Anyone who’s been there knows that Mondikolok is a strange place. It’s one of the bigger markets around and there is just a strange mix of people. It’s a fun place to go! Today, Mondikolok (mone – dee- koh – loke) was on our schedule. However, all the vehicles were either broken down or being used. So, off we went on Johnson’s motorbike. I DO love riding a motorbike! It makes a hot ride much cooler and it’s just more fun. We got there about lunchtime so we stopped at Johnson’s father’s place and they fed us. So nice!
However, while I was waiting for them to be ready, I sat out front of his shop. I had one man walk up to me and tell me he’s a drunkard. I said that’s not good and we had a nice discussion about the pros and cons of drinking. (we = me and a very drunk barely understandable gentleman) Then, a random person that I didn’t recognize but knew my name came up and greeted me and chatted for a bit.
Then came CDS. Oh I have his name memorized. CDS which means Charles Duku Salaam. He had mental problems and repeated the same few phrases over and over again. I kept waiting for him to ask for money but he never did. Just repeated his name and some random joke that I never could quite make out even after hearing it about 20 times. As soon as he left, I started praying for him. I felt like maybe I’d missed an opportunity with him but couldn’t really converse in english.
Well, I got my chance. After we ate (posho and greens with dried fish), we headed over to the church a very small walk away. On the way, we saw CDS. He was sitting across the road from the church. When we arrived at the church, Juma who is the person we’d be chatting with about Bible lessons went to find another person. So Johnson and I just sat in the church and guess who walks up. He repeats his few phrases several times. I don’t really know how to handle these situations because a lot of times drunks or people with mental problems are just ignored. That’s exactly what Johnson was doing. So I followed suit but kept feeling a prompting. One of the things he kept saying was something about the “good situations.” Finally, I decided to jump in and see what would happen. So, I just turned and asked him if he knew Jesus. . . . .nothing……Then, he said he didn’t know how to get the good situations. So, I said the only good situation I know of is Jesus and Johnson translated for me. Pause but then right back into his phrases. I tried a few more times but nothing. Finally, I gave up and thought “God, why did you prompt me to do this when nothing would come of it?” The only answer I have is that He wanted to see if I’d do it. Was I really obedient? Would I do something that was COMPLETELY uncomfortable for me? I have to admit, the struggle in me was the worry that he was actually demon possessed and as soon as I mentioned Jesus he’d become violent. So, maybe God wanted to see if I’d do what he asked even if it frightened me. This is something I tell the kids all the time. We talk about the story of Jonah or David who (in Jonah’s case, eventually) did what God asked even when it was scary. They could have been hurt or killed but they did it anyway. I just finished “The Pastor’s Wife” by Sabina Wurmbrand (I HIGHLY recommend this book) and was SO convicted about the smallness of my faith. Maybe God was just trying to stretch me a bit. I’m glad I was faithful however small it was.
After Juma returned and CDS left, we had a great time discussing the lessons. Juma seems to really understand what we were trying to teach and he is ready to teach someone else. I’m pretty excited about how the day turned out, really.
Oh, I feel the need to add that at no point did I feel unsafe or that Johnson had left me to fend for myself. If I needed him, he was right there. So, don’t worry person who shall remain unnamed but her initials are Sylvia Kathleen Boaz. =o)