we had an organizational meeting for the crusade with Dr. Cliff
Pash in November. Several churches in the area are working together
for that event.
I was walking back home (yes, still praying for a car/truck), and
approaching my house, when someone as tall as me suddenly ran up
to me , a huge smile on his face, and threw his arms around me.
That's unheard of in Mali! You don't show physical affection! At
the most, men can hold hands in public. It was dark, but I finally
realized it was Sekouba, recognizing him immediately (I mentioned
him in my email about the children's ministry).
He was beaming all over, so happy to see me, and not letting go
of me, as we continued walking to the house. I was stunned since
I've never experienced anything like it here in Mali. We sat down
in front of the house and started talking. He was still holding
my hand. I was practicing my Bambara, with Seybou helping out.
I found out that Sekouba had been waiting for me for about two
hours! Looking at him, I could tell this young man has been born
again, and filled with God's joy. He had a friend with him, who
disrupted what God was doing the whole time, mocking God, mocking
Sekouba's and my words. That other young man, Bourama, has not come
to any meetings (yet).
Remember, Sekouba was one of the street children sleeping in our
garden after the meeting. I asked Sekouba whether God has been speaking
to him, if he's had any dreams, and he said yes. He had a dream
three days ago. In his dream he saw Jesus. Jesus was calling people,
and some people accepted the call and others rejected it. Praise
Sekouba comes from a city a few hours away from Bamako. His Father
sent him away to a Muslim teacher in the capital a year ago. He
could not stand the physical and psychological torture and ran away,
now surviving on the street by himself (this is the story of every
kid on the street). He "lives" at the bus station which
is a 30 min-walk away from my house. A place for prostitutes, drug
dealers and thieves - and of child abuse. Sekouba actually knew
his age. He is 15. He said he was looking for work.
My heart was going out to him, and I prayed inwardly, whether to
offer him to stay here over night. How could I NOT offer that! He
declined the offer because of his (mocking) friend he was with.
I also asked him whether he wanted to learn to read and write in
Bambara, so he could read the word of God, and he said yes. So he's
coming to our literacy class tomorrow afternoon.
I suggested we read a passage from the Bible and pray together
before he leaves. I asked God what passage and ended up in John
10 - the good Shepherd. I read the passage in Bambara, and talked
a few minutes about the good Shepherd, with Seybou interpreting.
Sekouba's friend Bourama stood at a distance watching and listening.
Then I prayed for Sekouba. I had my arms around him, telling him
again how much God loves him, and that I love him too. I asked him
whether I could call him "son", and he said yes.
I couldn't help but let him know that sometime next year we would
have land where we could give him and others a new home. I asked
him whether he'd like that, and he said yes. With a heavy heart,
I watched him and his friend Bourama leave and walk towards the
bus station. Thankfully, he'll be back for literacy class tomorrow,
and for the children's program the day after tomorrow.
These are the ones God has chosen! These are the ones who will
shame the wise! Sekouba is the first of many, firstfruits. I wouldn't
be surprised if one day soon he will spend the night in our garden,
Please pray for wisdom, that I would know what the Father is doing,
and that I would ever stay close to His heart, in the midst of all
the busyness. Pray for His presence to continually come down in
power as I spend time with Him! It's the most attacked time of day!