Sabbath Seeds

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A Sabbath outing! I was up with the 4 a.m. call for prayer that came wafting through my window from the yellow mosque in town. This morning, as the faint notes of the flute slowly melted into the chanting call for prayer, I didn’t lie in bed and allow my body to slowly wake up. I was too excited. This Sabbath the Susu team was traveling to Coyah, a village three hours away, to worship with a new believer and his family. We all looked forward to this blessing and prayed that the seeds we were about to plant in fresh soil would take root.

I climbed into the car with the rest of the Susu team and settled in for the long drive through the bush and neighboring towns and villages. The hot Sabbath morning sun rose above the hills, reminding me that though God rests on this day, He never forgets His children. The sun always comes up.

In Coyah, we were received with open hearts and minds by this God-fearing family, eager to know Christ more deeply. We worshiped together as brothers and sisters, and at their invitation, promised to return. After sharing a meal of rice and cassava-leaf sauce, our team began the long trip back to Fria.

Something delayed us along the way, so, in good Guinean fashion, we stopped along the road to wait for whatever we were waiting for (I never did find out what that was). The late-afternoon heat was intense, and the car interior was like an oven, so I sat outside, hoping to catch an occasional breeze as I meditated on the events of the day.

But that would never happen. A mob of children instantly surrounded me, blocking any potential breeze and crowding out any serene pondering. My Sabbath peace was ripped away by their shouts, laughter, questions, and fingers in my hair. Why can’t these kids go find a different white girl to pester? I thought. I was tired of being called “Foté” and “La Blanch,” (terms for a white woman), and I just wanted to be left alone. But they weren’t going anywhere, and it didn’t look like our journey would be continuing anytime soon either.

Why let your day with God end here? I thought. And why leave God when He’s not leaving you? So I pulled out my French-English Bible and began reading out loud in Genesis chapter one. After I had struggled through a few verses in French, a girl took over reading. We traded off every few chapters as the children pressed in closer. They listened intently—one chapter, two chapters, five, ten . . . They giggled in surprise at Noah’s old age, and asked for more and more stories to be read to them.

The sun sank lower, and my voice became scratchier. As the car engine finally started up again, I said goodbye to the children. Two hours had passed, and many of my Bible’s pages had dirty little finger prints on them, but I didn’t mind. Those smudges will always remind me of the seeds planted that Sabbath.

God gives us the seeds. We just need to be willing to plant them.

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