Everything will change. A Ministry of WorldVenture.
So I'll be honest, I'm not sure where to start this blog. I just looked at my calender to see how long it has been since the new team got here, and it's been a month. Seriously??? I don't believe it! Where the heck did the last four weeks go? So far we've done seminars on culture and the stress and shock that can come with living in a new one, current sicknesses and diseases, and hygiene/day-to-day life in an Ivorian home.
Again, I can't believe how fast this month has gone, but that's probably what I write in every single blog! But seriously, time goes by way too fast, I also can't believe that I've been here for a year and two months! Anyways, getting to know this new team has been so much fun. Plus seeing their reactions to what I'm so used to but is completely new to them has been really fun and a good reminder of how things used to be for me.
Not so long ago, we took the whole new team to one of the local pastor's house to greet him and present them to him. After the presentations and small talk, we somehow got to asking him if his family was Christian and how he became a pastor. Simple enough questions, right? Well it turns out he has an extraordinary story, well at least in our eyes it is. Unfortunately, his story is all too common here.
None of this pastor's family is Christian, and neither was he, of course. His family was animist and his father went to a sorcerer to ask how he could become rich. The sorcerer told him that if he sacrificed his oldest son, it would happen. So he tried to do it! One day the pastor felt like something all of a sudden stabbed him through the chest and he fainted. There was nothing there yet he has scars from it!
He didn't die fortunately but continued to be really sick for a long time. Long story short, no one could figure out what was wrong with him and so he turned to Christ. He became a Christian and recovered. However, now that he was a Christian, his family tried to poison him! They would make him meals that were extra special, but he would smell and taste that there was poison in it. So he turned to his pastor and they came up with a solution so he could move away from his family.
Then, as his Christian life progressed, he was told by many people that he should become a pastor. He, on the other hand, had absolutely no desire to do that and had other plans for his life. Then one day, he was struck blind! He went to several doctors and no one could figure it out. So while he was lying in his room, he heard the voice of God telling him to become a pastor. So he went to the Bethel Bible Institute in Korhogo and registered. A few days later, his sight came back!
So there it is, I summarized as best as I could trying to keep it short and without giving too many details about somebody's personal life. I've heard and read stories like that throughout my life, but here I was sitting is this man's courtyard listening to him tell his incredible story with his 1 year old son sitting in his lap and pregnant wife sitting beside him. Satan has other ways of keeping us from God in the West, his strategy here often times involves sorcery and witchcraft, things that are in my opinion more visibly terrifying. Either way, it's so amazing when you meet someone who is living proof of how much more powerful God and that He conquers all. He is a real life example of Romans 8:31 "If God is for us, who can be against us?"