As we prepare for our trip next week, I was realizing that travel is becoming a normal part of life and ministry for us. Our travels bring us all over West Africa and sometimes even beyond that. There are some who might wonder why we so often “hit the road” and “take to the skies”. So I decided to write about some of the different reasons that bring us to travel…
- To provide fellowship and encouragement to those who live in isolation…sometimes it is just nice to hear a little English!
- To be a listening ear
- To see if there is any way we can lighten the load.
- To provide new ideas in Culture and Language Learning – It is easy in language study that often takes many years to get in a rut of activities and sometimes a new set of ideas and activities is what is needed to renew motivation.
- To help people see the progress being made and the next steps that need to be taken.
- To be the bad guy…imagine a kid invited to do something that they don’t want to do, so instead of saying no they just say that their Dad wouldn’t allow them to. They are able to express their opinion without jeopardizing their relationship (okay a little exaggerated, but you get the point). This process is actually very culturally appropriate here. Sometimes it is necessary for something to come from the leadership of a mission to leadership of the village so that it doesn’t hinder the relationships of the missionaries there. Or sometimes it is just to help train and direct a new language helper in a way that shows them respect and keeps their relationship with the language learner strong.
- To give an outside perspective to whatever might be taking place in the village.
- To Provide Practical Help, whether that be computers, solar systems, and so much more.
Just a little peek into one large piece of our ministry here in West Africa. It is our way of helping support those in hard places to keep up the work and press forward in the mission God has called us to, that is, to see his truth reach out to all the peoples of the earth.