Friday, August 20, 2010

Letters from Africa

This is an email newsletter I received this morning from a former colleague in West Africa.

Tuesday, I found myself in the “sitting room” of a common home/dwelling here in West Africa.  It is called a chambre/salon which translates into a sitting room and a bedroom.  Most everyone cooks outside, bathes outside, and the outhouse is of course also found outside.  These two room homes are usually adjoining and one right after the other in a long building. Each 2 room house can support from one person to a family of 6 or more. The sitting room might be 8 by 10, and each of these homes share a common courtyard. 

Three men came from Ouaga, and I and another pastor came from the south.
We had driven about 9 hours to arrive and the folks from Ouaga had driven 4.  This particular home is the home of a man that has been working in the “border town,” and is the pastor of a small Baptist church start.  I listened as the men became acquainted, and I heard the names of missionaries that had come before me and had been a part of forming these particular men.  I acknowledged before God all the ground that had been broken before I ever arrived on the scene and the many, many seeds that had been planted. Not to mention the discipleship time that had been invested to bring us to this moment
in time.    

We all recognized that this meeting was not by chance and was ordained by God.  I then listened as they each broke into spontaneous song and prayer just to thank God that we had all converged on this town, at this time, and with the vision to reach the lost.  It was an amazing spirit filled moment.

As we continued in conversation, the discouragement on the part of the pastor was clear.  He has been working in the town for 3 years and fast approaching the end of his support. His head was hanging down, and he appeared to be close to broken.  I think our visit, purposefully searching him out, and the vision that was cast were the jump start that his heart so desperately desired.  He expressed how he was ready to throw in the towel, and one of the pastors among the group came along side to say, “You can’t give up.  These baby Christians need to be nourished.” 

We then shared with him our vision for the truck drivers and modeled the method of sharing the stories.  He was enthralled.  The next step was to take to the streets to the real classroom.  The first driver that they came across, politely listened, but he really had no interest.  The second driver accepted Christ. 

You can perceive a fear by many to approach a Muslim.  What was modeled that day was obedience no matter the setting.  Stop the Press!  As I am typing at this moment, I have just received a text message from the Pastor in the border town.  He message says, “2 young women just accepted Christ while he was sharing the stories.”  Looks like his boldness has been spurred on. :-)

I’m still not sure what the Lord has in the works for this location.
This pastor is encouraged and committed to lead us to the people that can be trained to reach the truck drivers.  We wait with anticipation on how the Lord will provide the support for this man and his family.  It would be easy for me to step up and support him for this work, but one of the critical elements to reaching the lost in a way that can be sustained and reproduced is for our African brothers and sisters to take ownership in vision, the method, and how it is financially accomplished.
Waiting is not my strong suit.

Pray with me;

*    If this is where the Lord would have Pastor M*** stay, hissupport will be revealed.
*    Pray that the Lord will reveal to M***  and to us the men tobe trained to reach the truck drivers.

Your prayers have been monumental.  Please continue to pray for the “border town.”  There are great things in store.
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