It came from deep within me...this anger, this desperation to make it all go away. I had reached my saturation point. I spoke loudly and harshly to the men who dared to press us in such insensitive ways. Shaken from the shame I had caused my husband and the scalding reaction I had allowed to surface in front of the pastors, I sobbed into my pillow as the darkness enfolded me. I tried so hard to stay above it, but it had captured me, pulling me into its clutches. I was lost and did not care if I was ever found. Until the day we left for the United States, I only put one foot in front of the other and subsisted. Turning inward and concentrating only on the care of my children and packing for our trip, I refused to think any more of the refugee needs around me. I had allowed the vines of self and bitterness to take over my heart. I was, at that point, a servant unfit to be used for my Savior.
Walking four miles to a village to teach was one of my epic African missionary moments. It took me out of myself, thrusting me into the world of those African women who worked so hard for everything,but yet possessed so little. Sometimes it is in the stepping out of our closets of pity, choosing to look outward and upward that loosens us from the darkness threatening to consume us.
It felt like we were plodding through thick mud instead of pure refreshing water. But even in the mud, there were those who needed Christ. Isn’t that where most people reside who truly need Christ? Who said we would never have to get our hands dirty to make a difference in His kingdom? Ministry in the Pehe area prompted a necessity to totally die to self so that God could totally have His way. (Pehe, Ivory Coast)