Tears streamed down my face as I cried out for their salvation.

– “Emma”

First, some history. Arriving back from training in another country a week ago, I decided to plunge right into the culture and stay in the village for four days. It was challenging to do without so many things, have no personal space, and constantly live like them, but I learned so much about life here: survival, family, religion. Relieved to be treated as family and not a guest, I worked alongside them in the kitchen and cleaning, taught them Skip-bo, and we were even allowed – as girls! – to play badminton…without a net of course! They laughed at my language and social blunders a lot, but I laughed too, and sometimes at them, like when “amma” threw dirty water out the kitchen window and doused her daughter at 7AM. Every morning “abba” chanted the Koran and I would record and ask questions, then I would read the Bible and they often did the same. They agreed to listen to our stories after we prepare them and give their thoughts.

One day with a friend who is a national, I toured many famous areas in my city that I hadn’t seen yet: a national park, home of the Hindu king from centuries ago, mosque of the man who brought Islam here, a tea garden, and another famous mosque with a place that women can go (only about three in the country, two of which are in my city). The latter was my favorite. I observed a woman “blessing” the children with superstition until I prayed against her and immediately a leader came and made her stop, driving the women away. I prayed in my heart the entire time committing the place to Him, then sat in the outer hall and performed “dua”. (a specific posture for personal prayers, not memorized) Tears streamed down my face as I cried out for their salvation. When I finished, ten or so came and wanted to know what I was praying about. Then they asked if I would give blessings to their babies and pray for them too.

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