Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
One of the first difficult things for me to understand about Dagara culture was the fact that they don't have a clear line regarding marriage. One's marriage becomes legitimate over time as various requirements are met. A bride price has to be paid. A child has to be conceived and born. But there is no ceremony that says, "Before, this couple was not married, but NOW they are."
This is why I really enjoyed celebrating Yawmbacere's marriage to Kristine in Nakar today - they are the two with their hands being raised like they just won a boxing match. Yawmbacere has had a wife for years before he became a Christian and now he wants to make the promise before God and the whole Nakar church to be the kind of husband God made him to be. As testimony to the fact that they have no precedent for this, they asked, AT THE CEREMONY, not before, if I or Donatien or Severen knew how to do one of these things. I gave Donatien a few ideas and he went with them well.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I hate to confess my whininess, but honestly I was dreading heading out to Didoro today. I hold nothing against Didoro. It's just that it's the furthest village from us - not by distance, but by time because the road is so bad (2 hours each way). It's so bad I usually suggest that Andrea and the kids stay at home. As it turned out this time, I needed the space in the truck. The western cluster of churches (Nakar, Nyinyime, V2, Didoro, V8) has decided to start a series of cluster-wide worship services. It was God's providence that on a day that I was feeling like a baby, He showed me what great things He was doing without any great effort on my part. I first saw a lady I recognized from Nakar on the side of the road. She wanted a ride to Didoro, then I saw Eric from Nyinyime and picked him up. I gave a ride for 6 people back to their various villages afterward. 150 adults and many children from at least 5 villages were there.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
In Wajiele, they told us that they had met already earlier that morning and waited for us, even though we've never come before 11:00a.m. While waiting on folks to show we read the new bilingual Dagara / French newspaper, Daa-yi and picked "grapes," the exact opposite of seedless - one might even call them fruitless. Anyway, even though the grapes have little, what they have, they give. The lesson in Wa-jiele was on giving, always a touchy subject for me, since I am from the richest nation on earth, and these are Christians among the third poorest nation on earth. Anyway, what I've come to understand in teaching about giving is that the idea that giving should correspond in any way to how God has blessed you (i.e., a tithe or other percentage like that) is totally foreign. They just toss in the lowest denomination of coin they have with them. It's not much up from that to a tithe, but the difference is as much a challenge to their faith as it is to ours. The church in Wa-jiele also saw the importance of the church having a little money to help someone in their community that may need medicine or something. Pray that, as the Dagara test God out to see what happens when they give sacrificially, God would pour out abundant blessings on them.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Once again, we showed up for church, and they had already met. However, they were hard at work literally building up the church (or at least the building). I would have offered what little help I could give but it was just the kids and I, and there was an open well on the property (no walls or anything, just a hole about three feet in diameter and at least 15 feet deep). Needless to say, I was not going to let the kids out of my sight while I was there. Pray that they are able to complete enough of it before it rains and ruins the mud bricks.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I was convicted some recently by the comment one of my teammates said about his role on the team. He said, “I'm never going to ask them to stop evangelizing, so I'm not ever going to say, 'I've moved on to just leadership training.'” After reflecting on this thought and praying that I'm not quenching the feeble flame for evangelism by stepping into a place that a Dagara leader should be, I went ahead and decided that I could go ahead with Nyikpier's offer to preach in Sorkawn. I was also secretly worried that Kpezuo would just not go if I didn't. I'm actually hoping to do this one together with Kpezuo. Kpezuo is supposed to talk to the ladies from Sorkawn this week to see if they can setup a meeting time and place in Sorkawn. By continuing to involve him as a liaison I hope to model for him some better methods for evangelism that will instill core values, like having whole families in the church, from the beginning.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
They said, “What about your church?”
“What church are you talking about?”
“You know, the church with you and Andy, and Chad in it?”
. . . well, their reaction took me by surprise. I told them I would pray about it.