Junior's thing is evangelism, it's teaching, it's people.
And as many times over the years that we've tried various evangelism efforts in Saccanville (the little mud-hut community surrounding Emmaus) it remains an incredibly dark, hard-headed, hard-hearted place. And though staff and students finally started working in other zones instead, you can't have a passion for Jesus-less people without thinking about the lost-ness every day you pick up village kids for school...every time you go to visit a friend...every time we run to Shayla's for the girls marinade.
If Emmaus' burden is the lost, the burden starts next door.
So with a very small group of long-time church goers asking Junior for some kind of a Bible study recently, he was quick to agree, settled on Paulcine's yard (one of the EBS cooks), and was off. After the first week, he realized that the place to start was the. be. ginning.
And he asked me to start coming with him.
It may not seem like it, but starting back at baby has meant a lot of the things I was able to do before have gotten a lot harder. I can't quite hike the mountain with Ezekiel (and Nora) yet...I can't jump on Junior's bike and head to Fev, I can't leave home for more than 2 hours, I can't stay up working till midnight when I'm up with baby three times a night.
I've had to add a lot more "no's" to my repertoire.
But Junior asked, and I couldn't shake it. It's a short walk, Nora can join me, it's on Saturday afternoons...God kept bringing it back up. So I'm in.
But I wasn't expecting what I found.
When Junior jumped in after prayers and singing with, "Where did this tree come from? Where did that mountain come from? Where did this dirt come from?" I thought he was kidding. I mean, Sofie could have conversed with him about that, and these around me were men and women who have been in the Saccanville church for as long as Matt and I have been living in Saccanville, at least.
"Why don't we look and sound like the animals?" he asked next, gently, confidently, patiently. "Why
does the sun rise every day? Why do our roofs need posts to hold them up, but the sky does't have anything holding IT up?"
When everyone looked at their hands and sat silently, I couldn't figure out why no one was answering. I looked at June questioningly and he smiled kindly. They didn't know
Really didn't know. And I felt heavy with discouragement. Seriously? These are men and women are in church every Sunday, at least several of which I have seen the fruit of true conviction, repentance and following Jesus, and they aren't able to tell their neighbors who made the mountains? That we are made in God's image?
"Let's see what the Bible says," June said as a some goats bolted across the yard. "Open your Bibles to Genesis."
The last week Junior had obviously made sure everyone had and brought a Bible, but "Genesis"?
The ministry of Emmaus was becoming more and more important to me every minute. The church is f-a-i-l-i-ng. It has to be DIFFERENT than it has been. I don't want to hear any more numbers.
D I S C I P L E S H I P is where it is at. And there is NOT enough of that patient, kind, perseverant, painstaking, simple discipleship happening. If you can be in church for YEARS and not know who He is and where you came from and where to find Genesis...then the church needs to be doing a whole lot better.
And yesterday in the yard, she did.
Junior and I went from person to person, showed each brother and sister the beginning. Genesis. Chapter one. It's awfully hard when you can barely read. Suddenly, I am more patient, too.
He went through chapter one, tiny piece by tiny piece. One piece of information followed by one question.
God made the Light. What did God make?
And God saw that the light was good. Was what He made good?
What did He make first?
Do we have light today?
Who made that?
Is it good?
Because God made it?
Bravo. Let's look at the second day...
Junior continued like that, little by little, all painstakingly through Genesis one, and everyone learned for the first time that we are MADE in God's image.
That was exciting because that IS exciting. And they didn't know.
And now they know.
And they know where Genesis is. And they know where their mountain came from. And they know that God made their ocean stop where it is, and made their tree, and made them to dominate over the animals, so they do NOT have to live in fear of animals used by voodoo, like snakes.
Every tiny detail learned felt so tedious, and yet at the end of the hour, every one knew, really knew, every one. Well.
And the entire Bible ahead of us suddenly seems REALLY really big...and yet I walked home with Nora excited afterwards, because they DO. NOT. KNOW.
but they will.