The road was littered with rocks, and we had a difficult time driving it on our motorcycle, fearing we would fall at any moment. After the rocky section, an area with deep sand challenged us. The motorcycle slid all over the road, and we nearly fell several times. We were on our way to evangelize a village we had never visited, called Bougdorie. This village was very difficult to find. We got lost for a while, but our guide finally got us there.
One of our members lives in Bougdorie, so we met up with her and her parents, and they brought us into their home for a meal featuring a gluey sauce made from baobab leaves, a local specialty. We learned that many of the children in the village were suffering from some sort of sickness, so after our meal we went around to visit some families and pray for the sick children.
When we returned to our hosts’ house, they offered us a drink of murky river water. We didn’t want to drink it, but we knew it was important to accept their hospitality and show our appreciation, so we drank. As a missionary, if you want people to accept what you have to offer, it helps to accept what they offer to you. We just prayed silently that the water wouldn’t strike us down with stomach illness before we got home.
Another drink that people frequently offer us is called “acid water.” Scrapings from the corn cereal bowl the day before are mixed into water with unwashed hands, which causes it to ferment overnight. I certainly don’t like the bitter taste, but when people offer it to me, I drink it because I want to show them my acceptance and appreciation so that they will be open to the gospel I want to share with them.
The trip home from Bougdorie over the sand and rocks was even more difficult because it was mostly uphill. That area is also especially hot, and people there suffer from a scarcity of good water.
When we returned to Bougdorie a few days later, we found that the children we had prayed for were all well, and the people were very open to what we had to say. God is good, and He hears our prayers and answers them. May His name be praised!