Speaking of bugs (chiggers last time) reminds me of the last place I visited while our family was still living in Nigeria in 2009. I spent most weekends that year travelling in our Helix Toyota, or on my own motorcycle, or the back of someone else’s bike, going to different village squares, churches, Jauro’s palaces (a Jauro is one of the traditional rulers), or simple courtyards in individual compounds. There I would bring some word of greeting from my home church (at that time, Elim Baptist in Beausejour, MB), and preach and teach a little bit.
On the last such enterprise I travelled with my friend Pastor Aminu and some others in my Helix until we reached a creek-bed which it could not traverse. Then we switched to chabbas – taxi motorcycles – to take us the rest of the way to the village.
Meanwhile, as we rode in the truck, the Evangelism Team from the Baptist Seminary was trekking to the same destination – and I can only imagine what a long, hot, rough walk that would be. Men and women from the Seminary made the journey, taking about eight hours to climb up and down the hills.
While the truck reached there at mid-afternoon, the Evangelism Team did not arrive until close to sunset, so we had several hours to wait. We spent part of it in a church just outside the village, praying and worshipping. The rest we invested in a short walk to the top of an overlooking hill where we could survey the beautiful countryside.
Finally we were all together, and after more prayer we headed into the village. It was dark by then, but a generator had been brought and Christmas lights lit up the village square. My business that evening was to share my testimony, so in my white Fulani robe I stood in the middle of the square with my friend Aminu beside me, translating to the crowd.
Now, you should know: Fulbe people are normally very stoical – they do not like to show too much emotion to outsiders, and never any sign of pain or discomfort. Wouldn’t you know – towards the end of my testimony a bug began to seriously bite me just at my right shoulder, and I was trying to get at him without being too noticeable. My friend Aminu noticed, and he asked me under his breath what I was doing. When I told him he replied back that “A pullo [a single Fulbe] does not concern himself with such things.” Doh! Sufficiently chided, I left off with the bug and finished my testimony.
Aminu and I left early the next morning, as we had to be home for another engagement, but the Evangelism Team stayed behind. They went door to door, asking these Muslim people if they could share some more about Jesus. Later that afternoon they gathered those they had talked to and fielded any questions they had concerning Jesus and the Good News.
I later asked Pastor Aminu how the event had ended up. He responded by telling me that thirteen former Muslims from that village were preparing for water baptism! Suffering a little bug is one thing. Personally, I am in awe of those saints with the lovely feet trekking over the mountains.
NB. The second picture is of my son Robert and me with the Evangelism Team in Mbu.