If I were to receive a dollar for the number of times I think about Chris and his well-being, safety, and health in Africa I would be a millionaire within a month. He is in a country so foreign to most of us (Burkina Faso) and I am in a city so familiar to many. We are oceans apart yet every time we talk to each other we are giddy we are able to even hear one another’s voice. It is difficult to imagine not seeing his face in person for another 8-10 months; but, we are blessed to be able to talk to each other as much as we do.
We were talking on the phone the other day and the extra joy in his voice was quite apparent from his normal, “Hey babe!” We talked about our high points and low points from the last few days. His high point, and boy was it a high point, took him for a pleasant and much needed spiritual surprise. Because the sun sets fairly early and there is no electricity, the people of the Sapone village typically go to bed shortly after dinner. However, this night was different. All of a sudden, Chris’ host sister (who is 15 and speaks French on a first or second grade level) was trying to communicate with Chris to fetch his Bible. He was confused as he was already used to the routine of getting ready for bed after dinner. He soon heard in the background a high-energy beat coming from more than one drum. Within moments a crowd of people showed up at his home in joyful jubilation and song. Turns out his family and these others villagers are Protestant Christians! This was and is a huge deal because about 50% of the population are practicing Muslims. The other half are Christians but typically practice Catholicism. What a BLESSING for Chris. What a moment that must have been! The only thing he could pick out from the time of worship was the recognizable name, “Jesus Christ.” Chris had no idea what was being preached or what was being said but he didn’t care. He, at that moment, was finally able to make a connection with the people of Sapone in a way that weighs much heavier than being able to say “my day was good” in Moore. He is an equal and a brother under the Lord our God to the people of Sapone, but the timing of that affirmation uplifted him in the most positive way at such a crucial time. The Holy Spirit moves in mysterious ways at often surprising times, but His ways and timing are so good.
I am thankful Chris was able to experience such a spirit-filled evening. I am thankful he was able to share that with me. I am thankful.