|My little friends|
|Maman and Assi (the 3 of us shared the room)|
I ate really well. Too well. Multiple women of the compound cooked for us, and one night I had the equivalent of three dinners served to me! My last night there, my "maman" decided to cook us up some red meat- a real specialty. This deviated greatly from the typical staple of "ceere" (sort of a ground up millet? I honestly still don't know exactly what it is), and she was pretty excited to prepare it for me. As its cooking was nearing a close, she gave me some to sample. Fat and gristle are welcomed in this society's palate, but I was able to eat my way through what she had handed me. What remained, I realized after eating away the interesting textured meat, was a goat tooth. She had cooked up part of a sheep skull for me. I chose to eat dinner that night outside under starlight, better lighting than a light bulb if you want to enjoy a meal that has potential to trigger the gag reflex. This may sound unappetizing, but really, the food was delicious and I ate way more than I needed!
|My maman: Fatou Ndeye|
|Our "back door": the cookfire is to the left of the tree|
I felt a sort of spiritual wall during my time there. I am pretty sure that I was the only Christian in the village, and I got used to my maman getting down on her prayer mat each day to pray towards Mecca. It was interesting, though, that every time I was about to or did pull out my Bible to read I would promptly get interrupted. I tested it sometimes, and would head over to my bag to pull out my Bible, only to have someone show up right then to stare at me, try to talk to me, play with me, or bring me somewhere. I kid you not, about 9 times out of 10 this would happen. And so when I did read, there was almost always someone there watching me or having a conversation around me making it difficult to focus on the French text I was reading. But God is faithful and I pray that I was somehow a light to my family there regardless of my inability to talk about my faith with them for lack of vocabulary. I can't help but think, though, about how many villages are like that in the world, complete people groups without a single believer in the One True God. And we are happy just sending a dollar here or there to help the spread of the Gospel? We are happy pursuing comfortable lifestyles and job security, knowing that at least we have a church? "Oh those poor people in Africa, starving physically and spiritually who have never heard of Peace in God. That's just too bad! Someone should help them, surely. But not me. I'm called to that which I know." But isn't that the whole point of trusting God? I hope and pray we don't miss the reason for our existence on earth. La vie est courte: for us and for those who have never heard Jesus's name. I'm praying that I will follow God wherever He leads. I want Him to teach me to go to the broken places, knowing that it will be hard but that in that difficulty God will be there. And that sweet communion with God is worth any sweat and tears shed along the way.