Stephen & Laura Holt | Sierra Leone, West Africa

What does the Bible say about . . . ?

Date of original journal entry:  November 2010

By faith Laura put out the benches doubting that she had sufficient charity in her heart to believe all things and hope all things. Would the ladies actually come for Bible study? The last three weeks they had not, yet when I went to visit them this morning, they insisted that they wanted to try again and I believe that at the moment they sincerely meant it. So, try again we shall.

Happily they did come, though late, but, hey, it’s a start.  I’m learning that culturally they’re more comfortable arriving all together so if one is late, they’re all late.  I can deal with that now that I understand it.

We were to do John chapter 2 tonight. I have a recording of the New Testament in Krio, the Pidgin English used for cross-tribal communication; a necessity with 16 tribal languages in this small country.  For our study I have them listen several times to our chapter; then I teach a few basic points and we conclude with a question and answer session. They really enjoy it and seem to be learning.  And besides, they ask great questions.

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I love the innocent sincerity of my ladies. They teach me far more than I teach them. (This is not the woman in this story)

 

I had prepared some notes regarding the water into wine miracle knowing that it is taught in churches here that it is okay to drink because, well, after all, didn’t Jesus…   You know the standard line.

We had a very lively discussion and they all chimed in saying, “I didn’t think Christians were supposed to drink!” They followed the reasoning from my cross references; they really got it and I was quite pleased. Then came the question and answer session.

One poor woman became quite concerned about the fact that although she does not drink herself she does sell alcoholic beverages. But with her budding understanding she asked if that was wrong.  I did not even need to answer as one of the other women jumped right in and repeated what I had just taught from Habakkuk 2:15, that it’s wrong to put the bottle to your neighbor’s lips.  That was exciting; I could see the understanding having a quick effect. The first woman then asked me about the selling of jamba – the local term for marijuana. I told her that while not specifically mentioned in the Bible and, giving some scripture, explained that it was not proper to encourage its use. Then she asked about the selling of cigarettes to which I reiterated the answer for the jamba.  It was an information overload.

With slumping shoulders and a dejected look this dear heart, in all seriousness, then asked me, “Is it alright to sell  –  –  monkey meat?”  Stifling my grin and with all the composure I could muster, I assured my friend that the Bible had absolutely nothing to say about the selling of monkey meat.  She was visibly relieved and we went on with the class.  But I still was chuckling inside.

I hope they come next week.  I wonder what questions they’ll ask!

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