by Dan Grove, CBM Strategic Associate in Cameroon
Some people say that every year of a dog’s life is equivalent to 7 years for a human. So if you have had Fido for 10 years, he would be like a 70 year old man. However I read something that said it isn’t quite that simple. When a dog is younger, the ‘dog years’ are less (maybe 4 or 5 human years) and as a dog gets older, those years increase. So when Max is in his 10th year, he might be aging 9 or 10 years.
I think the same thing must happen to trucks. We received our brand new Toyota Hilux in the summer of 2001. It was white, unscratched and had about 3,000 km when it actually made its way to us. It was quite a long time before I had to do any maintenance. The first clutch change was at 150,000 km and it still has its original exhaust system. In fact if I scraped off the 1/4 inch of baked on mud (almost like a ceramic coating) it is still shiny underneath!
We are now approaching a quarter of a million miles and it isn’t quite so pretty any more. Not only that but, like an old man it makes all kinds of noises when it moves and things are falling apart. I go through tie rod ends and ball joints almost as often as oil changes. When I put the pedal to the floor on the highway I can go a speedy 94km/hour. Of course downhill and with a wind behind me, I can urge it to break the 100 mark!
What do all those miles and years represent? I was looking at all the dings, dents and scratches the other day and those miles represent traveling all over the Ndop. They represent our family going back and forth from Yaounde to Bambalang for our kids schooling and high school years. They represent trips to visit the 7 different language group teams that are translating the New Testament and the other three languages we are encouraging to use the Scripture they have (Babungo) or building vision to start the translation work (Baba and Babessi). It represents trips to the hospitals and clinics with sick and sometimes dying people. It represents loads of people going to weddings and funerals (the record is 23 in, on top and on the bumper behind). It represents the work of delivering help to hurting and needy people and it represents the gifts and partnership of many of you back home.
To me a vehicle is a tool to be used as a good steward and it has been instrumental in all the things we have been able to see and do here in Cameroon these past 16 years or so. So although the bumper is being held on with bolts, wire, and rivets and the body is cracking from the stresses of the roads (Melody got wet sitting in the back seat when we drove through the rain a few weeks back), and although it has slowed with age and tends to kick out a lot of black smoke especially when going up hills – it is representative of the work of the Lord through all the people that make up the Ndop team- those here in Cameroon and those back in Canada, the US, Ireland, Scotland, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden who have given and prayed and come to lend a hand. So thanks! Thanks for your gifts that have allowed us to be here to drive these miles and thanks for your prayers for the safety in all those miles. May God continue to be honoured through our work and partnership with you and may thousands of lives be changed as His Word comes closer each mile along the way.
May the next 10,000 km have as much impact as the first 100,000 (in dog years!).