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.
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.
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.