Well Community Church team finishes trip to Guinea-Bissau

Fresno violinist Patrick Contreras plays his cover of “Hallelujah” while dozens of curious kids from a soccer camp look on in Canchungo, Guinea-Bissau.

FRESNO CAME TO GUINEA-BISSAU LAST MONTH. A five-member team spent two weeks in January immersed in the culture of West Africa while helping WAVS with a handful of important projects. The team included four members of The Well Community Church – Madera Mayor Robert Poythress, Well videographer Pat Dill, Well pastor Andrew Feil, and software developer Michael Wanke – as well as Fresno violinist Patrick Contreras.

The team learned basic Guinea-Bissau Creole phrases, went on a scavenger hunt, taught in the English classes at the WAVS school, performed a concert in the capital city, installed a computer server, filmed a video about WAVS, shot footage for a music video, cooked and ate local food, spent a “Day in the Life of African Woman,” survived going through countless police and military checkpoints, sampled the cuisine at several local restaurants, played soccer with local futbol players, and had long conversations with pastors, a famous Guinean musician, and journalists. Overall, not a bad way to spend two weeks in Africa.

If you’d like to hear first-hand about the team’s experience in Guinea-Bissau, please join us for a special presentation at 7 p.m. this Friday at The Well Community Church’s north campus (2044 E Nees Ave Fresno, CA 93720). Find out more info here.


In their own words, here’s what two of the team members had to say about their time in Guinea-Bissau:

Robert Poythress: "We had an extraordinary experience working with West African Vocational Schools and executive director Chris Collins in Canchungo, as well as learning about the local culture and government situation. I am encouraged by the way WAVS is making an impact on the lives of others through vocational education and ethical influence. The students and others that I met are moving forward in spite of the self-serving and oppressive ways that the national government operates. I am sure that the best days of GB are ahead of us.“

Andrew Feil (from his blog post): "Each member of the team brings something unique to the table. Patrick and Pat have been recording a music video. Pat has also been recording interviews with teachers and other former students about WAVS. Patrick has been spreading the love of the violin. Michael has been working with the computer instructors at the school to repair and set up a server and other tech things at the school. Robert and I have mostly been listening to the interviews and tailing Chris around wherever he goes. Our roles include helping to bring the message back to a larger audience, so we are trying to ask good questions both of Chris and of those we interact with. … I know I can speak for all of us that WAVS is an amazing organization that is doing a fantastic job of empowering individuals to create change in their lives, in their communities and in their country. Through a Christ-centered lens, students hear and see the gospel week in and week out.”

Want to visit Guinea-Bissau in the future? Email us at info@WAVSchools.org to find out more about future trip possibilities.