3.11.2013

Burkina Faso 2009 :: Part II


Recently, I've been spending some time reflecting on some mission trips I've taken in the last 5-6 years.  Since these were very impactful points in my life and something I think about often, I thought I'd share some things from my trip in a little mini series.

See Burkina Faso Part I

camp
We spent the middle part of our trip at a youth camp that we referred to as bible bootcamp.  Each American was split up and paired with their own team of Burkinabe for the week.  We ate all of our meals with that group and had small bible studies in the morning.  After breakfast and the bible study, we would spend the rest of the morning (2-4 hours) in a classroom with worship music and listening to a speaker (luckily he spoke English and had a French translator so it was easier for me to listen since I have to work really hard to pick up French).  The speaker came from a country that is primarily muslim so we learned a lot about the muslim culture and being an 'alongsider' with muslim friends, family, and neighbors.

my group
We would have lunch and then a little nap/rest time before sports time.  During sports time, we would all go up to this field and play soccer or throw frisbee and just hang out. After sports time we would have some more worship and classroom time and some individual study time in the evening.  One day during sports time, I walked onto the field and there was a rainbow,worship music playing on a camper's phone, and everyone was running around having fun... it was a small glimpse into what heaven will be like and I can still picture that moment so vividly.
some campers
Worship time and prayer was a lot more spontaneous and organic from what I've experienced in America.  During songs, there was a lot of clapping and dancing and felt a lot more relaxed.  I wasn't able to understand the French in some of the songs so I just made up my own words.  During any time of prayer, we were asked to pray to ourselves, but all of the campers would speak their prayers out loud so you could just hear a hum of spoken prayers during that time.  These things initially surprised me, but felt really comfortable and natural as soon as I dived into it.

Our time at camp was really fun!  I would consider it one of the more significant parts of the trip since it was our most consistent time during the trip and we spent a lot of that time interacting with a smaller group of Burkinabe.  All of the students were really willing to open up and have great discussion.  Only one student in my group, Benoit, spoke English so he was the one that I became the closest to and got to see him later in the trip.

Jeux de Piste
Towards the end of our time at camp, we had a day where they called Jeux de Piste, which translates to games of the trails.  Jeux de piste, or what I dubbed the best day of my life, was quite the adventure.  You quickly learn that you should have zero expectations for your day/trip when you are on a mission trip.  What we were told was supposed to be a little scavenger hunt turned out to be a 5-7 hour all day hike/run/search through (literally) the middle of nowhere.  We were told to follow these barely visible arrows etched in the dirt (I didn't spot a single one the entire time) that were probably 100-200 yards away from each other.  Then there were M's in a circle at certain spots standing for 'Messenger' and we would have to search around that area to find a leader that would ask us some trivia questions from our lessons we learned that week.
my group during jeux de piste
At the end of the hike, they paralleled the adventure to the journey of life.  There are many obstacles and we'll reach hard times, but we have to press on.  There will also be tests (Messenger) along the way.  

1 comment:

  1. Sorry, I finally have the time to catch up on my blog reading...

    That Jeux de Piste sounds fun and interesting! I always wanted to do a city wide scavenger hunt where you make a list of things you need to find and then take pictures of them once you find them.

    ReplyDelete

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