12:30 This is a rare treat but a real challenge. The next intercession set is led by some of the Borana students in the school of Ministry. This is extraordinary because, even a generation ago, the tribe was almost entirely Muslim. Now, close to 10% of them are followers of Jesus, which, in sociological terms, is a phenomenal move of God. They sing praise songs in their mother tongue with a uniquely ethnic combination beats and instrument sounds coming from the Yamaha keyboard. I don’t understand a word of the worship but am content to engage personally with the Lord and pray in the spirit. I’m deeply thankful that these individuals are even there to pray in a language I don’t understand. After an hour of prayers and songs, another one of the Ministry school students (a former street kid named Wisdom) gives a practical message exhorting us to live in a way that is worthy of God.
2:00 Lunch break. I sit down on the rocks and grass to eat a late lunch consisting of the African equivalent of steamed cabbage, maharagwe (seasoned red beans), and ugali (unseasoned grits cake).
3:00 Outreach. Our team splits up into different groups. Three of our girls go to town to get henna art done on their hands as they build relationship with a Muslim woman. A husband and wife on our team go to a different location in town, buy a couple of drums, and begin to play them, gathering quite a crowd around them. The other guy on the team and I pair up with African ministry school students and go door to door in one of the rougher parts of town called Bulapesa. We encounter drunks, hecklers, and not a small number of Muslims who want to debate with us about the divinity of Jesus. Only a precious few care what we have to say in response. I connect with a local believer in the area that we had met several weeks ago. It’s been humbling to realize, as I have matured, how truly little I can do as a short-term outsider here. I’m not the Savior by any means, but as I have matured I’m beginning to see myself as more of a facilitator and hopefully a catalyst for the work of God. I would rather see locals taking the reins and doing ministry themselves so that the work of God might continue after I leave. I was filled with joy to have these two Africans… one from the community and one from the Ministry school… speaking about the Good News to their own people.
5:15 After a long walk back to the ministry base through the labyrinth of farmland homesteads and alleyways of what I jokingly call the “Bulapesa Triangle,” I take a motorcycle taxi back to the house. It’s a gorgeous 10 minute ride, and I can’t say I’m not a little pleased with the young man driving me there fast.
6:00 It’s the turn of a couple of girls on the team to cook, and they do a marvelous job with teriyaki seasoned meat, chapati (kind of like a flat pancake or crêpe), and some guacamole made with local avocados. It was the most delicious Asian-African-Mexican fusion I’ve ever had.
8:00 I begin to settle down for the evening, my brain more or less spent. We do debrief after supper. Listening is hard for me in the evening, and I muster up enough strength to listen to my teammates. Afterwards, I have not the wit left to do anything but veg out. Fortunately, my teammate has brought the entire Back to the Future Trilogy on DVD, so we watch that. Maybe I’m not so far from home, after all.