Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sticking With African Themes

On our latest day off I treated Joy to a tour of our nation's fine capital, Washington D.C. We visited a couple of museums--our first stop of the trip was the National Museum of African Art & Culture. Because of the HUGEness of the place we decided to stick with congolese artifacts and clothing. We learned a lot of the history and beliefs behind many African people, and got to see firsthand some of the art that makes Congo famous. One artifact in particular stood out to me as I walked around the exhibits. It is a man carved out of wood with holes in his hands and feet, with his arms outstretched as if hanging from a cross (sound familiar?). As I read the comments about the piece, I learned that it was most likely made in a remote tribe over a hundred years ago and indicates their understanding of the redemption story. It went on to explain that many congolese tribes are no stranger to the Gospel, but their interpretation and understanding of what Christ has done for them is skewed. It was fun to see clothing from DRC too, as well as several ceremonial masks and coverings used for special occassions.

After the Africa museum we decided to walk down to the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial. I've seen these a few times, but we also stopped along the new World War II memorial, which was quite astounding.

After that, we headed back towards the museums and took a good long look in the Natural History Museum. And, although most exhibits pushed an evolutionary beginning, it was incredible to know that our God made each and every animal in a unique and fascinating way! Our time here was again, spent mostly touring the African sections, where we saw some old acquaintances and met some new ones. Africa is a wildly diverse land, sustaining some of the driest and wettest lands on earth. Its people are just as diverse. As we think and pray about the people we are called to serve, we are getting more and more excited and sometimes we selfishly wish we could just skip all this support raising and training and language learning, and just head to Africa where we are desperately needed. We realize that God has his timing, and is using this process to shape us for the experiences that lay ahead of us. We have no idea where God is going to take us in the next 5 years, but it's going to be a great time!

We are still working hard at ministry partnership, and we're cresting the 30% mark as I write this entry. I can't help but think of the Little Engine That Could--slow but sure. We're meeting some truly incredible and gifted brothers and sisters, who are going to be great assets in the years to come. I'm glad for that, and glad that God chooses to use his people in such mighty ways. Pray for His leading and direction in the coming weeks and months, as we decide how long we should stay in each of these areas. Pray with us for the people of DRC; hundreds of thousands have fled the fighting and civil war that has erupted again in the East. Pray for the wisdom of MAF staff who are currently working in that area, that they would know best how to serve these people.

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