16.05.24 My Day
It is in everyone’s best interests if I am the first one up. All left to our own devices, Adam would be the first up, and if he gets up all alone, the call of mischief is too great for him to resist.
So I was up this morning studying Matthew 9. Even if I am exhausted, it is so helpful to spend time in the Word before everything else. It helps me be Christ-like more than sleep. I guess that sounds obvious, but I have often held sleep as the best remedy for my human nature.
Adam was up second. I held him a bit until he was fully awake. Then I took him outside to play. Once he was contented pushing a bike around the yard I headed back in to finish my Bible study.
The boys remembered to clean their room first thing after they woke up, and that made me happy. Everyone came in for a delicious breakfast Heidi made. That reminds me; yesterday, while I was reading the Bible to everybody, Zach fried up some eggs and toast for his mom who had been nursing Dorothy. He made her tea and did everything the way she likes it. That’s a pretty great 8-year-old, right?!
After breakfast was cleaned up, I walked everybody through the passage I had been studying. Joe and Harley really soak up the scriptures. They don’t miss a beat, even when I ask tough questions.
We sent the oldest three kids off to get started on school work. Heidi waited around because she needed to do some preparations for the day’s meals before she went to teach school. I sent some emails while I waited for 9:00 am when I planned to call Drissa for a meeting today. Before 9:00 am Aboubacar Koné was here to greet me. He is pretty resistant to the gospel. He is in the category of uneducated people who follow blindly. That isn’t my estimation of him. That is what his Malian neighbors tell me.
As a means to bring him to the scriptures regularly, I asked him to help me translate scripture from Bambara to French. Honestly, it is helpful to me for more than language learning. My American side really wants some structure to the time I spend with friends. Koné stops by almost every day, sometimes twice a day. It is hard for me when he wants to just sit and talk about nothing. So this has been so good for us on every level. We have been working our way through Luke’s account of Jesus birth.
Heidi texted me about this guy that has been sitting by the side of the road on the way to the school house for the past week or so. He has always given us a strange vibe. His whole family is off. I called her, and she told me that he finally went too far.
I called Drissa, whom I was supposed to meet with. He was already in another town. So we planned to meet tomorrow while he is DJing at the radio station.
I talked to Mariko about the guy Heidi was talking about, and I decided to go talk to him. He was sitting on a thin, queen-size mattress beside a house that was never finished. Three neighborhood boys were sitting with him, and Tairou had been there with him before coming over to our place. We greeted each other, and he rolled right into his normal, hard-to-cut-into, blah blah. I said, “I’m here to talk about my wife. You told her that she pleases you. Do you like my wife?”
He assured me that he had been misunderstood. He only liked that she spoke Bambara with people. That is what pleased him.
I told him that I couldn’t know what he had meant, but I knew what my wife had understood, and I told my wife and kids not to go by him anymore.
He made some more small-talk and excuses.
I told him, “I have observed your family for many years now, and there is a bad spirit in your home. Everyone knows that this world is filled with spirits, but only one of them is good. Until you find the good Spirit who can protect you from all the others? I am going to tell my family to leave you alone.”
“Your right,” he said, “Everyone in my house tells me that this foot injury isn’t normal.” (It hasn’t healed in years.) “There are bad spirits with us.”
“We will keep praying for you and your family in the name of Jesus.” I told him.
Then I told the kids, “Let’s go to my house.”
Tairou had come with me. So he was ready to go, but the other boys hesitated. “Come on, let’s go.” I said, and still they sat there.
“Every day you guys are begging to come into my yard. Today I ask you to come, and you don’t what to go?” Two of the boys got up to go.
Benogo sat there unmoving. “My arm is broken.” he said.
“Yeah, but you feet still work. You can’t walk?”
“No, I can’t walk.”
“Then how did you get here?”
“Okay, I’ll carry you.”
“No, I don’t want you to.”
“Do you want to go with us or not?” He hesitated, and I asked him a few times before we started to go.
Tairou smacked me playfully. I started chasing him, and it was a mad dash with all the rest of us toward my house.
It bothered me that Benogo seemed tied to that place. That guy is no good. I don’t know what the kids like about him. Nonetheless, they are drawn to him. Benogo did come around a few minutes later.
The boys sat around with me. I got them water to drink, and I showed them how to carve while Tairou practiced reading to me. What he was reading brought up some questions about how God created us. So I brought my Bambara Bible out and read the portion of Psalm 139. Mariko was there to help us understand each other for part of the time.
I really believe I rescued those boys. We all share a common enemy.
We got rain in the afternoon. It was such relief from the oppressive humidity that had been leading up to the rain for the previous few days. Sometimes it is even hard to breath.