Journaling in Distant Lands; An Intro of Sorts

“Welcome to Dakar! We’re so glad you are here! Can I be of any assistance in your working your way through our user-friendly Customs agency? Isn’t our easily followed signage impressive? Would you care for a cup of coffee while you wait?”

While in flight, had we slept (we didn’t) we would have dreamed of this reception in Senegal. Instead, and I confidently speak on behalf of all, we felt more like we were being booked and incarcerated for some felony charge.

The travel stage was behind us. Multiple flights, one lasting several hours, were archived and now we were in the distant land of Senegal, Africa.

Thankfully, Matt thought enough of us to ish-ly (more on that word at a later time) provide us with a rough sketch of how to maneuver Customs (he even did a play-by-play in a prior Skype session). His sketch, helpful as it was, didn’t include the instruction to forego all cordiality with the prison guards manning Customs.

“No smiling… (blinding flash of camera snapping mug shot)… stick your finger there… go in that room… SIT… not this room!… get out of here… this room?… why are you here?… what are you carrying?… why are you here?… where will you stay?… why are you here?…  who’s your daddy?… why are you here?… >stamp!… stamp!…< Next!”

Dazed we may be, but grateful indeed for having passed this first test.  It is an added joy to find our luggage made the trip with us. We make our way out of the terminal to find Matt and his friends waiting.

We greet him with the city of Dakar in the background and a strange feeling overcomes me. It is a feeling I will experience once again when we finally make Diouloulou where the rest of Matt’s family waits for our arrival.

In some unexplainable way I feel like Simeon and Anna (Luke 2). It is a feeling that prods me to know, “We will witness first hand the salvation of God being freely offered to a darkened land through the ministry of our friends living far outside the camp.”

Our reunion is hurried for we must get on the road. It is not so hurried though that that the most important element of Matt’s ministry is overlooked. We pray.

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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4 Responses to Journaling in Distant Lands; An Intro of Sorts

  1. Labeth says:

    This is one of the major things I took away from the amazing presentation you men made last night at our church. Prayer. It is all they have. There is no “support system: or group nearby. Their lifeline is prayer. When will my lifeline be prayer? When will prayer be my first resort, my habitual, natural tendency? for even the ordinary, easy things. When you are gripping a “life”line, you won’t let go!! Why do I keep letting go? What does it take to get me to a place of prayer, as naturally as breathing? Questions for myself that i came away with last night. Thanks so much for sharing with us!

    • mtsweat says:

      As it is, as you heard last night, the most impacting part of our journey for me also. We think for some reason because of the land we live in that we are safe… secure, but in reality we are in just as great a need of the “lifeline” you speak of here. Maybe, because we don’t recognize it, even more so.

      Thanks Mrs. Labeth. You are a marvelous encourager and discerner of the urgent. Pray the Lord will open our eyes to our constant need to stay attached to our Lifeline; our Heavenly Father, and how that attachment is secured in prayer and Word.

  2. Thank you for sharing this experience with us!

    • mtsweat says:

      Thanks Pastor J for the great encouragement. It’s difficult at times to weed from my journaling what is appropriate and honoring. I pray a little light-heartedness will not be taken wrongly. Blessings good friend.

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