Last week I received an email from a friend of mine who has gone on a missions trip to Africa. I thought the email was so moving and tells of the struggles and triumphs of one Christian that you might be inspired by it as well. I've changed my friends name to protect him. This is from "Craig."
Where to start? So much has happen to me in the past week. FIrst of all
to give you some background info on Burkina Faso it is a 3rd world country
Class A. It is the second poorest country in the world and (missions organization) classifieds this country as the hardest journey for a misssionary. Anyways last Saturday our team got split up and each one of us went to different parts of the country. We stayed with a host family. This has been the hardest week of my life! I got picked up from the church on a MOTO (vespa) and got dropped off at my family house. It is a one bedroomm clay hut with a tin roof.
All together the property is the size of a living room. And on this prpoerty are 12 pigs and 7 goats. It smells so bad. No one speaks English, no plumbing, and no electricity, and of course my new flash light broke the first day. The family has 10 members all together. The village has never seen a white man and I am constantly surrounded by people. People are bring ing me gifts and food always. My family makes me dinner and breakfast everday. It is disrespectfull not to eat the food and unfortunately the younger kids starve when i am here because i am eating their food. It is hard to eat and watch them starve. I am in a double bind. Breakfast consist of a runny oatmeal type food, they make it by sweeping some seed and dirt fromt he ground with hot water and that's my breakfast.
Dinner they make something call Tode which is seeds mashed together and of course sand in it with a raw fish on top un cut. Flies are everywhere on my food but i eat it anyways. The days are 120 degrees and night is 100. I
don't sleep. I am sweating always and I pray all night long. At night my
family uses me to evangelize to others. Americans are soon as wealthy and
respectful. They tell others I am here to serve Jesus and my face and skin
color is an evangelical tool. I taught my family some basic worship songs
and we sang for ours together at night. The son had malaria for the past 2 weeks. We layed hands on him and the next day a miracle! He was better and he went to school. God is so powerful out here.
Since then neighbors and muslims have been sending their sick children to my host house at night for me to pray over them. I get home at 7 pm and there is a crowd waiting for me. I am never alone but yet at times I feel alone.
My days consist of the following:
I get up at 6 and I eat and then I pack up a beef jerky and water and a
basketballl and I walk 2 miles to the fields. Then I start shooting and God
sends hundreds of kids around me. I play pick up games or I find someone who speacks English and have the kids sit and I tell them Jesus stories. It is so hot out there. At noon I got to the shade and have lunch and read the
Bible. The masses follow me. God once again puts me to work.
A man who is Muslim has come everyday to debate Jesus with me. He is educated and speaks good English. For the past 6 days we talk about his struggles and questions. And then yesterday afternoon he brought me a gift: a drawing of the cross that says Jesus is God and Jesus gift is paradise. Thank you Lord! He accepted Christ that day. He is going with me to church on Sunday!
Spiritually I am alive. I pray softly and I listen hard. God guides me
physcially when I walk puts amazing people in my life. Today i got picked up by a journeyman who took me to the computer store and is taking me to a National soccer game tonight. But I feel close to God. I feel that I built
this pot that didn't glorify God at home and he is now tearing the potting
down one piece at a time. And now he his building a pot that will serve him better. I am humbled by this country and these people. I humbled by the heat and wearing pants everyday doesn't help either. I am humbled at night with no lights, no showers, the food, and no bed. But yet I thank God foir the Gift of bringing me here.
If you know Craig the way I do, you would understand what a cool testimony of God's love and power this is. Please keep all missionaries in your prayers today because they are doing very hard work, but as you can see, it's also very rewarding.