4 languages (including German), who serves as a manager at the local tuna factory. We had a pleasant conversation, and they will attend the meeting later in the week.
There are two temperatures here: hot and very hot – and we have no AC in our little apartment. And the windows don’t have screens to keep the critters out, or sufficient insulation from all the noise. Saturday night there was a boisterous festival going on in a nearby community center until about 3 a.m. Every other night we hear dogs barking or the zooming of an occasional plane bringing tourists. There are also a lot of mosquitos flying around, but we haven’t been too much of a target yet. My mouth is still trying to heal from the “Arabian spice” incident in Dubai, in which the hot spices produced some sort of allergic reaction, creating an open wound, a good amount of blood, and a hefty amount of very painful canker sores near the inflammation.
The culture and native dialect here in Seychelles is “foreign” to me in so many ways. We’re enjoying the work and the meetings with various people, though, and it is refreshing to meet Christians who have the same values, aspirations, and respect for the Word that we do. We speak a common “language” with true believers, regardless of culture.
We have some appointments with non-Christians set up for the daytime hours this week, and we will be busy every weeknight teaching multiple daily lessons in two different locations on the main island.

Keep us in your prayers,
Mike and Andrea

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