Africa Journal: Day 14 – January 9, 2009

From my journal:

” … this was my last morning to wake up in the bush.  I pray  that You would give me a broken heart for the lost in the world.  Continue to bring to my mind the people in Seboccoro and Bangassi as well as the new believers in Marena …

God there are so many things to be learned from these past 2 weeks.  Continue to burn those lessons into my heart and mind to continue to transform me into the man that you created me to be.  Father, teach me to recognize temptation and the work of the adversary, and to counteract it with strength and power from Your Word.  Teach me to make decisions in Your Spirit and not in my flesh.

Thank you for Your beauty, for this sunrise, for the sounds of Mali!  Thank you for Your work around the world, and for the invitation that You have given us to be a part of it.  What a blessing and honor.  Help us to see that our “duty” here  is not done.  You have called us to these people, and now more than ever, as we leave with many new believers here, it is vital that we pray for them and their spiritual growth/journey.  Send them a national pastor.  Raise up a young leader who can rightly divide the Word of truth into their lives, love them and shepherd them.  Help these new believers to have assurance that You are who You say You are!  That their lives would be evidently different, and that You begin to produce fruit in their lives that shows and proves the power of Jesus for Your glory and fame, not for anything we’ve done, but for Your renown …”

I just remember spending most of the morning praying … that’s what my journal was today, just prayer.  I remember walking back from the place where I had been doing my morning quiet time, greeting the people in their courtyards as I passed and praying that God would be real to them.  Then, as I packed my bins, and as we packed up camp, hugging and playing with kids, and praying that these kids would grow to know Jesus.

It was definitely bitter-sweet pulling away from Bangassi that morning.  There was a spirit of celebration among our team as we recounted what God had done over the last 2 weeks, but sad that we were having to leave our new friends.  It was neat to pass back through/by the villages we had visited this week, to go back through the checkpoint that we had such a “close call” at just a week ago and to see how God had constantly been at work among us.

We arrived back to the guest house in Bamako, unloaded our things and started showers!  Woo-hoo … we had been taking “bucket baths” for the last two weeks, so running water and flushing toilets were awesome … After everyone had an opportunity to clean up, we walked a few blocks to a restaurant for a team meal … shis-ke-babs.  Very tasty.   We spent some good team time that evening around the dinner table sharing our best and most difficult moments from the trip.

What a blessing to see what God had done in the lives of my team members over the last few weeks!

-E

Last morning sunrise … pictures don’t do them justice:

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Packing the truck to leave:

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Our team at the dinner table:

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