Who Are We


Wayne, Hilary & Adelaide Denny. Preparing to Serve in Leadership Training in Senegal, Africa. God has called us to take advantage of a unique window of religious freedom in Muslim Senegal by equipping church leaders who have a heart for reaching their country and the Muslim world.

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


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Greetings and the heat in Senegal / Salutations et la chaleur au Sénégal

Last week we started our wolof classes. One of the things we’ve been working on are the numerous greetings, how are you doing, how was the morning, how’s the family, etc. In the US, we normally just ask, how’s it going and that’s it. Here, even people you barely know will ask you, how did you sleep last night, how’s your wife doing, how are your kids doing. One thing this means is that we have to spend a whole lot of time just on the greetings. One aspect that is simple however is that one of 2 phrases can be used to respond to most of these questions, jamm rekk (peace only) or alxamdulilaay (thanks be to God.)

We were informed that no matter what the question, you always respond with something similar to these answers. If someone asks you how you’re doing, you shouldn’t respond, “not too well.” You always respond positively. That is except for one question that we learned this morning. If someone asks you, “How are you handling the heat,” you don’t have to respond “peace only” or “thanks be to God.” In this case, it’s perfectly acceptable to say, “It’s hot!” Now I just need to learn how to say, “It’s dang hot!.” It’s good to know that we’re not the only ones here struggling with the heat.


La semaine dernière, on a commencé avec le wolof. On a beaucoup travaillé sur les salutations, comment ça va, etc. En France, on a appris « ça va »et ça se suffisait pour longtemps. Ici, même avec les gens qu’on à peine connait, on nous demande, tu as bien dormi ? Comment va ta femme, ton enfant, etc ? Ça veut dire qu’on prends beaucoup plus de temps sur les salutations ici qu’en France. Mais une chose qui est simple, c’est qu’il y a deux réponses qui marchent pour beaucoup de ces questions, jamm rekk (seulement la paix) et alxamdulilaay (merci à Dieu).

Notre professeur nous a dit que quoi qu’on soit la question, on répond toujours aux ces type de questions avec une réponse comme ceux. Même si on ne va pas bien, on répond que notre vie n’est que la paix. Sauf au cas où quelqu’un te demanderait, ça va avec la chaleur. Dans ce cas, il est bien acceptable de dire, oui, il faut chaud ! C’est bien de savoir que même les sénégalais qui ont toujours habité ici ont du mal avec la chaleur.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Accomplir des choses au Sénégal et mon introduction aux pot-de-vins

(Avertissement: Personne n'a corrigé ce que j'ai écrit. Alors, si quelqu'un veut le lire et le corriger pour moi, je serais très content. J'espère que c'est comprehensible)

