Hangin' Out in Karongue

Hangin' Out in Karongue

Saturday, January 18, 2014

"The old man is dead"

The text simply said, “The old man, Lamine Goudyabi, is dead.” We met Lamine about a week-and-a-half before I received the text. We were visiting with a friend in the village of Birassou Bodiancounda and we were getting a “tour” of the village. A real tour of a small village in southern Senegal means that you stop at the home of all of the “notables” of the village to exchange greetings, chat for a bit, and usually receive a small gift of oranges or peanuts from their garden. This is how you say “Welcome!” in our part of the world.
Our tour took us to the house of Lamine Goudyabi. This visit was a little more special and a bit more important because our family name here in Senegal is also Goudyabi and Lamine and his family were the only Goudyabi’s in the village.

Lamine was seated on a mat outside of his house with an older man and a young boy. They were chatting, drinking tea, and shelling peanuts. After exchanging greetings we joked about having the same family name and how we were all related: us the white Goudyabi’s from America and he and his family the African Goudyabi’s who had never travelled far from southern Senegal. Since it was our first trip to the village we had our camera with us, so we asked him if we could take a picture of him to remember our brief visit. Of course he obliged us and we took several photos of him and the young boy sitting on their mat.

After getting the photos printed we showed them to our friend from Birassou Bodaincounda and told him that we wanted to return to the village to give them away in person. He is in the middle of his preparations for some tests at the high school, so he told us that we would plan a day in the coming weeks; a day to go back and revisit the folks that we met and give them their pictures.

The next day I received the text telling me that Lamine Goudyabi was dead. He had gotten sick and had been sick for a few days before he was taken to the “hospital” in a nearby town where he died. My friend attended his burial in the village. When I asked him all of the general questions that we would ask in our culture after such an event, such as, “How is the family?” he just shrugged as if to say, “This is the reality of life here. This happens and we move on.”

I am not sure what we will do with our picture of Lamine Goudyabi and the young boy sitting on their mat. Maybe we will give it to one of Lamine’s widows when we visit the village again. Maybe we will find the young boy and give it to him as a way to remember Lamine. Or maybe we will just keep it. Maybe we will keep it as a reminder that time is short and that the message of the Gospel is urgent.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Going Where We Cannot Go

What can take the Gospel to local villages twice a week? Villages where we cannot go? The answer: the radio can! In villages with no electricity the local radio station is their link to what is going on in the world as well as a source of entertainment. What better way to spread the Gospel here than by radio!

Beginning this Saturday a radio program entitled “The Way of Righteousness” will be broadcast from Diouloulou twice a week in the Diola-fonyi language. The programs consist of 100 “episodes” that tell the story of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation using a chronological approach that is suited for those with little or no biblical knowledge. Each program is Bible-based and Gospel centered as the listeners learn of God’s plan to send a Rescuer who will give His life to save His people. The programs are geared to a Muslim audience and give special attention to the culture of Senegal.

One of our faithful partners in the Gospel has generously financed this project, as well as made possible the means to put these programs on the radio in the town of Tionk Essil. Only God knows the lives that will be touched as the Word of God and the truth of the Gospel go where we cannot go!
Pray with us as these programs begin. Commit to pray each Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 PM EST as these programs are aired here in Diouloulou. And pray that God gets us in touch with those that begin to listen to these programs so that we can see where God is at work.