Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Death Sentence

What are you thankful to God for this week?

This is a question that comes every Sunday in our church and I am grateful for the regular reminder that God is living and active in our lives whether we acknowledge Him or not. There are usually lots of responses to this call in our church but this week there was one that really made me think. One of the refugees in our church got up and told us that he was thankful for today because it was the anniversary of his death sentence. He had been imprisoned in his home country and sentenced to the die because of his ethnic background. What would it be like to have a death sentence placed upon you and then to live past it while you saw others receiving for theirs? I can't imagine what it would be like to survive twelve years in jail never mind knowing that you were supposed to die there and that they could give you a new date at any time. What a beautiful thing it was to be free and celebrating eighteen years after your death sentence!

When I think about it I realize that we aren't all that different. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden we received a death sentence. It is only because Christ paid the price for us by his death on the cross that we can be free of that penalty, we just have to accept that gift. So I hope you are free and celebrating the number of years since your death sentence too.

The school's field day is coming and I would appreciate your prayers for that. Please pray for safety for all who are involved. Pray for my boys that they would learn to be a source of encouragement to those around them and be able to celebrate with those who succeed regardless of their own personal standing.

Please also pray for Sahel as the semester ends in a few short weeks, that exams would go well that the students would be able to perform to the best of their ability and finish the term well. Pray also for  a youth pastor for the coming semester as the young woman (a former student at Sahel) who was leading that team returns home at the end of the term. Pray also for her that she would sense God's leading and direction for what she is to do next.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Solar cooking

"You aren't going to put meat in there, are you?"
"It will cook rice?"

These are some of the questions that I have faced this week as I introduced a friend to my solar cooker. I had demonstrated it once before but they were still skeptical. We were told this weekend that we would be without power for the next four days that coupled with the fact that the rains had ended and the harmattan dust hadn't quite arrived yet made me think that this was the perfect time to put my solar cooker to the test. Last night it was cashew chicken and rice (the first time that I did two pots at the same time), this morning it is pumpkin (that I hope to puree for muffins and other things) and I think I might try baking buns this afternoon. If I succeed it will be my first time cooking twice in one day.

I have been thinking about the choices that we make and how environmentally responsible they are. It is one of those things that we face daily as we drive by garbage piled in the streets or walk by plastic bags hanging from the trees.

As we have been working on the ministry centre we have been trying to consider the ways that we can maximize passive cooling to counter the heat here and hopefully reduce our dependency on electric cooling methods. In reading about some of these things I have been reminded how important trees and plants are to the environment and the effect they produce in cooling their immediate environment. As I have been walking our neighbourhood I have noticed lately that there is a big difference between the shade coming from a wall and the shade coming from a wall covered in vines and hedges. It made me sad to think of how many trees here get over "harvested" for the sake of firewood to cook which brought me back to thinking about my solar cooker. I am just starting to realize how versatile it can be and I know that it has its limitations but it would be great if they were a more accessible alternative here in the land of sun. I know that it is possible for them to be produced here (mine was made in a neighbouring country with local resources), but I haven't heard of them being made here (but I might not be in the right circles for that). Please pray that we will be good stewards in the way that we live both in our spiritual lives and in the practical aspects of our day to day living.