Africa Journal: Day 2 – December 28, 2009

From my journal:

“…Lord, I trust that You have amazing things prepared WAY in advance for me and for this trip.  I pray that You would help me to see where those appointments are, to move beyond myself to allow You to work, and to strip every ounce of price away from myself, let my fear and doubt be completely replaced by Your power and boldness in Your Word …

For some reason today, I’ve begun to get really worried and fearful about not being able to communicate clearly, especially knowing that I’ll be communicating primarily through translators.  I’m praying that in the situations that God puts me in to share my faith, that He would supernaturally come upon me to speak the truth of Christ to these people.  …”

I remember that great sense of anxiety and fear that came upon me that day … one day before we actually flew out to Africa, and I was being attacked with the lie that I wasn’t going to be able to communicate God’s love to these people in an effective manner.  I was worried about the potential difficulties of working with translators, etc., etc.  … Boy was it an un-merited fear! I believe this for a few reasons: 1) a simple smile, or sitting to have tea, or playing a game of soccer spoke volumes to these people.  Connecting to them by looking them in the eye and sharing an “aha moment” as I taught them to say “bicycle” and they taught me to say “negaso” (bicycle), holding the hand of a child as we walked through the village or, taking a photo with the children … those were the moments where cultural barriers were broken down, and God’s love began to shine through. 2) We were initially supposed to have 3 translators on our trip, but due to unforeseen circumstances, we ended up with only 1 translator for the 2 weeks.  His name was Michele and he was amazing.  He did the job that 3 people were supposed to do for 2 weeks straight, and we found out at the end of the trip that he had malaria and had been very ill for the last week, all the while pressing on to help us spread the love of Christ to the Fulanke and Kogoro.

During our trip I had the opportunity several times, with Michele, to share with a group of people the story of Christ and His great love for them.  Once by using an evangelism soccer ball, and a few other times using an illustration with the cross.  As I shared and Michele interpreted, it was amazing to see the children of the villlages engage, and seem to understand.  Although we didn’t have a swarm of decisions from the children, I know that those were seeds planted…

I left the mission field feeling like I had done what I had been called to do.  I had been obedient to share when prompted by the Lord, but most of all I communicated the love of God to those people by loving them … and that communication surpasses all barriers: language, culture, tradition, skin color, etc.

I’m so thankful that God uses us even when we don’t think he can, or are fearful that we will fail ( … I’ve learned that if I try to do things on my own, I’ll always fail … like John 15:5 says ‘… apart from me you can do nothing.”)

Well, it’s late, and I’m trying to get this in while it is still “today.” Hope some of this made sense!

-E

Our interpreter Michele:

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Comments
One Response to “Africa Journal: Day 2 – December 28, 2009”
  1. Fran says:

    Eric – I am really enjoying reading these accounts.

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