Here is yet another one of my old journal entries. This particular entry was written the day after the last one I posted.
Same as yesterday… on the porch, sun setting, and reflecting on my day. I find this to be a beneficial way to close my days. It allows me to focus my thoughts and prayer. I feel my vision stays more kingdom focused this way. I pray I can continue to find this time.
Today was good. Felt like I was more “on my game,” so to speak. I have been struggling to hold on to my purpose these last few weeks as I have grown accustomed to my new station in life. Some good prayer time and a fresh look at the Sermon on the Mount seems to have set me straight once again. It is funny how the Spirit draws us to what we need when we need it. I have heard, and read, the familiar words of Matthew 5-7 since I was a little kid. One would think its meaning would soon tire or become overused as a broken record does. Or possibly, that it would at least become rote and unappreciated, much like and old toy. One receives it as a new gift, but over time the paint wears thin and the novelty fades.
Praise God such is not true of his Word. I find myself challenged anew with each read of this beautiful passage. Each time, it strikes me as a new gift of revelation from my creator. Each time, it calls me further into obedience than is worldly possible. And somehow, it seeks out my sins, the very ones I am dealing with at present, whatever they are. I am convicted and reminded of what it means to be salt and light.
What a gift.
Now on village life:
Discovered yesterday that my tire was low. After the last tire malfunction, I decided I would be proactive this time and get it inflated before the three hour trek over hill and dale back into the city. I discussed this issue with the chief, and he instructed me to go to a neighboring village. Apparently there was a mechanic there who could inflate my tire. Now I had seen the “mechanics” here and what little they had to work with, but I soon found out that Africa was not finished surprising me yet.
I left for the village and eventually ran across a grass hut with tools strewn around its perimeter. I assumed I had found the mechanic. Indeed, he was the man I was looking for and I explained my dilemma. He was quick to produce a solution, but to my shock, he pulled out a small, plastic bicycle pump. I knew better than to expect an air compressor, but this was beyond anything I had guessed. I did not know it possible to inflate a car tire to sufficient pressure with such a small toy. Nonetheless, he proceeded to try as though he had used it a dozen times on other cars. But try was all he was able to do. After half an hour or so of inflating, the tire was only getting flatter so he decided to throw in the towel with this pump. However, he had not been defeated.
The man began to tell me of another mechanic in the next village up the road. This mechanic was apparently the possessor of a big pump that would solve my problem with ease. So, the man jumped in my car with the promise of delivering me to the next destination. Off we went in search of the “big pump,” which I had merely assumed was a small, generator-ran compressor. We finally arrived at another grass hut, tools decorating the ground around it. The two men quickly began chatting away in their tribal tongue. Eventually, the owner of this fine automotive establishment went into his hut and returned with yet another bicycle pump! I began to thank God that I had a fresh spare tire with me, as I knew this would end badly.
Another 30 minutes passed, and to my utter astonishment, my tire had been inflated to full pressure with a bike pump. I was so impressed with the efforts of these two men that I paid them both three times the asked price. (It was only 60 cents apiece in US dollars, but consider that it is almost a day’s wage for many here.) They were exceedingly thankful and I had received my entertainment for the day. Not to mention, I got quite a bit of language practice along the way.
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