One of the things that has changed drastically for us when we moved to Africa was the amount of times our doorbell rings. When we were in the states we would go usually all day without hearing the doorbell. Those days here are rare for us.
How many times does our Doorbell ring (just an example)?
8:30 Doorbell – Garbage donkey here to get our trash
9:00 Doorbell – Three women coming with empty water buckets to fill
9:15 Doorbell – The man who lives next door who gets a bucket of water a day from us since his house has no water.
11:00 Doorbell – Abe stopping by to visit with Joel and stay for lunch
11:15 Doorbell – Boys from the neighborhood wanting their ball pumped up.
4:00 Doorbell – Girl from our church stopping by to say hi to our family
5:00 Doorbell – Man from our neighborhood who didn’t have anything to eat that day (I knew there was a reason we had leftovers that day).
8:30 Honk of the Car – Joel is home from church with two visitors who will now be staying for dinner. I already gave our leftovers away so it looks like I will be “throwing” together another meal at 8:30.
10:00 —-ALL VISITORS GONE—- a moment of silence and calm, or maybe we should just sleep!
When the Doorbell Ring…
Most often I find myself screaming on the inside. Who will I find at the door this time? How much of my time will it take up? Will I get anything done today? Yesterday as I was talking to Cecil about what makes missionaries effective here. This is what she told me, “It is the rare few who love the people here and who learn how to show their love in our way.”
If I could speak all the languages of the earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy and knowledge and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrifice my body, I could boast about it, but if I didn’t love others I would have gained nothing.
For me this was the message that I needed to hear. The most important thing for us is to love the people and how will we love them if we don’t take the time to interact with them. THAT IS WHY WE ARE HERE!!! It is easy to forget as we get easily wrapped up in other things or frustrated in our efforts to figure out how to love the people here. It is true that we are working of French and Wolof to be able to better communicate and that is important but NOT at the cost of our relationships. The writer of our language program says that it is not a language to learn, it is a people to love. Relationships are the key and the basis of ministry. SO…when the doorbell rings... it is true that my day will probably be completely rearranged, but the opportunities it might open up are more important anyway. God usually has a better arrangement for my day.
How You Can Pray This Week
We are in the hot miserable season and for the past few weeks there has been one of us sick at almost every moment. Fevers and heat don’t mix well…trust me. Pray for health and strength in the heat and humidity. This is always our hardest season of the year physically.