It’s Wednesday afternoon at 3:30. I gather my Bible, notebook, old beach towel, and a prayerful heart and I head out the door. I pick up a friend or two at the gate and we drive towards Kitedde. On the way I wave to lots of happy kids, try not to get stuck in a trench in the road, chat with my new friends, who giggle like we are on a roller coaster if I go faster than 10 mph, and stop by a local elementary school to pick up Margaret, my trusty translator.
It’s time for Bible Study!
Each week we gather at a different woman’s house. It’s an honor to them to come to their home, so we make it a priority to rotate each week. Sometimes we’ll meet inside of the house, but often we lay out our grass mats, old beach towels, or cloth, and rest under the shade of a mango tree. I am often brushing away flys or biting ants from off my Bible while teaching. Sometimes chickens run in and out of our circle. Most often there is a baby or two playing or crying or sleeping nearby.
Since November we have been studying the book of Romans. We just finished chapter 1! My friend Margaret faithfully translates my greetings, my questions, my prayers, the passage of scripture, and everything I have prepared to teach, while also translating back to me their answers, their prayer requests, their questions.
One week I noticed that only one woman was really answering any of the questions. I asked Margaret (pictured above in front of the door) why it was so quiet that day. She explained to me that only two of the women who came that day could read. While they all had their Bibles open and appeared to be diligently looking at Romans 1 with me, they could only answer my questions from their memory, not because they were able to engage the text.
I was reminded of the truth and power of Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
Sometimes it seems unreasonable to get out the door on Wednesday afternoons. There is always more laundry to do, dinner to prepare, children to pay attention to. I wonder, “Is this what I should be doing right now?”
And then I go. We open our Bibles. And they are ready, eager! It’s like the Lord blows away the fog of distraction and worry and reminds me that this is the best thing I could be doing on Wednesday afternoons.
Isaiah 55:11 “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
When you think to pray for us, pray for these women. Pray for the goodness of God’s Word to sink deep into their hearts, to saturate their minds, to stir them to faith and obedience. And for me too.
With a grateful heart for your partnership in prayer…