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A Whirlwind Trip

Yesterday we got to go up to the village where we used to work.  Two teachers from the school here came with us.  One of them is friends with Suz and Theo so it was really neat for her to see where Suzanne had grown up.

When we got there we went first to my friend’s house, but she is still living out on their farm as they finish up the work from the harvest.  So unfortunately we didn’t get to see her.

Our next stop was to visit John’s friend in his garden.  We couldn’t quite remember which garden was his and pulled over and parked a bit too soon.  But it was fun to walk down the road outside the town where I used to take my morning walks.  When told to skip, they gladly complied. :)

Unfortunately he wasn’t there so we moved on.

Our next stop was at the home of friends.  The lady had been our house-worker, but she was also my cultural mentor. 

Her husband had helped us out several times and even though he is strong in his M_ faith, he was always friendly.  He was genuinely happy to see us yesterday.  He had recently had a tumor removed, but because health care here is so basic, he’ll never know if it was benign or malignant.  He didn’t receive any follow-up radiation or chemo therapy, either.  While we were there a woman came in with six-month old twins, a boy and a girl (the boy in the pink socks).  They were as cute as could be.  She told us that she had been in labor two days and finally had a Cesarean.  I’m guessing that the presenting twin was breech.  Thankfully she survived the ordeal and both twins are healthy and doing well.

From there we went to see the lady who had been our next door neighbor. She is a widow now and just as poor as ever.  Her 20-year old son does what he can to help provide for her, but he doesn’t have regular employment, either.  Her 14 or 15 year old daughter is still in school and we are so proud of her.  Only she and her brother out of seven children attended school and she has stuck with it the longest.  She was sitting on the bed, the only furniture in the hut, studying when we arrived.  Her mom reminisced with us about Christmas celebrations she attended and how much she enjoyed them, especially the Gourma believers singing.  She knew it is almost Christmas time. 

Before we left, she stood with her hands cupped together in prayer, silently asking John to pray.  We stood under the tree next to the goats and prayed together before leaving.

Next we went back to the gardens to meet our friend there.  He works so hard and his garden looks pretty good, but he barely makes a living out of it.  We have helped him repair his pump and so on.  He sometimes gives us lemons as a thank you gift, which he did yesterday.  Here we posed for a quick American Gothic shot.  I didn’t know he was standing with us for the photo.

  LOL.  Hannah spotted a chameleon under a tree and she and Abby had fun taking a turn at holding it.

Finally it was time to go.  We met quickly with a pastor who is doing church planting there.  He said the work is slow and discouraging.  People will come for a while, but then their families harass them and they quit.

We found a quiet spot for a picnic lunch and then headed back to the big city.  It was a tiring day and our hearts are still burdened for our friends there.


fragrant breeze said…

In the name of Allah,the Most Compassionate the Most Merciful.

Say, "O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you - that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah." But if they turn away, then say, "Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him]."
O People of the Scripture, why do you argue about Abraham while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed until after him? Then will you not reason?
Here you are - those who have argued about that of which you have [some] knowledge, but why do you argue about that of which you have no knowledge? And Allah knows, while you know not.
Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah]. And he was not of the polytheists.
Indeed, the most worthy of Abraham among the people are those who followed him [in submission to Allah] and this prophet, and those who believe [in his message]. And Allah is the ally of the believers.
A faction of the people of the Scripture wish they could mislead you. But they do not mislead except themselves, and they perceive [it] not.
O People of the Scripture, why do you disbelieve in the verses of Allah while you witness [to their truth]?

Holy Quran 3:64-70

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