Friday, February 27, 2009

Last Assignment and Goodbye

Today was our last day in The Gambia. We had just enough time for one more meeting with a church leader. Pastor Forbes is head of an umbrella organization for a number of churches--all this required, among other things, for religious liasing with the government. He immediately impressed us with his hi-tech knowledge and skill. He owns and operates a business school, conducts a weekly television program, and pastors a church. He seems to have a good grasp of the challenges facing the Gambian Christians in the areas of education and leadership.
The surprise moment for me came when I mentioned the name, Dr. Pat Francis, the founding pastor (she is Jamaican)of a mega-church in Toronto, Kingdom Covenant Church. Forbes and I formed an instant bond as he watches her on television and admires her preaching and visionary leadership. She is already broadcasting in many parts of Europe and Africa. Next step, I took a picture of him to give to Pat, and he gave me one of his business cards to give her. Wants her to come to The Gambia. Steve realized in that moment that he just might be faced with organizing a "Pat and David" campaign to The Gambia! Can't you just see it? I don't know who was scared more by that little flash of fantasy, Steve or me?
I can't close out our tour blog without a last word about Skippy, our toilet froggie. We had not seen him for a few days and feared he had left us. Then yesterday he appeared unannounced to Steve. Well, this morning I was prepared, with camera in hand, for an appearance as I made my first visit of the day to the bathroom. Would you believe it--I saw him, no mistaking his little froggie legs and that stunned look in his eyes! But today was different. He just kept going. No explanation, no cry for help, no goodbyes. As I shuffled back to my bedroom I thought, how fitting. Providence just may have known that we were strangers in the land and needed comfort. I know this because I would sometimes hear Dr.Taylor sobbing quietly during the silence of the African night. Steve, on the other hand, would keep saying things like, "I could live here for the rest of my life," and "Do I really have to pack?"
Well, maybe far fetched for some of you, but we do likely agree that Providence (God) does care, does promise to be our comfort and companion. Skippy is not a sacrament, but he just may be a little sign. For now, that is enough.

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