Before we left the states I told a lot of people about how I would be utilizing this blog frequently. After arriving in Senegal I said the same thing to a fellow missionary who was ahead of us in language training. His response to me was “good luck”. “Luck” has not been on my side and I apologize for failing to keep all of you informed. I still praise God that we are busy (I really do), but we find ourselves exhausted more often than not. I still plan to get better at updating this more frequently with smaller doses of info. Please pray that I can be a good communicator.
Well, This morning I responded to a message from a dear friend. I know that he is someone that loves me and believes in the work we are a part of. Because of that, a simple response turned into a half decent ministry update that I thought others might find interesting. After sending the message to my friend I figured I would chop out some of the more personal parts and post it on the blog. So, please forgive the lack of structure, grammar and spelling. Thanks everybody!
Thanks for praying for spiritual feeding! It’s true that we need it. Sermons here are still impossible especially while restraining our kids for 2 hours. I have somewhat of a routine with my scripture reading but I still find myself putting my headphones on and cranking up the French recordings before picking up my Bible. then I have a choice to make; Stop listening and pick up my Bible or just keep going with the French. I never feel like I’m caught up with language so i feel like I need to always be studying. Christ IS the balance so……..I need him above all else.
I have been working with my new language helper now for 3 weeks and it is difficult to explain what that is like. On one hand I feel like I’m drowning in the French language and on the other hand I’m praising God for giving me a young man that feels so much like a buddy that i can just hang out with and goof off a little. Its fun to have someone to laugh with when I totally butcher the language and not feel like I’m frustrating him or offending him.
I walk about 3 miles most days back and forth from class. This has been great for strengthening my relationships with people around our neighborhood and building new ones with strangers that I pass everyday along the route. It gives me a chance to speak and also have glimpses into their culture. For us in the states valuable time together mostly consists of what we talk about. But here, It means more to people for you to just be with them. If I can just stand with somebody and show them that I want to be with them, talking or not, it means a ton to them. However this has lead to a heavy burden on my heart. I can now see how the dominate religion dictates the manifestation of life here. Its another things that is difficult for me communicate. As an American I see so many things here that are scary and make me angry. I see other things that I marvel and wonder, how and why are these people so good at taking care of each other. They truly live as a community, in a way that America will never ever be able to. But then again, Americans rarely disable busses to create a road block for protesting. Like I said its a difficult thing to explain.
All that to say, when our soul parts from our feeble bodies, God will not be looking at how well we lived in communities but he will be looking for the blood of Christ; something that not even the most devout of religious men can muster up themselves. I find myself caring for these people. But for now God has some things to teach me. He’s juicing up my faith and showing me that this is all about what He is doing. God has never needed me and He still doesn’t. But in the states I could share my faith in words. I can’t do that right now. I get to just trust that God is doing what he has always been doing. Making his name known on this earth and building a people for Himself.
Given some of the current world events, please pray for us. I have been reading through Matthew and this verse has been captivating me lately. “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Perhaps for the time being it is good that I can’t talk. I don’t know how to be wise in Senegal, but I trust that may be exactly what God is work out in me during this time.
Shwew! ok. Thats a big message. Maybe I needed to get that all out. Thank you brother for your continued prayer for my family. We are also aching over the distance that is between us and the reality of it is growing each day. But hey, life is but a breath. Lets not waste it. Tell the family we said hi and I still plan to give you a call sometime because I know there is still a lot to talk about on your end. Later my friend.