Saturday, June 4, 2011

Volunteer Testimony: FBC Hurst (May 2011)

My mind is racing as I try to capture my thoughts from the past week.  There is so much that can be said that it is hard to put into a few short words.  It has been a trip that has given me memories that will last a lifetime and will have an impact for eternity.  Our week of intensive discipleship training with the Songhai believers addressed many practical, day to day issues but also opened my eyes to how God is actively at work in this place.  I praise God that he is calling out His church from among the Songhai.  I have had awesome opportunities to do some new things, get to fellowship with my fellow believers, and grow more than I could have imagined. 

My time in Niger has given me many new experiences.  I slept outside under the stars, rode a camel, stood in the middle of a sandstorm, ate a fresh mango and tried to teach the neighborhood kids how to play baseball.  I ate local meals of rice, couscous, meat, sauces and spices and drank a lot of water.  I even saw a car with eight cows loaded on it while waiting at the ferry.  I have been stretched beyond the normal comforts found back home but have found complete satisfaction knowing I am where God has called me at this time. What was new, strange and, on the surface, uncomfortable was nothing in comparison to seeing God work in my life and the lives of our Songhai brothers.

As we spent the week in their village, I was able to get to know the believers individually.  It was great to laugh with them and share meals as a group.  We were able to walk around and meet their families and see how they live and work. I was reminded that God has called us to be a family and to show the world we are different by our love.  In one of our lessons we shared that God loves us and wants to have a relationship with us.  This is very different than what is normally thought in their culture.  I was encouraged to see God’s love expressed in the relationships started during the week.  This is who we are in Christ. 

I was amazed to meet the men that have had their lives turned upside down so they can follow Christ.  They told us how they stand up for their faith even at a great cost.  They have been kicked out of their homes, been cast out of their communities, been cursed and threatened with beatings.  At the end of our conversations I had to ask if my life was turned upside down for Christ?  Have I followed Christ in such a way that tells the world that nothing is worth anything in comparison to the surpassing greatness of following Christ Jesus my Lord?

At the end of this week I have learned about myself and my God.  I came uncertain of what would happen and how everything would play out.  I leave with a grateful heart.  I am confident that God has started a great work among the Songhai and he will be faithful to complete it.

--Scott C

No comments:

Post a Comment