My Big Fat Trip to Mali (not Greek, however)

Posted: March 31, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

Jesus sent a couple of disciples to borrow a donkey. Tomorrow is Palm Sunday. It is the day we commemorate Jesus’ triumphal ride into Jerusalem. The people placed palm branches on the ground before him crying, “Hosanna.” Less than a week later, many of the same people would be yelling, “Crucify Him.” Tomorrow we begin a remembrance of the events of the holiest of weeks for Christians.

I have no doubt that Jesus was not as heavy physically as I am. I would break the poor donkey’s back if I were to get on it. The West Africans tell me that I am “billy, billy, ba.” (Pronunciation, not correct spelling). It means, ‘big and fat’, or at least that is how I interpret it.

The second trip I made into the village where we have planted a Church in Mali was as incredible as the first. We were planning to walk about three miles to an adjacent village where there had been great interest shown in the Gospel. It was April, and extremely hot. There was a major discussion among the Africans. Finally, the translator looked at me and said, “They are concerned you cannot make the trip.” A seventy plus gentleman was standing beside me, and I said, “What about him?” They are not worried about him. So I said, “Well, maybe I can ride in a donkey cart.”

Suddenly about five African men were rolling in the dirt laughing out loud (big belly laughs.) “What is so cotton pickin’ funny?” I asked. “They said, You are bigger than the donkey.” replied the interpreter. So if I am bigger than the donkey, I must be heavier than Jesus was. Life in West Africa always brings surprisingly funny moments.

By the way, you may notice the base of a cell phone tower in the background of the picture. And yet you see instead of a pick-up truck they use donkey carts. The women are shown walking with buckets of water on their head. There is no electricity in our village. There is no running water. Bathrooms are still “squatty potties” (holes in the ground.) But we now have two cell phone towers. Competition has come.

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