All in His Time
It has been a while since I have written. I have been going through some personal challenges and upheavals, but God has been good throughout! I am writing from the United States. I had been planning to visit my oldest son and his family for a couple years but it had not worked out. Early in the summer, however, I was able to go and it was just in the nick of time. My two-year-old grandson was diagnosed with a Salmonella infection in his leg bone and had to be hospitalized. There were some complications, but God heard our prayers and the doctors also reconsidered their decision and discharged him after five weeks instead of six.
During this same time, I got a call from Senegal and was told that it appeared that someone had tried to break into my house through the roof. Several roof tiles were damaged and needed to be replaced. I was crushed that someone would try to burglarize my house. The rainy season would be starting any day and we had to scramble to borrow money to buy and install the tiles before the rain came. We did get the tiles but unfortunately the day Doudou, the mason, was supposed to install them, it rained. Fortunately, he had the presence of mind to move the furniture from under the damaged tiles so things did not get too wet.
But the mystery remained: who would try to break into the house? Soon we had the answer. Aljouma, the man who delivers the water saw Doudou on his way to replace the tiles. He said that a group of monkeys had been in the area and he had to chase them from off my roof. Well, that was a relief! I was so happy to hear that it was the monkeys and not a person trying to break into my house. It seems that monkeys used to be very common in the area. Now that people are buying lots and building, they are losing their habitats and are becoming more of a nuisance.
As an update, we are still waiting on the water pipes to be installed. It seems that the sub-contractor is now the reason for the delay. Before leaving Senegal, I was calling regularly only to hear the same story: there is a shortage of pipes. Please pray that the shortage will soon be over. We have been waiting for over two years now. Lack of water really limits our gardening options because buying water is so much more expensive.
Also, please pray that God will send some mature Christians to help with the project. Many people have passed through but a few have come for reasons that are sometimes dubious. Sad to say, at other times they have been outright dishonest. Poverty and sin can breed a mentality that seeks to take advantage of others, especially foreigners.
A major drawback has been finding reliable individuals with whom to partner in the work who are not driven solely by money. Because I have to spend a lot of time in Dakar working to get the finances to help support the project, things do not get done as they should and resources are misused and/or wasted. Although teaching English is helpful, it can be financially stressful waiting 2-3 months for your salary. This situation has caused me much distress and has sent me back to the drawing board and to my knees to better understand God’s plan for us here.
Several years ago when I was working at Advent Home, I had an interesting dream. In the dream, I was in Africa and I was showing my brother my vegetarian café/health food store with treatment rooms. Since that time, I have kept the idea in the back of my mind. The Spirit of Prophecy counsels us to start hygienic restaurants and health food stores with treatment rooms in the cities as a form of evangelism. This should be coupled with a sanitarium in the country.
For several months, as I was contending with these personal challenges, the idea came back to my mind. At the same time, due to other family issues, the need to rent a place in Dakar became evident. As I was looking for a place, the idea in my dream was foremost in my thoughts. Wherever we rented had to have enough space for a massage and treatment room and a shop.
In Senegal, it is commonplace for all kinds of businesses to run out of a garage whether those businesses are tailor shops, boutiques that sell food or clothes, restaurants, or beauty salons. After several weeks of searching, I found a house that seemed to be just what I needed. It had a garage and an extra room with a bathroom inside. I started thinking about and planning how to set up the shop, and what products we would need, etc. Twenty-five years ago I operated a health food store but I realize that this shop will be a bit different.
Due to financial constraints, it will be small, but it will carry healthy food products such as whole grains and local rice. We will sell mostly locally-acquired products, along with charcoal, essential oils, and the natural personal care products and natural remedies that I make. I also plan to offer fresh veggie juices and smoothies and, eventually, salads, soups, and simple sandwiches and wraps. And most importantly, I want to have a library of our books and tracts that people can read onsite or borrow.
|“I had been feeling troubled earlier because it seemed that I was not moving forward as quickly as I hoped. Still I have to remind myself that it is all in His time.”|
On my arrival in the States, I started making lists of the things I needed to purchase like essential oils, charcoal, and containers that I cannot find in Senegal. After making my essential oil list that came to over $300 I wondered where I would get the money. To my amazement, a family friend who was totally unaware of my plans brought me more than 30 large bottles of essential oils. Praise God!
I also wanted some medical supplies like gauze for poultices, rubber gloves, and bandages for the treatment room. As I was explaining what I planned to do, another family friend gave me several bags of supplies along with an electronic blood pressure monitor. I believe that the Lord is confirming the path I am taking!
Time is short and the Lord is telling us to be about His business. I had been feeling troubled earlier because it seemed that I was not moving forward as quickly as I hoped. Still I have to remind myself that it is all in His time. That does not mean that we should dawdle and be idle but we should also refrain from running before the Lord. We need to pray without ceasing and like we have never prayed before. He wants to bless us but as He has shown me, we must be in His will not in our own.
Please continue to pray for the Senegal Health Project that it may be an effective right arm of the gospel as well as salt and light in Senegal.
May God bless and keep you all!
By Deborah Ndione. Senegalhealthproject@live.com. Support for this work can be sent through Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058.