Rick Gregory, Writer

Translating Messages From Heads To Hearts

Thursday in Ouagadougou (3/6/08)

This morning we went to Koubri Bible School, about 30 minutes outside of the city. Josh preached at the main chapel service and Julie spoke to the women just prior to the main chapel. Afterwards, we attended one of the classes for the graduating group (they graduate in 51 days), who will soon be returning to their villages. Josh taught again, this time from I Timothy, and then we had nearly an hour for answering questions. Most of them were excellent questions, focused on what living out the Christian looks like in practice. From the sound of it, the school is every bit as rigorous as any Bible school in the US.

What really impressed me about the school is that all the students live together with their families in community. Each family is responsible to farm part of the common garden from which comes the bulk of their food. The women are all trained in some sort of craft like weaving, so that they can have a skill with which to augment the family income. Each year, the graduating women weave a special color fabric from which the graduation skirts are made. This year it is a black/white striped fabric.

Lunch at the Bible school was a real experience. There was spaghetti, different than any spaghetti I’ve ever tasted; some type of green beans with carrots. What I couldn’t figure out was the bones (maybe fish bones?). Then there was sagebo, which is a local staple made from maize, along with what they called “sauce.” I had actually been looking forward to this dish, thinking it might be like the Ugandan posho, which I really enjoyed. Uh uh. This sauce turned out to be parts of grilled fish (with the heads), including all the bones and skin. I tried. Honestly, I did. Couldn’t eat it and desperately fought to keep from gagging at the try! The only part of the meal that was “easy on the stomach” was mashed potatoes with some kind of bland gravy. We ate with the head of the school, several teachers and their wives – and with the two American missionary ladies who have been there since 1978. Overall it was a wonderful experience. In spite of the “lunch.”