Saturday, February 14, 2009
Today I wanted to write about my friend, Gifty.
As a new missionary in Ghana, one of the things I really wanted right away was a friend. Since the missionaries we were planning on working with left after just a month, I assumed my new friend would be a Ghanaian. I guess I didn't really think about the language or culture barrier being a problem. But..........it was. I couldn't communicate with any of the older ladies, and there were very few ladies my age in the church we were helping in. Soon we began holding a Bible study at the University. I just knew I would make some friends there. But, I was wrong again. Many of them were very friendly, but they all had there own lives - school, studies, dating, etc.
At that point I just figured that maybe I was meant to be friendless for a while. In God's sovereignty, He knew that a close friendship with a lady my age wouldn't have been the best thing for me at that time. He knew that I needed to deal with the language and culture shock first. He knew that these things would draw me closer to Him, to my husband, and to my daughter. He knew what was best!
After a while, I quit thinking about having a friend. It's not that I didn't want one, it's just that it became secondary to all the other things I needed to think about. And then, one day, God gave me that friend! A young lady from the University came to our house after church for some counsel about a boy she was dating. We had talked a few times at the Bible study on campus, and she seemed pretty nice. As John and I were finishing talking to her she asked who I went visiting with. I told her that it was something we had been praying about for a while, but that I just went with John since there were no ladies for me to visit with from the church. She simply said, "Could I go visiting with you?", but that was the answer to several years of prayer by several people!
Since that day, Gifty has become a good friend! She has helped me understand so many more things - about the culture, about what it is like to be a native Christian, about what it means to have a cross-cultural friendship, about the language. The list could go on and on!
I sum it all up now with a request that you pray for my friend, Gifty. She has recently gone through some very difficult things. Please pray that God will give her the grace she needs to deal with what she has been through and that she will come through this trial as a stronger Christian. Pray that God will give John and I wisdom as we try to encourage her through this valley. And lastly, pray that God will use our friendship to see more souls brought to Him!
at 6:25 AM