Quand j’étais à école biblique, j’avais un professeur qui disait “Si tu fixes tes objectifs assez modestes, tu peux réussir. Tu réussiras plus souvent et tu seras plus content.” Bien sur, ce conseil n’est pas le meilleur conseil pour tout le monde, mais pendant nos premiers mois au Sénégal, je trouve ce conseil un des meilleurs conseils que j’ai reçu avant d’arriver au Sénégal.
Voici un bon exemple, nous avons envoyé une partie de nos affaires de la France au Sénégal par fret aérien. L’autre jour je suis parti à l’aéroport pour récupérer nos affaires. Avec le conseil de mon ancien professeur, j’ai fixé ce que j’ai pensé être un objectif très modeste. Je me suis dit, ce processus prendra toute la matinée et je n’accomplirai rien d’autre ce matin.
Heureusement, un collègue qui a habité au Sénégal pour environ 10 ans m’accompagné. Nous sommes arrivés à l’aéroport à 9h30. Nous avons assez rapidement trouvé l’accueil d’Air France et nous nous avons renseigné que nos bagages seraient arrivés la veille. J’ai pensé, ça devrait assez facile. Les bagages sont là. Nous devons remplir un peu de documentation, payer les frais et partir avec les bagages.
Mais on nous a dit qu’il faut aller aux 5 bureaux pour remplir la documentation nécessaire. Nous sommes allés au premier bureau et nous avons attendu pendant 30 minutes. Quelqu’un est parti à un autre bureau pour compléter de documentation pour nous et quand nous avons fini cette étape, j’ai dit, c’est pas trop mal. En arrivant au prochain bureau, on nous a informé que le premier bureau ne fait pas parti des 5 bureaux. À 13h, nous venons de compléter le deuxième bureau (deuxième selon eux). C’est le pause pour déjeuner. Il faut partir et revenir à 15h.
Vers 15h30, j’ai enfin examiné nos bagages avec un douanier. Nous nous avons disputé un peu par rapport au machine à coudre que j’avais désigné comme utilisé, mais cette étape s’est bien passé. Au prochaine bureau, Nous sommes restés pendant 30 minutes avec le douanier qui établi les frais pour les douanes. Toute la conversation s’est passé en wolof que je n’ai rien compris (mais heureusement mon collègue compris). Le douanier nous a demandé de quitter son bureau parce que son ordinateur ne marchait pas. Pendant 15 minutes, nous nous sommes demandés si nous l’avons offensé ou si simplement son ordinateur ne marchait pas. Deux transitaires sénégalais qui nous aidaient nous ont informé que le douanier voulait un pot-de-vin de 15 euros et nous pouvions éviter les douanes qui seraient 40 euros. Mon collègue leur a informé que nous voulions suivre le processus correct même si ça veut dire qu’il fallait qu’on payait plus.
Après 10 minutes, nous continuons au prochaine bureau en étant peu sûr de savoir si le douanier exigeait le pot-de-vin où si on l’avait pris au mot. Après un autre deux ou trois bureau (en fin de compte, je n’ai aucune idée pourquoi ils ont dit 5 bureaux). Il est 17h et on était enfin en train de charger nos bagages dans notre voiture.
La chose principale que j’ai apprise ce jour là, j’ai modifié le conseil de mon professeur. Il n’est pas possible de fixer les objectifs trop modestes. Je crois que la chose le plus frustrante est que tout prends plus de temps et nous ne pouvons plus accomplir tous ce que nous voulons. Avant de quitter les États-Unis, nous lisions plusieurs livres à propos du choc culturel et pendant notre séjour en France nous pensions souvent, pourquoi on nous exigeait de lire tant de livres à propos de ça. Après une mois au Sénégal, je pense que nous aurions du lire plus de livres.
Mais ce que m’a frappé le plus à ce niveau, c’est de me souvenir l’exemple de Jésus. Le Dieu qui a créé le monde est devenu humain. Et Jésus faisait patiemment face aux ces inefficacités. Alors, dans un sens il faut que nous fixions nos objectifs plus modestes au niveau de quotidien. Mais niveau spirituel nous avons un objectif bien plus difficile. Nous devrions viser à imiter l’exemple de Jésus et réagir comme Jésus face aux inefficacités quotidiens.
Philippiens 2:5-11
Que votre attitude soit identique à celle de Jésus-Christ : lui qui est de condition divine, il n’a pas regardé son égalité avec Dieu comme un butin à préserver, mais il s’est dépouillé lui-même en prenant une condition de serviteur, en devenant semblable aux êtres humains. Reconnu comme un simple homme, il s'est humilié lui-même en faisant preuve d'obéissance jusqu'à la mort, même la mort sur la croix. C'est aussi pourqoui Dieu l'a élevé à la plus haute place et lui a donné le nom qui est au-dessus de tout nom afin qu'au nom de Jésus chacun plie le genou dans le ciel, sur la terre et sous la terre et que toute langue reconnaisse que Jésus-Christ est le Seigneur, à la gloire de Dieu le Père.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Why?...and other questions.

With a 3 almost 4 year old in the house, we are deep into the question phase. I love seeing how her mind works but frankly, it is exhausting sometimes! Today, we are watching "The Sound of Music" (yes, I love having a little girl to watch it with me!) and the first 10 minutes of the movie went a little like this.

