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I began my pastors’ wives classes this morning. They have never done anything like this, so they kept the schedule light – Monday and Tuesday mornings from 9-12. Ok. I will roll with it. By 9:30, we had 36 pastors’ wives and eight nursing babies between the ages of six weeks and 2 years, many of whom traveled up to 8 hours by bus to arrive. The women were dressed in their beautiful bright African dresses. They began by singing – with such joy!! I was again overwhelmed at the fact that anywhere we go on this planet, when we met others who love our Savior, the bond is instantaneous and powerful.
The babies are a bit of a distraction to me, but the women take it in stride. I had to carefully edit my picture choices today because one or more of these babies was eating very publicly at any given time. They all tie the babies on their backs with a blanket or towel when they are not feeding. The children are very accustomed to this. The mother leans forward with the baby on her back, and the baby just sits there waiting to be strapped on!!
I gave the women a brief testimony. I look and dress so very differently that I always feel it is important to cement our commonality – as women, as mothers, and especially as believers. After that, I began an inductive Bible study about the woman with the issue of blood from the gospels. To say that it was well received would be a gross understatement. These women were hungry to be fed from the Word. They took notes, asked questions, and shed tears as we covered the Old Testament laws that isolated this woman as unclean and then the healing from Jesus Himself. As always, I try to instruct these pastors’ wives HOW to do these studies. I use the old saying, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” They truly seemed to understand this philosophy.
While I was eating lunch and relaxing a bit, my translator came and told me that the women were requesting to study further after lunch. They appreciated the teaching so much that they wanted to continue as much as possible. I was thrilled!! So, after lunch, before I did a Bible study with them on Rahab. I broke them into groups of 5 or 6 and instructed them to answer the three questions of an inductive Bible study: 1. What does the text say? 2. What does the text mean? 3. How does it apply to me? I was very encouraged at their participation. They were very tentative at first and insecure about their ability to “rightly divide the Word of truth.” The results were sweet and heartfelt, and I saw a bit of confidence begin to take root. We will water and nurture this confidence tomorrow.