Several months ago, our teammates, veteran missionaries Steve and Laurie Erickson, showed the Kewa church a video of us in an interview we gave in the United States. Goluma, the elderly patriarch of the Kewa church, intently watched the video of us expressing our desire to come to the Gogodala project. Steve Erickson observed his happy face as Goluma said, “They want to come. They want to come!”
Several weeks ago, after two years of hearing about us and seeing our pictures, the church members and villagers finally met us in person. They crowded the hillside above us as we pulled up in the mission dinghy, then they sang a song they had written:
“We are happy today. We are happy today. We are happy to have you here! Welcome, welcome . . . to Kewa Church!”
We carefully stepped out of the dinghy onto a flower-strewn path under a bamboo arch that was hung with flowers and a colorful hand-painted sign proclaiming:
Welcome to Kewa
Erickson and Sliger families
They had decorated the steep hill with banana-stalk cups spilling over with flowers. Smiling people waited to shake our hands along the path. I don’t think they could have done more if the Prime Minister had come to visit!
We have been in this remote village for several weeks now, and the welcome continues. I think every single person knows who we are! They have adopted us and continue to explain their language and customs whenever they can. They are exceptionally generous in sharing food and smiles. The Gogodala have won our hearts.
There are people around the world wistfully longing for someone to come and share God’s love and words with them. That someone could be you! Don’t miss an opportunity to enjoy the welcome of a lifetime.