What a week! We've painted an entire ceiling mural for the children's ministry center we're staying at, helped with a medical missions team, and ministered to a group of local missionaries that are heading to surrounding countries to share the gospel. This week has been so so so much fun. We had a blast painting the ceiling, complete with a paint fight at the end. But really, how could we not, the paint was RIGHT there!
It's been a very diverse week, doing lots of different kids of ministry. Our painting on the ceiling is a huge blessing to our contacts who wouldn't normally want to put the time in to doing such a big project. This center will be a place for leadership training of other children's ministers to come and learn how to effectively reach over half the population of Africa, which is children. The cool part about our painting is that there are few places in this area that have anything close to what we painted so it will be a tool to inspire others on how to easily and creatively create a kids room. We're really excited about leaving a permanent mark on the place where our trip first began.
The other major thing we did this week was help with a team of doctors doing medical missions work at a school in a nearby village. Our team and a few others specifically did height and weight checks, collected urine samples, and conducted eye tests before they went in to see the doctors. We were so surprised at how well the kids could see! It was such a reward to see them get simple treatments that we could so easily take care of with the help of the most accessible medicines in America. One thing that really touched us was just getting to silently pray a blessing over each kid as we helped them through each station. Speaking life over their futures is such a huge prayer that they may never receive from anyone else. The kids were so precious, as I'm sure you can imagine, and they were shy! Most of these kids have never seen a doctor, so they have no idea what a lot of the things we were doing actually were. It was kind of fun to see their reactions to everything, like stepping on the very edge of the scale that they accidentally slip off, or completely missing the letter on the eye test, which resulted in the biggest grin on their face because they totally knew it.
The cool thing about this week was the Lord showing us that even though we didn't do as much straight gospel evangelism as we thought we were going to do, He still used us in important ways. Sometimes we're not given the perfect opportunity or what we expect on a silver platter, so all we can really do is show Jesus by acting as He would have. We can show love no matter what. We can show compassion no matter the circumstance. We can be a light and an example. We can be different than some of these people have ever seen. Acting as Christ did is showing the gospel without words. When you're faced with the chance, love without words. I never grasped how real "actions speak louder than words" actually was until we got to Africa and realized we didn't have any words to give in their language. Be an example. We may never seen the outcome of our actions, but they may see something different about us, and they may ask why we act the way we act. And we'll gladly tell them. God has a way of planting seeds, and it may not always be the way we plan for. Step out boldly. Love without words.
Prayer requests: We're headed to another village on Monday for the week and we're expecting big things from the Lord, so be in prayer that the Lord's will would be done and that nothing would get in the way. We'll be celebrating my (Jaime) birthday on Wednesday so I'm ready for some African dancing and chanting. And maybe some sweets. We're pumped to go back to living the simple life under that stars and mosquito nets!
Until next time, The Burkina Crew