Thank you so much for your prayers and support for Jesse Galindo!
The Lord showed his strength, power, provision and purpose this missions trip.
Decorated with a custom made Bunia shirt, Jesse gave an excellent presentation about his trip, on Sunday, October 25. You can listen to his presentation here. A written report is below.
Although the majority of his materials were delayed in shipping, and although the campus suffered power outages, inclement weather and a bee swarm, Jesse helped to string nearly 6000' of wire, installing breakers, switches, fuses, etc. He finished with just a couple hundred feet of wire and a couple hours to spare!
The following is a pictorial documentation of his trip:
The words, "Don't focus on the mountain: focus on the Mountain-Mover," were an encouragement to him, and became his personal theme.
Pastor awarded Jesse with a plaque. Turns out there was a type-o on it, but one that may be just well left:
"And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom
shall I spend*, and who will go for Us?
Then I said, Here am I; send me."
(Isaiah 6:8 RV)
To Jesse Galindo
A WORKMAN FOR GOD
for his dedicated service as he answered the call in Bunia. 2009
*should have read "send"
A special THANK YOU to everyone that made this trip a success!
Jesse was given a custom made shirt.
Jesse is ready for the bees!
Mosquito netting over his bed.
When Jesse Galindo felt the Lord asking him to go on a two-week missions trip to Bunia, he had no idea how God would test—and reward—his faith!
Before leaving the country, Jesse encountered various trials and tests: the donated materials for the project were almost withheld; the wiring was almost too costly to ship; the airline almost foiled the plans to get all of the wiring to Bunia, and Jesse almost became ill before leaving. But God worked in spite of each of these things, and Jesse left on September 26, 2009 ready to see what things God would do in the lives of the people of Bunia through his offer of service! Supported by the prayers of his church and extended families, Jesse left the airport trusting that God would do incredible things.
Jesse met up with the rest of the team in Amsterdam, where they proceeded to fly to Entebbe. When they arrived after long flights and layovers, they were tired and went to sleep in what they believed was the airport from which they would make their connecting flight. To their surprise, they were awakened by customs agents who demanded to see their visas for Uganda! Apparently, the airport’s second level was considered to be the property of the Ugandan government, and the entire team had unwittingly ended up on that level. Government employees demanded money for entrance and exit visas, and the men began praying that God would show Himself strong. Jesse said that he felt like their prayers were selfish at first: God, please get us out of here, and, God, please help them to waive the fees and, God, please deliver us from this situation, but only when the prayers became humble and surrendered—God, we thank You for being in control right now, for already seeing what will happen in this situation—that one of the government officials suddenly reversed his previous decision, and allowed the men to continue to the lower level of the airport! They praised God for this.
Jesse recounted that there was a strong United Nations presence, both at the airports and in the cities through which he traveled; in fact, he said that he believed the economy was largely dependent upon monies and jobs created by the UN. The United Nations soldiers were very strict, even going so far as to prohibiting any photography in airports or of the soldiers themselves!
Once in Bunia, Jesse and the team made it past the customs agents and through the small-aircraft flight to Shalom University, where they stayed in a mission-house. Jesse reported that the fare they ate was simple, and that he prayed for grace to eat the food served, especially the meat: when in the marketplaces, Jesse would see the meat hanging in the open air, covered with flies, and would make sure to bless his food with special fervency before partaking!
Jesse’s goal was to install wiring, new breakers, switches, and an electrical-system overhaul for Shalom University. He was assisted by some university students, and by a member of the team who was an electrical engineer, John, who hailed from Philadelphia. Although Jesse had several periods of leisure time—including participation in church services and a dinner banquet with members of the faculty—his days were mostly busy…and long. Sometimes Jesse would work throughout the day, then into the hours of the night, using headlights to see what he was doing!
Jesse’s work was precarious at times, especially when working on power poles: he reported that many of the “power poles” were actually former truck chassis parts, made into makeshift vertical structures! When Jesse arrived, he was given what the University students called their “best ladder”, and halfway up his first pole, the ladder snapped in half. The team made do, and several of the carpenters on the team built Jesse a mahogany ladder so he could access the “power poles” under safer conditions.
Many of the hollow poles contained bee hives, and, after several attempts to subdue the bees, the University students advised Jesse to begin working on those specific poles at night, when the bees were less-easily agitated. Even using deterrents—like water and gasoline, and even after attempting to plug holes in the hollow poles, Jesse a very traumatizing incident, when
bees swarmed him. He said he remembered Ted Whittmer (VVBC missionary, and his host) yelling, “Run through the corn! It will confuse the bees!” Jesse sprinted towards several small patches of corn, and ran through them, then felt that the bees were not following him anymore, so he started to take off the netted hat he’d been wearing. He heard shouting, and then stinging, and he realized that the bees had reassembled and were swarming him again! After several more trips through the corn-fields, he was finally able to be escape, with only eight stings. He’d heard several stories of others who had been killed due to bee swarms, and he recalled praying, God, if I’m going to die in Bunia, please let me die doing something heroic—like falling from a power pole. I don’t want to die of bee stings!
Jesse said that although the Bunia culture, in general, is very laid-back, the people do work hard, and he brought back video clips of some young men who were making bricks. The process was strenuous and the young men would work for hours at a time, Jess reported. The workers offered for Jesse to help participate with the brick-making, and after fifteen minutes he felt that he was completely exhausted from the process!
Jesse was able to spend some time with Dana Whittmer (Ted’s wife), visiting the sick and praying with children and university students. Jesse said that Dana fit the role of what he had expected a missionary to be: encouraging, visiting the sick, traveling from house to house sharing the gospel, while Ted took a more leadership-oriented role, working with deadlines, balancing multiple projects, and juggling many tasks simultaneously.
Jesse became ill while in Bunia, but God gave the strength to continue on with the project. His spirits were lifted during phone calls he was able to share with his wife, back in the States. The team accomplished a great deal: the carpenters built desks and furniture for the newly-constructed University of Shalom Library, and the IT team set up new computers donated by Microsoft. Despite obstacles in weather and other unexpected delays, Jesse’s own team finished all that they had hoped to accomplish, with only several hours and a couple hundred feet of wire to spare!
During the week, Jesse felt that God’s grace carried him, especially during difficult times. Once, when he was feeling overwhelmed, Jesse confided in another team-member that he felt the project was “like moving a mountain”. The other team member encouraged Jesse, “Don’t focus on the mountain: focus on the Mountain-Mover.” This became Jesse’s personal theme throughout his trip. The University Students and the entire missions team also chose a theme song for themselves, and Jesse enjoyed singing along, in Swahili. The students gave Jesse and his fellow team-members a specialized shirt, sewn especially for him, with the University’s insignia and schools there.
Jesse came back from his trip feeling taxed to his limits, and yet grateful that God had given just enough strength to get through a project that had been impossible to imagine, and yet, through the Help of the Mountain-Mover, had become a reality.
Thanks everyone, for your investment in this project!
PROJECT BUNIA - THE EXPANDED REPORT