What an incredible feeling to be back in Senegal! After a whirlwind tour of the States this past year, getting to see so many beloved family and dear friends, we were literally counting the days to be back home in Dakar.
Our welcome home was a continuous flood of excitement. We flew out of DC with our friends working in the North of Senegal, sharing one last round of Starbucks before boarding. We were greeted by all of our luggage upon landing (a genuine miracle) and another friendly face waiting for us in the parking lot ready to drive us to our new home.
Honestly, the first few days are a hazy blur of driving the kids to school, unpacking boxes and trying to stay awake while dusting.
And then the deluge.
In the middle of the night, innocently making my way to the restroom, my foot sank into
ankle-deep water. The steady rain outside decided it much preferred to take up occupancy in our guesthouse kitchenette and bathroom. Elise and I spent the next midnight hours mopping and expelling the flood.
Isn’t it amazing how the mundane gets mixed in with the marvelous. One moment, loaded with the miraculous, is followed by the ordinary, even frustrating. The rain we’ve been praying would come to Senegal to feed the fields and diminishing rivers arrived. Amen! But the rain also arrived through an invisible crack in the ceiling onto our pillows. Amen?
In each moment is a new golden moment of choice, an opportunity to fix our eyes. Elise and I rejoiced as we heard the rain begin to beat on the rooftop. But as our feet waded “Lake Surprise” we were faced with the same opportunity to praise. Tired and sweaty, and more than a little annoyed, we sat down after driving out the zero-hour flood, put on some worship music and thanked God for allowing us to be back in Senegal, no matter what may lie ahead.
This is the beginning of a new term, a new thousand days starting. There will be great days! Like holding Pastor Benoit and Sophie’s newborn son, Emmanuel Matthew, for the first time. Watching him open his eyes and look into mine. There will be hard times! Like driving in the unpredictable chaos that is Dakar traffic (“driving” might be an overly generous term). In every moment, a renewed opportunity to trust our Lord, who is our refuge (Psalm 62.8).
It is no wonder the Spirit of God inspired the author of Genesis to begin all time demonstrating His sovereignty over chaos (Genesis 1.1-2). There is no contest, no equality between the momentary chaos of this world and the eternal omnipotence of Christ! In the flood, God reveals His everlasting power. In the overwhelming darkness, He speaks, “Let there be light.” Among the unreached nations He proclaims, “This good news of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a witness to all peoples, and then the end will come,” (Matthew 24.14). In all times, good and bad, exciting and challenging, He is in control and He is not surprised. What a great opportunity to rejoice!