Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 2 ~ I wish I had a Camel

          The next morning we returned to Dian. However, there were no people to be found! Apparently, God sent the rain and the rain sent the people into the fields. We found the chief’s field and went out to meet him. He said that it would be hard to gather people, because the work was not hard, so they would be working until night. He did go and attempt to call people though and we went to wait in his courtyard. The people that came to meet were the people who were unable to farm plus the chief and a few other guys who were interested. We retold the story of God creating the world and went to Jesus ascending into Heaven. This day was just like the day before; the people who gathered listened eagerly! We explained the entire gospel and told them how to seek after God. We told them that He would send His spirit to guide them. They replied with, “You should come again to continue telling us”. To that we answered, “No one may ever come to you again, you can not wait and put this off”.  We explained that we did not know if we or anyone else would ever be back and that they could not rely on that. One old man responded with something that I could not argue with. He said, “If we easily change our minds and decided to follow Jesus today, then we might be easily swayed again another day. So we can not just decide this in one day”. The man had a good point. We answered him with more stories from God’s word, telling him not to wait too long because when he dies or when Jesus comes back it will be too late and that no one knows when there time on earth will be finished. With that we left the ball in their court, knowing the truth and how to follow the Jesus road had been explained, without the expectation of more missionaries coming. Otherwise they might wait for others to come tell them more and never decide to follow Jesus.
            Backtracking a bit, we returned through Zon and Pohon in search of the village of Ourodourou. After traveling most of the morning, we found ourselves with a flat tire in the middle of a field. Most fields are right outside the village with a few fields lying further away. In this situation, we were between two villages, but we seemed to be in between those “further away” fields. Having a flat tire here is no different then having a flat tire in the States, or anywhere else; however, we quickly discovered that we had no tire iron. This changes the situation; there are no tow trucks to call in the bush. Being that many people were in the fields and had donkeys, I suggested tying up a few donkeys and having them pull us into town. But, Lamiene (the driver) did not think that was the best idea. Honestly, I just thought it would make a neat picture. It took the entire afternoon to get the tired changed and fixed, which put us at Ourodourou right at sunset.
            We unloaded the truck and greeted the chief, then sat to rest. This village had lots of camels! The wells in this entire area were really deep, so they kids would commonly use donkeys to pull buckets of water up; but this village used camels. I think that made us all happy. Camels just made us all happy on this trip. It seemed that they used camels for everything! This fact is only exciting if you have not been around camels much, and are intrigued by them and their noises. One time there were about ten camels sitting in a row. Then a bunch of kids ran up and took shelter behind the camels, using them as shields during a camel poop fight. They would jump up and throw their stinky ammo then duck down and hide to reload.
While talking with the men, we learned that Ourodourou is the common name for all the villages in the area and the village that we were actually looking for was another 7-8 miles (30-40 min) further. This seemed a little disappointing, as we were obviously off our planned route! Ha, as if our plans really mattered anyway! That night after dinner many people gathered and we told stories from God’s word. We always started with the Creation to Return story, because this story covers the entire gospel. It seems pointless to go so far and simply tell people a neat story about Jesus. After all, Muslims accredit Jesus with being a very good profit that did many good things, so the fact that He healed people is not far fetched for them. But mention that God and Jesus are the same and you will get their attention, they might just even walk away. After the story we began asking question that are intended to get them to think about the story and apply it. However, we Americans made that idea up and it does not really work in African culture. Instead, they kept asking the two Christians (this village has a church and some believers) what a good answer would be. So, we stopped the questions and told them more truth about God and answered any real questions that they had. After a few hours of this (it was near midnight) a few people asked if we could be done because everyone was tired from working in the fields all day. I couldn’t stand the idea of leaving them without knowing that they understood how to follow the Jesus road, incase they decided to follow after we had left and did not understand. I explained a little more until everyone was about to fall asleep, then as I was telling them goodnight a woman spoke up behind me. She said, “I am old. Can I follow Jesus?” I responded, “The Jesus road is for the young and the old, of course you can follow it!” I started to ask her questions, just to make sure she understood. After the first question she interrupted me saying, “But what if I just believe. Can I just believe?” I said, “Well, sure you can!”
            The next morning, while we were saying our goodbyes the woman who accepted Christ came up. We did not recognize her, because it was dark the night before and we could not see her face. She told us that she had gone home and told her whole family about what had happened and the choice she made. Then she told us that her daughter and older sister wanted to follow the Jesus road too. We were amazed at what God had done. Seriously, isn’t that amazing! God literally had someone forget to put the tire iron back in the truck so that He could have us run over a thorn (a big thorn) in the middle of a field. He did this to throw us off our plan so we would stay in this village so this woman could hear; and within hours she made disciples! I wish I could say the same thing for my own life! I think the reason that I can’t is because I usually make it all about me. It’s hard when it is all in my hands! If I have to confront someone and tell them all about Jesus, then I have to lead them in a prayer and all that mess; besides, anyone can say a prayer so what does that even prove? I just now understand that it really is not about me at all! The only part that involves me is that I have to be willing, then just sit back and enjoy the ride. I told the same stories that we all have in our house right now and God used His word and His spirit to speak to the hearts of His people. If we are just willing and if we let go, then there is no limit to what God can do through us! 

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