As I sit here writing this, I can hear the muslim prayer calls out the window, a sheep bleeting on the street somewhere (there is a Muslim holiday coming up soon that involves sacrifice, and they say that you can pick out your sheep like picking a Christmas tree from the lot) and in the next room, "Psych" is on TV. Wow, talk about culture shock!
The trip went very well. We arrived in Dakar with no problems early Saturday morning. After breakfast with one of the missionaries, we drove (or were driven, the roads are crazy here!) to Thies, about 50 miles inland. After a nap and lunch at a small hotel, we toured Thies and saw many of the works that are going on here. Wayne will share more about these in a later post, but I want to tell you about my weekend.
One reason that we chose Senegal was that both Wayne and I would have an opportunity for teaching, Wayne at the Bible College and I will help with training the pastors wives. They do this through weekend retreats which just started about a year ago. God made it happen so that I would be able to see one of these happen this weekend! I spent a couple of hours with the women and it was this time with the people that really confirmed even in my first day that God wants us to be here. Now, it was all in French, so I really didn't understand much of what was said (I have taken French and am even now understanding more, but yesterday I was sooo tired that it was difficult to concentrate). There were some ladies there who could translate for me, so I wasn't totally lost. Let me just share a few of the things that stuck out to me.
One of the activities that they did they called a "listening prayer". One of the ladies would share her prayer requests, and then the others would think of a word of encouragement or verse, share it with her, then all would lay their hands on her and one would pray. It was a very encouraging and powerful time. After the first lady shared, people started sharing verses with her to encourage her, and everybody had thought of the same 2 passages, including me! The Holy Spirit was at work to encouarge this young lady and to build up the body of Christ. And it is wonderful to be able to be a part of that body even in a culture where I am brand new and uncomfortable.
Near the end of this time, as some women were praying for another, I could hear at that time the Muslim prayer call. Now, the mosque was fairly close, and the windows were all open, so it was quite loud! It struck me at that time that no matter how loud they cried out and how many times a day, they were empty prayers to a god who would not help them. We were praying to the God of the universe who can hear and answer our every need! What a great God we have.
Another activity they did was skits. They were learning about the Christian Family this weekend, and so their skits were on what it was to be a good husband and wife. Wayne and I recently attended a marriage conference, and I realized yesterday that we teach things in very cultural forms. Many of the things that we will teach, we will have to learn before we do. I mean that we must learn how best to culturally communicate God's truth which never changes.
We returned to Dakar this afternoon (in horrendous traffic! we almost ran over a cow, but it was in the crosswalk, so we let it go) and are spending a relaxing evening with our hosts, Alice and Marcy Statler. We are excited about what God will do the rest of the week as He continues to confirm His call for us!
Please keep praying!
Pray that many more of our questions will be answered (many were this weekend, so that is a praise!)
We still really miss Addie. I got to talk to mom tonight and heard Addie a bit! Pray that it would not be difficult for me this week (as the tears are still coming :)
We will update again soon!
Who Are We
We should be jealous. . . for the honour of His name – troubled when it remains unknown, hurt when it is ignored, indignant when it is blasphemed. And all the time anxious and determined that it shall be given the honour and glory which are due to it.” John Stott