It is not wrong, it is just different, a sentence we have not only said to our children but ourselves. We say this almost every day but less and less as these experiences become more normal through our American lens. When driving in The Gambia, it is like driving on a backwoods country road. Some of the roads are paved, but most are sand, dirt, and gravel. As you go, there may be cows, donkeys, sheep, or goats with maybe a chicken or two, but it is not the way one would experience it in America. Unfortunately, they are sharing the road with you making for an interesting ride when trying to travel. They are such road hogs as they most always have the right of way and never use their blinkers. Catching a bus is much different as well. No room on the inside? No problem, if you can hold on, you go for the ride.
One travels here in Ndungu Kebbeh on sand and dirt roads and mainly by foot. There are plenty of donkey and horse carts, but most people travel on foot. Learning the language is a humbling experience, and over the next few months, we pray God will have us speak at least as well as, what is depicted as caveman speech, "Christ good, sin bad." Until then, the process of learning a language teaches you how to eat the most delicious humble pie. One of the ways we go through language acquisition is to learn a phrase like, “How are you?” and then walk out into the village and say that phrase to as many people as possible, praying they answer with, "I am fine." Unfortunately, humans do not always follow the script. They then ask us questions, and we get to apologize and tell them that those are the only words we know. We are grateful to the people of the village, who just laugh, and send us on our way, as they have had language students here for close to 30 years.
We have walked through the village many times now during language study. Building relationships along the way, but mostly with those who speak at least a little English. Bless them as they listen to us fumble through their language. Patrick built up a relationship with a man so much so that he asked Patrick to come back every day for Patrick to teach him the Bible. The quarter-mile walk to his house in the African sun was wearing on Patrick, so we decided Patrick needed a motorcycle. Luke and Alyssa were the most excited as they made sure to get rides right away. He has now given this man a Bible, shared Bible lessons, and the gospel, and the man has since accepted the truth of Christ. Hallelujah!! We are overjoyed that God is using us for His glory so quickly. What a great confirmation of His perfect timing. Please pray for this man, as his acceptance puts him in a cultural overturn. To follow the truth of Christ is usually also a choice to be shunned from your family. Please pray God moves in a mighty way as Patrick begins to disciple him through the Word and that the Holy Spirit would encourage his heart in his newfound love for Christ.
Praise and Prayer Requests
~ Pray for God's direction for The Gambia.
~ Pray for our language studies as we acclimate.
~ Pray our shipping container arrives soon
~ Pray that even without words we show Christ
Patrick, Michele, Alyssa, Danielle, Luke