Greetings in the Name of the Lord. I appreciate your prayers and support for this mission field in Africa, and again, your special concerns for me as I continue to minister here. In this prayer letter, I would like to share about my experience in the ministry in August.
A New Experience
In the third week of August, I left the Bible College of East Africa with five BCEA students. We had an aim to read the Book of Judges together with the young adolescents in the three different churches in the Maasai tribal lands. For this, we planned for a ten-day outreach. We had to consider how to run such a Bible camp there. There were many things to keep in mind, such as the age and the number of learners, variety of activities, length of teaching hours, choosing appropriate English hymns to go with the camp program, type of food and its cost, and the language for communication. I had been there for several Vacation Bible schools for younger children, so running another program for adolescents would not be that much more difficult. Yes, there were challenges and things that didn’t work out well. Yet it was only a matter of making adjustments and improvements to make things better.
The hard part of the camp was not in running the program but in my communicating with the teachers with whom I went. I have known them as excellent students at BCEA, and as competent teachers to young adolescents. During the ten days of the camp, though we did run all the programs, taught, cooked, ate, made visitations together, we were not really in harmony. There were complaints in silence toward one another, and at times expressed with, “I don’t understand why she or he does that?”. When I look back, I can list a few reasons for the misunderstandings. One of them, in my discernment, was the age gap between the teachers and me (as a leader of the camp). I am almost a generation ahead of the students. This means my way of viewing and expressing things differs from theirs. Besides, I am a foreigner in this land, and I am still slow to sense the unspoken expressions of the people. Surely, I am growing older and my students get relatively younger. I had to admit my problems and move ahead. After a few days of struggle, I went to apologize about my negative attitude during the camp. Imagine, the guys were smiling back as if they were waiting for me to make a first step, “It’s OK, teacher!” they responded.
Pray For Pastor “O”
Under the Glory Bible Missions in Africa, there is a pastor, “O”, who has served for about 20 years. He was a BCEA student and he was faithful to serve in the Maasai lands, as recommended by my senior missionary. He himself is from the Kisii tribe. He had nothing to do with the Maasai in terms of culture and language. Yet he went to serve there and learned the language of the people and adjusted to
the culture and served well. About ten years ago, a tumor was found in his head. I believe I wrote about this in an earlier prayer letter. An operation was arranged in a hospital in Korea; there the tumor was removed. It was a hard operation. He came back safely, regained his health, and returned to his ministry among the Maasai.
He was there when I arrived in his church for the Bible Camp. I could see one of his eyes had completely lost its sight. He was moving around with only one eye, whose sight was also going away! He looked so tired all the time. It was not easy for him to walk around. The reason for all of this was that there was a new tumor in his head. He was fading away like a candle light before a strong wind. Still, he was trying for ministry to be done. He was there for preaching, visitation, and accommodating many things in the church. Surely his presence in the church and the community means much. Please pray that a new operation will be arranged soon and his recovery will begin.
Why Is It So, Lord?
When things in my life or ministry do not go well, or as I expect, I cannot but ask, “Why is it so, Lord? I think I am doing my best in the situation, yet things do not go well! How long shall I stay as a foreigner in a foreign land, and why is Pastor ‘O’ troubled again? It is painful and not fair.” A verse from the Bible comes to my mind, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9. Surely, God is in control of all these challenges and struggles for His glory.
In His service,
Bai, Eun Young