It’s not very often that you have an opportunity to host an African church leader to dinner. But Sonia and I had that pleasure last Friday night. We were rife with curiosity and questions that made it easy to converse. Here’s some of how it went.
How much rain did they get in their region of West Africa? You see, they are mostly farmers there, living off the land and depending on the rain for their crops. Our group left this year just as the rains were coming. Turns out that they had a wonderful rain in their region this year and will have a full crop of maize. That’s the good news. The sad news is that they lose half of their crop to the rodents after they store it in wooden bins.
Here’s a picture of how they store their grain today. What an opportunity for some outside businessmen to provide metal storage bins that are sealed from critters and the weather! As it stands, they just don’t have the money to build them.
More personally, how does a young man raised as a Muslim come to surrender his life to the person of Christ and become a church leader? Speak of transitions! What a story it was. Fast forward to today . . . what’s it like to be a man in a poor Muslim-dominated country trying to carve out a niche to provide a foothold for the expansion and strengthening of Christianity? And how can those Christians, poor as they are, make significant positive contributions to the communities in which they live? How can they build businesses that will provide for their self-reliance?
Leave it to Sonia to ask some stimulating questions: What’s the best part of your life in West Africa these days? “My wife.” What’s the worst? “Persecution.”
We talked about those things and a lot more which made the evening fly by quickly and left us inspired and full of admiration for this man. And we learned a lot about opportunities for their growth and development, about what life is like in a place very different than Dallas, and about how God blesses those who are faithful in following Him.
By the way, he’s seven feet tall.