February 18 (Sierra Leone, Day 8 )
I am very thankful for much better rest last night. I didn’t exactly sleep soundly, but I slept on and off from about 11pm to 8am. So, that was much needed. The only issue now is that I am having some serious ‘plumbing’ issues. I’m hoping it’s just because we’ve been served an unbelievable amount of fruit, and not something more dangerous.
I have been reading, on this trip, a book called Simply Christian, by N.T. Wright, which has been on the whole disappointing given how good Surprised by Hope was. Nevertheless, there have been some very helpful paragraphs and chapters. His chapter on prayer contained two prayers, in particular, that I want to memorize. The first I may use as a regular family or dinnertime prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God,
have mercy on me, a sinner;
Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth,
set up your kingdom in our midst;
Holy Spirit, breath of the living God,
renew us and all the world.
Lighten my darkness, I beseech you, O Lord,
and by thy great mercy defend me
from all perils and dangers of this night;
for the love of thy only Son,
our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
It’s evening now and our last day of teaching in Freetown is through. I taught for a little over two hours on the atonement today. I pray that the biblical gospel will remain of first importance (1 Cor. 15:1-3) for these men and women. On to the city of Bo early tomorrow morning. May God grant a safe journey.
February 19 (Sierra Leone, Day 9)
We were up at 5am to catch the bus to Bo this morning. Bo is the “second city” of Sierra Leone, but, as we quickly discovered, is not even close in terms of development. When we arrived in Freetown, I had a pretty hard night or two because of how rough our accommodations were. As it turns out, Freetown was merely God’s preparation of us for Bo. The place we’re staying is, according to Rick, the worst place he’s ever stayed in all his travels. Almost no running water and no electricity, which means no fans or A/C in 95° heat with very high humidity, cockroaches in the bathroom, cobras, mambas and vipers in the grasses around the guest house, limited access to drinking water and (did I mention?) HOT. There is no escape from the heat. Rick and I just sat and baked all day. No breeze. No place to hide. I know I’m speaking from a pampered American mindset, but this is rough. Amazing to say it, but I can’t wait to get back to Freetown on Wednesday. It will feel like luxury.
I spoke with Leslie earlier. Things are just fine at home, which is a comfort. Nothing is more different than not being able to talk with her much. I think if I could talk to her and Owen every night (rather than every third or fourth night for 10 minutes) it would make this feel far more tolerable. The feeling of heartbreak is almost constant.
At the last minute tonight, Simon called and told us he was coming to pick us up and that we were going to the Christian radio station in Bo to be interviewed about what we’re doing here. Evidently it is a very popular radio station, so we’re hopeful that it will help there to be a large turnout tomorrow. It was difficult to focus and respond well to the deejay’s questions because we were closed into a soundproof room that felt, literally, like a sauna. But, Lord willing, this will help bring people to the church tomorrow.
Five nights in Bo. Three more before I talked to Leslie. Leaving for home in one week. I’m thankful for this opportunity, but next Friday can’t come soon enough!