Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dananah / Daloa Pastors Orality Conference

Getting to this conference was at times a little difficult. Yep that's me on the back of a motorcycle on a dirt road. I volunteered to drive the motorcycle, but the owner wouldn't let me. I wonder why??? O.K. I confess, I volunteered to ride to bike, the rest of the crew followed in the truck. We stopped in two cities this time for the Orality conference. Daloa and Danana. Both of these cities were in former rebel territory. Danana is about 5 kilometers away from the Cote d"Ivoire/Liberia border. This was an 8 day conference. We didn't have hot water at anytime for showers, we slept on thin mats and the electricity was barely workable. We were roughing it I guess you could say.
This is me teaching the story of the temptations of Christ from Matt. 4. I spoke in French and then the guy to my left translated it into the local language called Yakouba. This was one of the more difficult tasks I had to do, and I had to rely a lot on Jeff and Barbara Singerman to help me answer there questions as it was hard to understand. When someone asked a question, it was asked in the local language and then translated into French. Thanks to Jeff and Barbara I made it through. Sometimes it was translated as well into English. We were at the border of LIberia which is an English colony, but there English is very hard to understand at times.

We had about 60 to 70 people join us for this conference. Not all of them were Baptist as we found out with our stories and their responses. Several times Jeff had to stop the conference and explain Baptist beliefs and that we were Baptist and this is what we believe and how we will teach the conference.

Plantain anyone??? These people are loading a truck with plantains to go to the other cities of Cote d'Ivoire. One road was completely blocked by plantains, stacked higher than our truck. These guys are grabbing the plantains and tossing them up to the guys in the truck, who are then stacking them. They will stack them about 10 feet higher than the top of the truck.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Baby Naming

In West Africa, a new life brings an important rite of passage. For the Christian family, a presentation of the baby at church is done around 2 months or so. This is a very important event that all family and friends attend to honor God for the gift of life and show your support for the family.

For the Muslim West African a different kind of celebration is in order. One week after the birth of the baby, family and friends gather and a sheep will be prepared or just a meal if money is a problem. All of the precious little baby's hair is shaved off and the name is given.

The family of my friend was blessed with a sweet baby girl last week and so I went this week to find out what her name will be and see how she looks with NO hair.

Sometimes at these gatherings, we are able to share stories of baby Jesus being presented at the temple. There is some beautiful prophecy at this event. Check it out. And usually we are permitted to pray God's blessings on a new life and pray that he or she follows God in spirit and in Truth.

Pray with us for this little one, whose name I can't pronounce let alone spell, that she will indeed find Truth.