Hospitality the North African Way
Within 10 minutes of entering a North African home you will be seated on the floor, a small round table brought before you, your hands washed and dried, and a wee cup of freshly brewed green or mint tea put before you.
A large round piece of bread, baked that morning, will be brought to the table at the same time as the tea with the head of the house breaking the bread and giving a piece to each person at the table – does this practise remind you of someone? Depending on how well off the family are; you may get some butter, jam, olive oil or even honey to dip your bread into.
Remember that this family probably only met you 10 minutes ago. Remember that they are Muslims and live in a Muslim culture. Remember that today you have been praying and asking the Lord to introduce you to people of peace, that today you have been asking the Lord to open a door to someone’s home that He wants to bless.
Into the Saharan Dunes!
Throughout each mission trip we run team devotionals. On this trip we focused a couple of weeks on the character and nature of God. It was brilliant to drive 30 minutes into the dunes and to have devotions in the desert wilderness! Here we reflected on the wildness of God.
Sometimes the simple things are the most memorable! Of all the things the team were a part of and experienced, this night was their favourite memory of the entire trip. We drove off-road a few kilometres, scavenged for some fire wood, dug a wee fire pit in a sheltered spot and very importantly brewed up some Galaxy hot chocolate! Then under a starlit night sky, the licking flames warming us nicely from the chilled desert air, we listened intently for the next two hours to story after story from a couple of missionary friends who had joined us to share about their experiences of God answering prayer and moving among the people of North Africa. What a fantastic night filled with stories of faith and answered prayer!
A Week with Nomads
One of the team, who had been on several trips with us before, had the opportunity to join a mission worker to go and live in the desert with a nomadic family for a week. This was a family that we had met on a previous short term mission trip (when asking God to open up a door among the tent dwellers). In between the trips a friendship had been struck up with the missions worker, communication continued and here was the invite to live a week with them and share life together. This was a huge opportunity, yet also a huge challenge! It was a very positive time where much was learnt and many stories shared. Praise God for this time but continue to pray for this line of pioneer missions work.