Our group of eight said goodbye to Hotel Maamoura in Casablanca, loaded into two vans and hit the road headed for Oujda at 8:30am. Halfway through our 10-hour drive, we stopped in Fez to meet with the CEI leadership at the Fez congregation. Karen and Kevin drove from Ifrane to meet us so that Karen can travel with us the rest of the week. We enjoyed a nice lunch in the heart of Fez before boarding our vans to continue our trek across Morocco on the autoroute.
While traveling by van, CEI Secretary General Diacahari led our van in a conversation about the history of CEI and their work with the EEAM as a partner organization. We learned a great deal about the new organizational structure that Diachari has brought to this partnership as well as the projects they emphasize, such as emergency assistance for refugees, scholarship assistance for college students, and workplace training. Diachari, who is supported fincially through CBF, KBF, Highland Baptist Church, EEAM, and the EKIR (German Protestant Church) is doing a tremendous job leading this vital work with the International Aid Committee in Morocco.
Our group arrived in Oujda after 8pm on Monday. We enjoyed a wonderful meal at a local restaraunt serving traditional Morccan food which ended with Moroccan mint tea. The CEI team from Oujda joined us and we learned more from this group including Voice United almuni Rachel, who is beloved by so many already.
On Tuesday we explore Oujda and meet those who live in the area utilizing the services of CEI. Our minds, hearts and bodies have been opened in ways we could not have imagined already. We are being challenged to imagine what the world would look like if every need was truly met by the Church. We are being challenged to consider how we might go the distance to finish God's call upon our lives to move forward in this partnership with Morocco.