Sidi* is from Sahara’s Gate where we serve. He had studied in the States but a mutual friend was unable to introduce us at the time, so I emailed Sidi when we were in his country. No response. I tried again a month later and he responded immediately! Turns out, he had just connected internet service that day.
Amazingly, he lives in the same city as we do, and I only had to walk a 100 yards to meet him. His father, brothers, sisters, cousins, and many small children all greeted me.
Sidi then said, “I will walk you home.” I learned later that the custom in this country is that when someone walks your house and you enjoy their visit, you offer to walk them back to their house. This was a huge honor for me.
On the way he told me, “In our country we have a saying that if someone leaves their country to come and live in your country, they are a better person than you.” I’m not sure how, but I know God will use that saying to help us sow gospel seed with Sidi and his family.
Since that day, we have visited multiple times. A lack of shared language is a barrier with some of his family members, which makes communication harder, but I am working at it and so are they. Our relationship grows and just the other day Mariam,* one of Sidi’s relatives, asked to come to our house soon. “Of course,” we replied and expect her to show up any time.
We are excited for this opportunity God gave us to share our lives with these beautiful people and anxious for our language to increase so that we can better share our lives and the gospel with them.