Africa Journal: Day 6 – January 1, 2009

* Sorry for my brief hiatus, I’ve been in Columbus, Georgia since Thursday leading at a youth Disciple Now for a great church and a great friend there, and had no time to sit and write a new post, so I’ll start back up where I left off … hope everyone’s weekend was great!*

From my journal:

” … how cool to wake up this morning and start a new year in Africa.  I woke up to the bluest sky I have ever seen.  There is a window cut out of the wall just above my head in this old 3 room radio building that we slept in last night . . . and as my eyes opened this morning the contrast between the VERY neutral walls and ceiling, and the blue sky was crazy!  Not only did I wake to a blue sky, but to the sounds of goats, donkeys, roosters, and somewhere off in the distance children already playing and laughing.

We spent this morning after breakfast in prayer with our team, and then prayer walking through the village, just meeting and greeting people.  How different the culture is! People in the US could be very rude if you just walked up into their yard and tried to talk with them, but these people are SO nice and welcoming.

I’m learning quickly that we cannot go anywhere without a crowd of children following you . . . and I love it!  These kids are beautiful, and they have such a vibrancy about them. They want to touch you, hold your hand … and for me, they like to rub the hair on my arms!  Funny, and a little weird, not gonna lie!

I made a sweet friend today, his name is Vey.  He was my teacher … as we were walking/praying through the village I would point to things and ask “name?” and he would teach me (once he figured out what I was doing, he was pointing to everything to try to get me to say it) and then laugh at my attempts.

After we returned from prayer walking today, the guys set out to play soccer or “football.”  We had the “ball of many colors” that showed us about a perfect God, our sinful nature, Christ’s blood to pay for our sins and the opportunity we have to be cleansed.  If you choose to accept Him you then are called to grow in Him …

I got to share with the children, about 30-40 about the love of Jesus and their need for Him, what a joy! A seed planted.

After playing soccer for a while and helping the missionary family that was also visiting put on a skit of David and Goliath, Bakumba (she is a cook that came with us from Bamako, and will be here for our first week) made us another great Malian meal: rice, cabbage, eggplant, pumpkin and goat.  It was very good.

Tonight we are going to a neighboring village to show the Jesus film for the first time, I’m excited to see that!

Father, tonight, send Your Spirit down over our group and on these people.  Show up HUGE! …”

It was such a blessing to get to start actual ministry with the people of Mali.  I remember thinking that on New Year’s Day . . . . we had prayed for them, and studied the culture, but now we were actually there among them sharing the love of Christ in practical ways, and just loving them the way that we best knew how.

Also on this day, while we were prayer walking we visited the health clinic in Sebekoro, saw their “hospital beds” and the room where surgeries were performed and babies were born …

I’ll never forget the excitement on the faces of some of those boys when we pulled out the soccer equipment … they would ask us for the rest of the week “futbol?” They LOVE soccer . . . and we loved playing it with them and having the opportunity to share Christ with them through the love of a sport.

Re–reading the journal entry for today, and having just experienced some of the things that we did at the youth retreat this weekend makes me think a lot more about how I can be sharing Christ in my everyday life … not just on a mission trip, or at a church event, but in my everyday because I’m not called to go and make disciples just when it is comfortable or easy for me … just thoughts.

-E

Our cook, Bakumba:

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A Malian meal:

img_0349One of the hospital beds:

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Soccer:

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Mark and Michele (our interpreter)  sharing with the Ball of many colors:

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