Lately

At Goree Island-off the coast of Senegal.

I apologize for my impromptu blogging hiatus-it’s been a crazy several weeks in Dakar. This post may be rather disjointed, but I’m going to try to give you a couple of the highlights…

Katie and Laura

THIS was fantastic. On March 13th, Christy and I had our first visitors! Katie and Laura (wonderful friends from North Carolina) came for a week, and dove right into ministry with us. It felt like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one to have them in Senegal-…especially since they brought me eight bottled Starbucks fraps! (Bliss.) The girls provided the perfect excuse to get out into the city and do the things we’re normally too tired to do as a team. One of the things I had been praying for Katie and Laura was that God would use their week in The girls and I right before going to eat Senegalese food at Chez Michelle.Dakar to build in them a heart for what He’s doing outside of the US-and how they are called to be a part of that. They both got to spend a significant amount of time sharing the gospel with students, and Katie has even decided to fly back to Dakar in May for our summer project!

Learning to be good Senegalese wives with my friend Amy. Katie and Laura now know how to cook Tiebou Yoppe!

Bineta [C’était pour moi.]

During Katie and Laura’s time in Dakar, my team and I showed Mel Gibson’s “Passion” to a fairly large group of students. One of the girls to attend was Bineta (you met her in an earlier post-she’s the one that drank American coffee with me). Only five days before she came over to watch the Passion with us, Bineta attended a movie event we held on campus. We showed a film called “L’Espoire” (literally translated “The Hope”)-essentially, a documentary of the entire Bible. (Crazy, I know.) After L’Espoire, I asked Bineta what she thought of the film. She sweetly replied that she thought it was a “very touching story”, but vehemently insisted that she was a “good Muslim girl, and could never believe that Jesus was the Son of God.”

Cue Tuesday, March 16. [Five days later.]

I sat beside Bineta as we watched the Passion, and during the crucifixion scene I noticed that she had buried her face in her hands.

Talking with Bineta.

 After the movie, I turned to Bineta, and asked her why it had been so difficult for her to watch Jesus die. With tear-filled eyes, that precious girl looked at me and very simply said “C’était pour moi” (“it was for me”). She then proceeded to tell me that she believed everything that she had just seen in the film-that Jesus was the Son of God, that He had taken the punishment for all of her sin on the cross, and that He was the only way to be reconciled to God. I’ve shared the gospel with Bineta countless times over the past five months since I met her. We’ve poured over the Bible together, and talked through millions of her questions-but March 16 was when she finally came to understand that it is all true-that the gospel is for her. Bineta is in the process of thinking through whether or not she is going to commit to following Jesus-she is afraid of the potential ramifications from her family, and she understands that following Jesus will change every area of her life. I love that she refuses to make a trite decision-please pray that as she considers Jesus, she will see Him as He is-more worthy of her life and affections than anything or anyone else. Pray that she would recognize the “all-surpassing worth” of knowing and walking with Him.

Many of the students that came to watch The Passion with us that night-we had at least six more come after I took this picture!

Khadi Baa

Khadi Baa is another friend of mine that came to watch The Passion with me that night. Like Bineta, she has been incredibly polite every time we have talked about Jesus, but has always insisted that she is a “good Muslim girl that could never believe that”. Khadi arrived at four o’clock that day, and told me that she was going to leave at five to catch a bus that would take her the two hours back to her house. At seven o’clock when the film ended, Khadi was still sitting in her seat-seemingly captivated. Beaming, she enthusiastically grabbed both of my hands and exclaimed that once the film had started, she hadn’t been able to move. She had to leave to catch a bus-but we arranged to have her come over to my apartment later that week.

Several days later, when Khadi Baa arrived, we sat on my little brown couch and for the upteenth time, I explained the gospel to her. For the first time, she told me that she believed that everything we’d been talking about for months was true-that Jesus was the Son of God and in a torrent of beatiful, undeserved love He had taken the punishment for her sins so that she could be reconciled to God.

Cooking with Khadi Baa

Like Bineta, she is taking some time to decide whether or not she can commit to following Jesus. Khadi is married and has a baby-and her little family lives with her entire extended family-all of whom are devout Muslims. The cost to following Jesus is great for her-but please pray that she will come to understand that He is worth it.

That’s all for now. The blogging hiatus is over-I’ll post again soon. :)

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