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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Teaching in Benin

Here Pastor Koch (in the yellow) shirt gives a presentation to a
fellowship of Christian students at the University of Abomey in Benin.
Pastor Gregoire Legbanon (in the multi-colored shirt) is translating.

In Benin

Pastor and Mrs. Gregoire Legbanon of the Lutheran Church of Benin.
Pastor Koch spent Friday, October 26 meeting with Pastor Legbanon about
the work of the Lutheran Church in Francophone West Africa.

Funeral Information

The funeral service for Simon Scroggins will be held on Thursday morning at 10:30 at the church.

Visitation will be on Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 3:00-8:00 pm at Hugeback and Chenoweth in town.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Prayer Request-Funeral info

We pray for Richard and Marge, and Ann and Matthew and the whole family at the loss of Simon on Monday. Please pray that God would send his mercy and peace to them all, and comfort them with the knowledge that God faithful, God is just, and God is merciful and cares for them all.

The blog will be updated when we know funeral information.

Home again, Home again....

Pastor made it home again. Thanks for all your prayers while he was gone! IT was a very eventful and interesting trip, and keep checking back. We'll add photos as he has time.

The only glitch in the travel came when he arrived in Paris, and discovered that all the Air France workers were on strike, and flights were being canceled left and right. He waited in line from 6 am til 3 or 4 pm and finally was on a several hour late flight to Chicago. Of course, this made him miss the connecting flight to Cedar Rapids, where his excited family was waiting for him. He called while we were at the baggage terminal saying "I just landed in Chicago". He called back a few hours later, saying he was going to be put up in a hotel and would leave at 10 arriving at 11 am on Sunday. The kids and I also stayed at a hotel in CR, just for time sake (and to sleep!), and we did have a joyous reunion. Luggage and all arrived with him. What a glorious few hours we had! Praise God with us for safe travels!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Safe Travels..

well, according to the itinerary I was left, Pastor has been in air for about a half an hour. He'll travel overnight to Paris, where he'll have a 7 hour layover, and then will be bound for Chicago, arriving there at 3:20 tomorrow afternoon (our time). He should arrive in Cedar Rapids at 7:10 p (our time, which will be 1:10 am his time!)

Keep him in your prayers for uneventful, and restful travel!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hello from Cotonou

I am in Cotonou. Somethings have changed but a lot is still the same. Like today I piled into a car full of Africans and we took off. To where? I don't know. We stop somewhere and then we conference for a long time and then we go again. I am feeling well and have been very safe.
Diane and the children are well. I saw Gregoire's finished home.
I have a presentation tonight to University students.
Alain has been a big help.
The hotel I am staying at here is much nicer than hotel de l etoille where we stayed before.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday Update from Togo

I am having a nice relaxing Sunday.

Church was nice. The singing was awesome. There was a very good youth choir.

Now I am out for a stroll around Dapaong. I took a taxi moto to a cybercafe: all for a few cents.

Tomorrow I will preach for the chapel service: and one of the professors wants me to speak to his class on the history of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

I am staying at the guest house at the seminary.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

From Burkina Faso

Here is a picture of Rev. James May's class in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He teaches them from Luther's Small Catechism and Good News. The man in the center in the light blue shirt is Ziba. Please pray for him. He is a Muslim and this is his first visit to this class.

A Burkina Faso Meal

Here I am eating at the home of one of the men being instructed by Rev. James May, missionary in Burkina Faso. Rev. May uses GOOD NEWS to teach the Christian faith to new Lutherans here. We walked to this one room home after dark. (Very dark in Africa in a village where there is no electricity) The family had a table spread out in their courtyard and we ate by the light of one candle. They had killed a rooster for us and served it with fried yams and rice. Yum.

Photos from Togo

This picture shows me teaching at The Center for Lutheran Theological Studies in Dapong, Togo. The seminar was offered for the seminary students. Vicars from nearby came also and several pastors. The professors of the Theological School attended as did the President of the Lutheran Church in Togo. They were very attentive, asked good questions and were all very appreciative. Several times I asked if they thought they could teach this in their churches at home in their villages and they said yes. Each participant in the seminar (about 40 in all) received one of each issue of GOOD NEWS in French.

After the seminar the student's wives had a prepared lunch for us, pictured here. It was rice with goat sauce. When we arrived at the Center last night I saw a guy skinning a goat out behind the guest house where I am staying. I didn't think too much of it at the time. But today, I really enjoyed it.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Quick Note from Burkina Faso

Pastor was able to get a quick email connection last night, from Burkina Faso.

He says, "I am in Burkina Faso. with the May family. Every connection went just right. All my luggage was waiting for me in Ouagadougou.

Today I went with James to the Bible study he has. Thursdays they study the catechism. Sundays they study Good News. Then one of the students invited J and me to their house for supper. They live very deep in a large village with no electricity or running water. We arrived at their home after dark. But they were very hospitable and appreciative of me coming.

Ouagadougou is a lot like Cotonou only hotter.

I feel great and have not been jet lagged yet. I slept some on the planes and quite a bit in the airport in Paris."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

He's off!

Well, Pastor Koch is off and at this moment in mid-air between here and Paris. He left Cedar Rapids at 4 this afternoon (complete with 2 suitcases that were 50 pounds each, and a carry on suitcase that was 100 pounds...or so it seemed!) So far, all has gone very well. Here's a photo from the airport.
He will arrive in Paris at 9:45 am, Wednesday (Paris time, which is 2:45 am, Wednesday, Iowa time). He will be in Paris until 4 pm Paris time (which is 9 am Iowa time), and will arrive in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso at 7:40 pm on Wednesday (Burkina Faso time, which is 2:40 PM on Wednesday, Iowa time) (I am hoping I'm giving you all correct information...that's what I figure, doing the math--but math was never my strong suit!)

Just for your information, the high in Burkina Faso for the next few days is Wednesday-102, Thursday-106 and Friday-104. On Friday he'll head to Togo, and on Monday he'll be in Benin.

Keep checking back, because as he sends photos and emails telling me what's going on, I'll be updating the blog!