Here is a picture of Mary and I in our "Nigerian wears"
It is funny how a little effort goes along way. The people in the village church were so thrilled that Mary was going Nigerian that there were lots of comments and congratulations and hand shaking, it was cute. One small step towards them and yet leaps and bounds relationally.
This has been something I have been struggling with a ton here in Jos. There really is a gap, as in the USA also, between the younger generation and the older generation. With that gap comes different ways to minister and reach out. I struggle daily with the idea of this. There are so many opinions out there, truly, you have the opinions of the older nigerians, the younger nigerians, the muslim nigerians, the christian nigerians, then you for sure cannot forget the opinions of the missionaries (those tend to be the most vocal), the missionaries from here, the missionaries from other countries and of course, you then have the voices of the Americans, who don't live here, but have a thought to it. From every angle and side I hear of, I can see their "point of view." It makes sense, but where does that leave me and the way I minister? Being a foreigner, the decisions I make are more "out there" for judgement and opinions. I am learning to be okay with this, the idea of being above reproach in all circumstances so not to be a stumbling block to any is a huge concept. But, the reality is that at some point those two thoughts might collide.
I am in a bible study right now studying the Beth Moore study of the Psalms of Ascent, basically, Psalms 120 through Psalms 134. Anyway, I am learning that so often we learn an idea and eat the seed of it instead of Sowing the seed and reaping a harvest. Does this make sense? Can you follow it? She shares of a story in Africa (which I can relate to and I see it) that a man communicated to some americans that were there on a mission trip, "One of the most frustrating things is that in villages where they receive seed, they often eat the seed rather than planting it and bringing forth the harvest." This happens all the time to us as followers of Christ. We get excited about a biblical truth and even cry over it, but we don't take the time to make it a truth in our own lives. We eat it, verses, sowing it. This is huge for me. I see this in my own life. I have been really praying that the Lord shows me how to trust that He is my audience. The whole concept of "Audience of One". ANyway, if I have been praying for that, why wouldn't I be put in scenarios that show themselves to be "controversial" so that I learn to recognize God's voice in the midst of so many others. It is not just clothing that I am talking about.... it is ministry, how can you truly help and serve the kids that are within your ministries reach? Which direction do you go to further the ministry? How many other ministries do you observe until you have hit the one you can glean from? So many options.... in ministry, in relationships, in family and the list can go to every single aspect of my life.
The Lord has a plan for me and He has a direction for me to go in, I think it is valuable and important to seek out the counseling of other Christ-centered followers, please don't hear me say that it is not important, but I have been truly praying that the Lord puts in my the trust to follow him, no matter the opposition. I am guessing to learn trust, I might need to start sowing the seed of trust so that I may, down the road, after long hours of weariness, harvest and reap the fruit of trusting My Lord and My Saviour.
I know it is worth it, I just don't want to grow weary in the meanwhile, or if I do, not to give up hope that the harvest will indeed come.