Grab the head with the grains. Cut it off. Grab. Cut. Grab. Cut. Make your way through the field. Grab. Cut. Grab. Cut. That’s what we were up to on Wednesday. Last week was the first time I ever helped cultivate millet, the grain you see us picking in the picture above. It was actually easier and less back-breaking than I was expecting! The men go through the field first, trampling the stalks down so that the millet grains are easier to reach instead of towering over your head. Then it’s a mainly woman’s job to go through and cut the heads with the grain off. When they have a handful, they hand it off to a kid nearby, who will take it over to the pile and add it to the other handfuls already picked. And so it continues, with the women combing through the field together, harvesting the crop from this year.
Harvesting millet was one of the new adventures my teammate Jen and I had as we spent our first overnight in My Village. If we changed our outfits, we might have looked a lot like those who celebrated the first Thanksgiving – harvesting a crop together, grateful for the provision for the year to come.
Do you remember how in a previous blog post I said that they had picked out houses for us to live in temporarily? Well, we had assumed that each of us would have our own house, but that assumption proved to be false. Instead we each shared a house with a woman and her children. (In Our Village the husbands and wives often have different houses in the same courtyard.) So in my house (see the picture) there is a mother-figure, a grandmother-figure, two teenage girls, a little girl, maybe a little boy, and me all sleeping in it. The mom and grandma and the little boy (if he sleeps there) are in the bedroom, and the other 4 of us are in the living room. Not quite what we had in mind, but it was what God had in mind so we know that it’s best. And it’s also why we’re just spending a night or two in a row out there for now, and then we’ll be planning on having our own houses built sometime in the near future. (And yes, there is a shower-room in the house, but no, there is no toilet in the house. The squatty potty is outside across the courtyard. And any water you need is gotten at the village pump/well.) But even a night or two at a time is enough for us to start to build relationships, learn culture, and learn language. It’s those first baby steps that we’re taking.
Thanks for continuing to be an important part of this adventure that God has me on to reach Our People with the gospel! I couldn’t be here without your prayers, support, encouragement, etc. I’m so thankful for you, and for God continuing to lead me one baby step at a time.