Today was a real adventure! It was one of those days where parts of it made you happy you once memorized the scripture “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, strength, and lean not to the same side of the car that may or may not slide into the muddy ditch on top of the mountain!” Wait a minute…..I think I got that last part a little confused with the emotional fear I may have had for a moment while remembering said verse! 🙂 And for the record of making my mom proud…. the verse actually says and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” (Paraphrased but pretty close)! 🙂
Today, we visited a mango tree church that we had heard about and have actually wanted to visit for a while. Doug and I love those small quaint churches that don’t seem to need much but a gathering and Jesus. Now don’t get me wrong, we love worship in many styles, and we know that buildings are good and so are people to fill them. We know that there are many things that people look for in a healthy church, us included, but to be quite honest, over 4 years in a third world country can change that outlook for a person. If we proclaim Christ and the gospel then we are the church no matter where we are or where we may worship. That is exactly why we think starting under a mango tree is pretty fabulous. Bay-Leaf Salama Baptist Church has about 12 active members. Salama means peace in Swahili. Today with our family we totaled 19.
They had chairs set up and a table under the tree, anxiously awaiting the wazungu (white family). Unfortunately, we were also awaiting a nice big rain! We had ventured to the top of Mt. Elgon to find these precious people and made it fine as there was no rain this morning. We moved our service into Susan’s home after it started drizzling. She had a nice room set up and though there was no power and lots of rain, we had a great time of worship. We sang songs, I practiced my Swahili, and Doug preached. The people were so great and welcoming and they even fed us a small local meal that was great. The rains let up a bit and we began the walk back to our car. This is where the more tense part of our adventure began.
It took us less than an hour to drive up the mountain in dry weather. We knew with the rain, coming down the same mountain would be a bit tricky……and quite intense to be honest! We said our goodbyes and hopped in the car. We were going to be escorted about half way by some people on foot to help us along as we got stuck. Seriously……it was not an if but a when. We were not even going good before we were sliding everywhere. Our friends had to dig at one place to help us push through the mud and then had to literally chop half a tree away in another spot so we could pass. The boys and I are in the back and nervous is an understatement. We are actively praying and I am silently praising God that my husband liked to go mud riding in his high school days and actually knew how to handle this better than most.
Two hours after our little mud sliding journey began, we stopped at the bottom of the mountain and prayed. We thanked God for getting us down the mountain safely, but also we thank him for the time we had on top of the mountain. This small mango tree ministry that is now a year old, blessed us. They loved sharing where they were with us. They loved that we would want to even see it. It was God answering the prayers of his beloved people, the LawsonTribe4 and the people under the mango tree.
No matter if you are on the mountain top, in the mudslide, or somewhere in between, God cares for you. This journey that God has laid out can leave you in all of these situations and sometimes all within one day, but know that no matter where he leads, he has gone before you. He will never leave you and he will never forsake you!
Enjoy the pictures! Link