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The Rest of My Life

Michelle, from Wichita, Kansas, participated in TREK 2021 and was sent to West Africa with a team of four.

West Africa changed me. It wasn’t just being in a different country or a different culture. It was because the Wodaabe friends that I met there treated me like family, and family shapes who you are.

Our TREK team spent time learning about the traditional ways of the Wodaabe people group, and that impacted me. But beyond that, I came to know and love them as my brothers and sisters in Christ. There were many ways in which this bond was formed. 

For example, several of us on the team were hosted by a local pastor. He was like a wise father to us, opening our eyes to dream bigger. When he shared his own vision for his city, I prayed for his passion to rub off on me. Learning from him, I went from being asleep to waking up. 

At another point, one of the young men who considered me to be his sister approached me with a surprising request. “You are my older sister,” he told me solemnly. “In our culture, it falls to you to find me a wife. Will you do that?” Swallowing my smile, I respectfully suggested that he might want to pray about that, and trust God to provide. 

Being family meant that sometimes I gave, and sometimes I received. As a teacher by profession, I was welcomed into homes to do tutoring in English and piano. My students, however, then became my teachers as they worked to improve my French and help me understand the culture. 

The closer we became, the more I cared about them all. Sometimes that was hard. One of the church youth leaders shared with us his vision to reach his own people. He told us about venturing into the bush to share the Gospel with other Wodaabe. He also told us about his plans to host a Christian concert during the annual camel races—an event almost exclusively attended by Muslims. I was moved with both admiration and concern. We knew that he would be risking his life to make Jesus known. Would I someday lose this brother that I just met, because of his sincere commitment to the Gospel? 

I don’t know how to describe everything that I experienced in Africa. I just know that I want to live and serve like that for the rest of my life. 

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Are you ready for a discipleship-in-mission experience like the TREK program? To learn more about TREK and other mission training experiences with Multiply, go to multiply.net/trek or call your Regional Mobilizer at 1.888.866.6267.

 

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