This weekend was spent traveling slowly from Tominian to Bamako. Along the way we stopped in Bla to meet with Tafili and her sewing cooperative. Her story is amazing- she is a handicapped woman who has truly become an implement of God Himself, drawing deeply on His strength to impact the lives of other handicapped persons in her community. The light of her smile illuminates everyone around her and she speaks with a peace and confidence envied by us American women- and we were raised with every privilege in the world.
On Friday night we stayed at the World Vision guest house in Bla. The food was good enough to create "food babies" in more than one team member (TMI?) and the stars were so stunning that we stayed awake late into the night under our mosquito nets on the roof.
The day Saturday was spent traveling from Bla to Bamako, stopping in Segou for a lavish lunch including Nile perch from the Niger (An intentional misnomer, I believe). The cars were indeed like large ovens on four jolting wheels and the roads were merely a nod in the direction of paved, but through vast innovation and persistent joy on the part of all team members, we reached Bamako in high spirits.
Saturday night we realized that because of all the traveling, our fearless leader had entirely forgotten that the next day was Sunday. Et alors, in the morning we ended up resting in, saying our prayers, and meditating on the existential pleasures of Mali over hot chocolate and fresh bread. C'est la vie.
We observed the Sabbath in true biblical style, steadfastly avoiding even the slightest pretense of work and instead visiting the local market, taking naps, journaling, and tying up Steve and Chip's appendages. Ok, so we did actually do some work. That last activity entailed practicing "handicapping" people for the purposes of our workshop activities on Tuesday.
Speaking of the workshop, today's session went really well. Steve and Chip focused our group of 30 world vision employees, church leaders, and handicapped persons on the theology of disability. They used passages from Luke 14, Romans 8, and John 9, facilitating a discussion on the barriers posed to persons with disabilities, how God views them, and how we can become more like Christ in our interactions with society as a whole. You should check out some of their materials at www.joniandfriends.org.
Ok well tonight is going to be spent recuperating from the long hours we put in today.
(ok the blog was supposed to post this last night, but you're getting it tonight. Thanks to those of you who noticed :)