The Peoples Next Door Posts

“The best-laid plans of mice and men, often go awry…”
The phrase is an adaptation of a line from a poem by Robert Burns entitled, To a Mouse. It is an age-old adage, and it is quite true. No matter how hard we try, no matter how careful we plan, things do not always turn out the way we expect them to.


Several months ago, some colleagues and I were traveling to a bordering country to join fellow laborers for a celebration of their ministry. On our way back through a particular town along the border, we decided to stop and pay a visit to an old friend of my colleagues. This friend was a long-time believer and had grown up in the town where we all reside, but she had moved to that country after marrying. Her husband was not a believer, but she had remained in the faith. (Remember marriage works very different in the culture here.)

Our desire was to pay a quick and quiet visit simply for the purpose of greeting and encouragement. However, having no clue where she lived, we began asking around in the town market for anyone who knew this lady. What started as a nice idea to drop in and pay a visit began to gather quite a crowd of on-lookers. You could imagine a carload full of white people pulling up in the middle of the market and trying to find someone caused considerable speculation. It was obvious that some were simply reluctant to let us know where this lady was because they did not know why we wanted to see her. Others were running around trying to find her. Our little plan began to boil over into a fiasco. Eventually, someone from the market had found our friend and we were able to pay our visit, but only after causing a tremendous scene. Needless to say, everyone in town now knew that our friend was in cahoots with the white Christians.

It was not until this past week that we learned the true outcome of all our commotion. Read More The best-laid plans…

Discipleship from Africa

About six months ago, I was given a turtle. It was a regular, garden variety turtle. This turtle had no special talents or abilities. It had no value, except that it was a gift.

It was given to me by a man with whom I have developed a significant friendship this past year. Let us pretend his name is Paco. A couple of months after moving here, I met Paco in one of the villages out in the bush where I was doing my language study. Early on, we would meet to study scripture and eventually he became a part of our fellowship.

On one of his visits to our town for discipleship, Paco showed up at my house with this turtle. He had found it in the bush, and instead of leaving it for his kids to play with, he thought I would enjoy it. So, he chose to bring it to me. Read More On gift-giving – Part 4

Discipleship from Africa Uncategorized

I believe people mean well enough, when it comes to gift-giving that is. However, it is ritual in America, especially around Christmas time. No longer is gift-giving a nice gesture. Instead, the tradition has become an obligation during this season of the year. It seems to me this shift in the essence of gift-giving has possibly changed the reasoning behind the act. The question is thus raised, “Why do you give gifts?”

Following is a list of the reasons, at least in my experience, why people give gifts during the Christmas season. While the list is not exhaustive, the reasons are thus: Read More On gift-giving – Part 3

Discipleship from Africa Funny posts