Addie: "Mom, why is she singing?"
Me: "It's a musical, that's what they do."
Addie: "Why is she in the water?"
Me : "She's just playing near the water."
Addie: "Why are there only girls at that church?"
Me: "Because it's a special church that girls live at."
Addie: "Why are they wearing black?"
Me: "That's what nuns wear."
Addie: "What are those girls singing about?"
Me: "They're singing about Maria."
Addie: "Why?"
Me: "Because she's always late."
Addie: "Why is she late?"
Me: "Because she's doing other things."
Addie: "Why does she have a suitcase?"
Me: "Because she needs to take her clothes with her."
Addie: "Why?"
Me: "Because she's going to live with the family to take care of the kids>"

And it just goes on, and on, and on. I finally fell asleep, so I think the questions stopped, but I'm not sure, you'll have to ask Wayne (who was not watching with us by the way!).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Getting stuff done in Senegal and my introduction to bribes

(WARNING: THE DETAILS OF THIS POST WILL PROBABLY BORE YOU BUT IN ENTERING INTO THIS BOREDOM, I TRULY BELIEVE YOU'LL BETTER UNDERSTAND OUR TRANSITION AND A MAJOR PRAYER REQUEST)

On of my favorite profs in seminary, Dr. Hannah, used to say, "If you set your goals low enough, you can achieve them. You'll hit em more often and be much happier." That advice has proven to be possibly the most helpful during our initial time here in Senegal. A case in point, the other day I went to the airport with a colleague to pick up some bags that we sent by air freight from Paris to Senegal. With Dr. Hannah's advice in mind, I set a really low goal, getting our bags will be the only thing accomplished this morning.

We arrived at the airport at 9:30 AM. After a quick trip to the Air France counter, we knew our bags had arrived and all that was necessary was to fill out some paper work and pick em up. We were informed that we would need to visit 5 offices before the necessary paper work was completed. After 30 minutes in the first office along with one person volunteering to take some paper work to another office, I felt pretty good. Until we arrived at the next building and realized that the first office didn't really count. It wasn't until 1PM before we were on our way to the real 2nd office, just in time for lunch break. At 3PM we come back. I finally get to see our stuff and examine the contents with a customs officer. We then move on to the next office where I'm completely oblivious to the conversation that's happening in wolof (Fortunately my colleague speaks great wolof). We're asked to step out of the office because the computer isn't working right. We wonder for 15 minutes if we had somehow offended him or if really the computer doesn't work. We then find out from the 2 Senegalese guys helping us that he wants a $20 bribe to help us avoid paying customs on a sewing machine we shipped. My collegue informs them that we'll pay whatever the customs duties are even if it costs us more money. After another 10 minutes, we move on to the next office still unsure if they will insist on a bribe or if we had successfully called their bluff. After another 2 or 3 offices (I don't think it was 5), it's 5PM and we're finally loading up our stuff.

The big takeaway from the day. I've modified Dr. Hannah's advice for our transition to life in Senegal. "It is not possible to set your goals too low." This has perhaps been the most frustrating aspect of our transition. Absolutely everything takes longer and I'm not even sure why half the time. We read so many books on culture shock before leaving the US and during our time in France I thought, this culture shock stuff isn't as big a deal as people make it. After 1 month in Senegal, I think I might need to dig back through some of those books.

Although, the most important book we're needing to go back to is the example of Jesus in the Bible. The God who created the world became human. But Jesus handled all of the inefficiencies associated with this transition with patience and love. In one sense, we've had to lower our goals, i.e. it's going to take longer to get established than we thought. But in another sense, we're realized the need to always keep before us the ultimate goal which is far greater than what we can achieve on our own, that is the goal of imitating the example of Christ.

Philippians 2:5-11

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he as in the form of God, did not count equality with Goa a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exaleted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Why candle light is no longer romantic....

Because it means that the power is out...again! One of the most difficult things for me since moving into our house has been the power outages. Every night around 8 pm, the power goes out until around midnight, and then it is usually off and on through the night. Wayne wants to know why I'm whining when he is giving me whole candle lit evenings, not just a candle lit dinner :) Thankfully, this weekend we got a system installed in our house that involves 2 big car batteries and an inverter. The way it works (I think) is that when the power is on, the batteries charge, and then as soon as the power goes off, certain things in our house (ie. fans!) switch over automatically to the batteries. We are sooooo thankful to have this system installed as we can now have fans running all night (!!!!!) and have some light at night, as well has have our internet on and use our laptops when the power is out. Thank goodness for electricians who understand how the magic works!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

notre première nuit dans notre nouvelle maison

On a des collegues qui nous ont raconté de leur première nuit au Sénégal et qu'ils ont entendu un concert à un mosque près d'eux. J'ai commencé à me demander ce que nous empechera de s'endormir.

