Monday, November 23, 2009

Finally in Senegal

Finally, we are back on line and can start reporting to you all. Just a reminder that this is where I’ll be putting up prayer requests, experiences in our work, and progress reports for what is happening in the different villages in which God gives us to work.

We are now in Kaffrine and very happy to be here. It is warmer than what we were used to in the US, so we are still adjusting. Unpacking is going well and most things have done OK with the long storage time. I have had to repair one table and everything needs a good coat of varnish to protect it, but all in good time. We’ve also needed to have some windows installed along with mosquito screen, but enough of the mundane.

Andy has made some neat friends around town. There are a group of young guys from various villages in the area who have given their hearts to Jesus. He sometimes hangs out with them to learn Wolof and get out of the house. The other day, he went with a friend to the market to buy his own Arabic tea set. Later that day, his friend “xiim-ed” the tea for him in Andy’s first lesson in tea brewing. “Xiim” is the verb in Wolof used exclusively for the brewing of tea. One then can assume the importance of tea in Wolof culture. All these new things can make a 15 year old young man pretty tired. The heat, the language, the culture, the friends… the list could on and on, all while the house is still littered with boxes and barrels. He is doing really well, but pray for his stamina and that he will stay interested.

Yesterday, I preached in Wolof for the first time in years. There is an Assemblies of God “church” here in Kaffrine. I put church in quotations because I want you to understand that though there is a building and believers meet there on Sundays, there are almost no local folks attending. The service is held in French mostly with occasional forays into Wolof. It is very western in its style of worship and thus unwelcoming to Muslim Wolof. We attended last week with a colleague who had asked me to go in case she was asked to lead singing. She wanted to be able to turn and ask me to lead instead. So I did. At the end of that service, the pastor asked me to preach the following week. So yesterday, I led the singing again and preached – all in Wolof. It was fun in some ways, but I felt out of place. You see, God has called us to reach the Wolof and while I’m happy to serve where I can and when I can, preaching there isn’t the best route to take in doing what God has called us to do.

One cool thing to report is that God seems to opening the doors already in at least one village where we hope to work. I needed a mason to install a door for me in the house here. So, my motorcycle tire went flat. I took it to the guys who repair tires close to my house here and met a guy who is a mason. I hired him on the spot. It turned out that he is from a village out towards to southwest of Kaffrine. We’ll call it Hotlanta (if you come visit us, you’ll get the joke). While he was working, we were chatting about how God takes care of us and I asked him if he was interested in him and his village hearing the chronological stories. He said that he was. So, I hope to meet the village chief soon and ask permission. Please pray for all of this and pray that God would show us the villages that He wants us to work in.