So its now 9:30 pm. After my nearly 2-hour nap in 107 degree, power-out-air-deadstill siesta time, I’m wired and doubt I’ll be able to sleep any time soon. The church next door is having a revival, so I suspect I would be hearing plenty of noise anyway.
I’ll tell you about the day, but first have to relate our adventure in getting to dinner and home again. We began by purchasing a phone card from a vendor on the street just outside where we’re staying. All the directions are in French, but we managed to get the minutes loaded into the phone Jerry left for us to use. But . . . something still doesn’t work because we can’t seem to successfully place calls. We had hoped to call Daniel Delma to see what a taxi would cost – and to perhaps have him tell the driver where we were going for dinner.
Despite having no options at communication besides our wits and my patetique French, we decided to be adventurous and take a taxi to the Vert Doyant restaurant. We found a landmark near our house to tell the taxi driver on the return trip and flagged down a taxi. The driver spoke not a word of English (or Spanish, can you imagine?) but seemed to know the restaurant. The dust on the street is like tule fog, obscuring much of what is ahead. And what is ahead are hundreds and thousands of bicycles and motos. People driving crazily and seemingly coming out of nowhere daring you to hit them. We arrived at the restaurant without incident, to find the power out, but assured that they could still produce anything we might want (and they did!). When the lights came on just as we were leaving, I was shocked to see the whole place full of white people (none of whom were speaking English)! Uneventful taxi ride back to our house.
We began today at a meeting of the National leaders for the Assemblies of God church in Burkina. Josh had been invited to speak on unity, and he spoke well from I Corinthians. Here’s what amazes me: all the leaders of the National church meet every 90 days to pray and plan and evaluate what God is doing and has done since they last met. At each meeting, they ask His counsel and look for areas they need to change or any plans in place that need modification. They also consider the needs of individual churches and pastors. I was completley unprepared for – and greatly impressed by, their attention to detail and exceptional organization. The devotional given by one of the leaders focused on leadership and leading by example. One of the specific illustrations he used was maintaining integrity in handling financial matters. Pastor Daniel Delma is a living example of that integrity. We (Grace Church Long Beach) had wired him several thousand dollars for various projects and he had every single dollar accounted for. He is truly a trustworthy man!
Realizing that this year’s harvest was bad, we asked what percentage of bush pastors were suffering from hunger. Daniel said, “100%.” By the end of May, most of the people will be out of food. By July and August, grain will be virtually impossible to find and buy – and what is available will carry exhorbitant cost. We bought 160 bags of grain today and the National assembly will make the determination as to who is the neediest and who will receive the grain. It is staggering to realize that one bag of grain can feed a family of 5 for a whole month – and the cost for that (220 lb) bag of grain . . . $26. For want of $26 per month, entire families will starve. Its difficult to imagine, but reality. I spend twice that amount on just coffee and bagels every month. We spent more on a single meal for 3 of us tonight.
It isn’t right, is it?