22h Je devine que ce sera le brebis qui habitent sur le toit de nos voisins
22h30 L'electricité est coupé et j'entends les générateurs de nos voisins. Ce bruit est mon deuxième hypothèse.
3h le courant reviens, J'entends encore les brebis.
3h30 C'est pas les brebis. Il fait chaud. Il fait 32 degrees dans la maison et l'air ne circule pas notre notre chambre.
5h Je crois que j'ai dormi pendant une heure. Maintenant mes yeux brulent (est-ce que je peux dire ça en français, mes yeux se font mal). Plus tard, on a realisé que c'était la moustiquaire qu'il faut n'utilse pas pour le 24 premieres heures à cause de quelque chose sur la moustiquaire pour tuer les moustiques. Je devine que si c'est assez fort pour presque tuer une personne, c'est assez fort pour tuer un moustique.

7h Je me suis reveillé de mon deuxième sieste d'une heure.

Heurusement, la situation s'est ameliorée. Il fait encore très chaud, specialement quand le courant est coupée et on n'a pas de ventilators. À ce moment là, il faut qu'on decide quelle piece a plus de vent et tout le monde y va. Mais, nous avons une bonne maison et nous commencons à s'installer.

Priez que nous soyone contents avec où sans électricité. Pendant les coupures d'électricité, c'est vraiment difficile à obeir à Phil 2.14, faites tout sans murmures ni contestations.

First night in our house

Some of our colleagues told us that their first night in their house in Senegal, they heard a concert at the nearby mosque that lasted all night long. It got me to wondering, what will keep us from sleeping our first night?

10:00 my first guess is the sheep that live on our neighbor's roof
10:30 power goes out and all our neighbor's generators crank up. my second guess is the noise from the generators.
3:00 the power comes back on, I hear the sheep again
3:30 not the sheep, it's just dang hot and sweat is dripping down my forehead because air doesn't circulate well in our room. it's around 90 degrees.

5:00 ok, I think I actually slept for an hour. But now my eyes are burning so I get up to talk a cold shower so I can cool off. We later found out that we were both in some pain because you're supposed to hang out your mosquito net for 24 hours before using because there's something on it to repel the mosquito's. I guess the logic is that's if it's strong enough to about kill you, it's strong enough to kill the mosquito's.

7:00 waking up from my 2nd 1 hour nap

Fortunately, it's gotten better. It's still hot and when the power is cut during the night, we have no fans and have to decide which room has the most breeze so we can all cram in there. But, we do have a nice house and are slowly settling in.

Please be praying for us to be content with or without power (is that a U2 song?). During the power cuts, the command in Philippians 2:14, "Do all things without grumbling and complaining" is incredibly difficult to obey.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Wouldn't have guessed that

We've only been here a couple weeks, but I've already noticed several things that are quite surprising.

First, there's an awful lot of pork and alcohol in the grocery stores.

Second, the definition of modesty. You would think that the women in any muslim country would always dress far more conservative than women in western countries. That's partially true here. Women don't show any of their legs. Miniskirts would be a definite no-no. But I've seen quite a few low-cut dresses and spaghetti strap shirts.

Third, in spite of the first 2, it really is a muslim country. My cell phone has an application I can turn on that will alert me for each of the prayer call times and even tell me which direction to pray.

Fourth, they really love soccer. OK, that's not a shock. But what is a shock is how this love for soccer seems to take precedent over everything. Most days involve the power being cut as they seek to not use too much electricity. I don't fully understand the why but I'm sure of the what. However, during the world cup games, the power is never cut and a friend told me the other day that there's an advertisement during the games that encourages people to not use household appliances during the games so they can conserve energy and not have to cut power during the games.

This last one is nice along as the world cup is on. Although, I'm afraid the power cuts are only going to get worse.