Monday, June 10, 2013

the shell story

On my trip to Niger in February of 2012, I knew ahead of time that I would not be able to go to Ayorou.   This was where several dear believers lived that on my previous trips, I had visited and began to love dearly.  My closest relationship was with a sweet brother named Ibrahim.  He is a rock.  His faith has cost him greatly, and he has gladly paid.   He has faced days that i could not imagine and has firmly stood in the strength of our Redeemer.  To my amazement, after we arrived, Ibrahim had made the journey from Ayorou to Naimey!  After greeting him, Mark told me that Ibrahim had a gift for me.  He had asked Mark before hand, because he thought that his gift may not be significant to me.  Mark assured him that the meaning was far more important.  Ibrahim then handed me a snail shell.  It was polished and he wanted me to take it so that I would remember him.  I told him that I would.   He then continued.   Snails often go to the same place.  They have the same needs and therefore go the same place to have them met.  He said we were like snails.   We both have the need of a Savior so we go to the same place to have our needs met.   The next thing he said was new information to me.   He said that it is impossible for a snail to go backwards.  Much like us, once God has chosen us, we cannot go back to our old life, praise God.  Then he took one finger from each hand and simulated 2 snails as they move along there paths.   He said that we, like snails, are on a path.  Sometimes we would be far apart, sometimes our paths would cross, but because God has set us on this path, and we can't back up, one day we would end up in the same place.   I am so thankful for Ibrahim and carry this shell with me daily.

- Travis A, Bowling Green, Ky

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