Monday, June 20, 2011

Week 4 in Africa

In a place where privacy is harder to come by than a Panera, I’ve found my “happy place” by myself underneath a mosquito net each night. By the time the sun sets each night, Erin and I have set up our mats outside the house, hung big white mosquito nets over them, and crawled inside. Although we sometimes get the occasional curious old woman or happy child visitor, I can pretty much guarantee that when my sweaty head hits the pillow at night, I will have until sunrise to spend with my thoughts and the Lord. It’s at those times, staring up at the stars and listening to neighboring donkeys, that my heart overflows with an odd mixture of love and pain for the people of this village.

Imagine never even hearing the name of Yesu before in your life. Imagine living your entire life being told one thing about the Son of God, never to be told otherwise. How can you know and believe unless you hear? I have seen this firsthand, and my heart is broken for the people of this lost village. When I ask the people if they know who Yesu is, they think I’m asking them about next year- yeesi! Many have never even heard of His name! As I attempt to strangle out some Zarma words to explain the reason why we have come to their village, they wait with eager ears. I love these sweet and welcoming people so, so much… and yet my weakness limits me from sharing to the fullest with a people who have never even heard His name!

The good news is that I am not here to display my strength of language to a lost and dying people. I am not in this village to proclaim good things about myself or to prove my own abilities. I am here to proclaim good things about Yesu, and to share it with a people group who may never have had an opportunity to hear of it. I am simply a loudspeaker for a God who, in His mighty strength and sovereignty, has already been working on their hearts for years and years! Who might have softened hearts, ready and willing to accept if they could only hear? I love these people, and I long for them to hear truth. How can they hear without someone preaching to them?

Hamisa, anyone?

In those special times under the stars & a mosquito net, I pray diligently for the people in my village. The prayers we are offering up are not void- they are producing results! Erin & I are learning to thrive in the village, and we have found it to be almost like home. We are being led to groups of women who seem to be interested in hearing more about the Gospel, and people are being introduced to Jesus! Celebrate that with us, and continue to pray fervently for their hearts to desire Yesu, the promised Messiah. We are thankful for all that He has done so far, and we can’t wait to spend one more month with the people!

Dust storms temporarily drop the temperature 30 degrees- thank the good Lord Jesus!!!

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