salt waves pummeling your beaches high winds whipping up the sand rainstorms thundering on tin roofs sunbeams bouncing off flat land bulbuls signaling the sunrise lean dogs howling to the moon bat calls beeping in the darkness cattle moaning at high noon hand plows scooping out a corn field pestles pounding grain to flour axes felling scrub and forests hammers forging metal power djembes tamping out the downbeat thrumming balaphones at night bare feet thumping round the circle dancers clapping in delight may your rivers know their Maker may your mountains leap with glee may your palm fronds wave in greeting may your people finally see
that the love of the Creator that the strong song of his Son made the music they are singing formed the land they dance upon breathed the whirlwinds and the breezes gave them pineapples to grow welcomed death to give them freedom sent his Word so they can know that the One who holds the ocean in the cupping of his hand wants to make them his own children wants to recreate their land so that all the crops are healthy so that war’s explosions cease so that every single rhythm births a canticle of peace Ahhhh . . . Africa!
In just five days we will board a jet plane and take off for that beloved continent where the Lord sent us to serve on mission for so many years. The excitement is building. We will smell the aromas of the markets, of wet earth, of fruit we’ve been missing. We will hear the drums again (“djembes” in the poem) and the balaphones, get to move in community with worshipers. We will see friends that have become true Family to us.
And best of all, we will have the privilege of joining these brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters, in the celebration of the Nyarafolo Scriptures that they are now receiving in printed form: the New Testament, Pentateuch and Psalms! That is actually two-thirds of the Bible, significant portions that can be right in their own hands, food for their souls as they digest the Word of God in the language that speaks to their hearts!
Those decades of digging into the meaning of the Word and working with Nyarafolos to express it in their language have come to this precious moment, a conclusion. But the work is not finished – may many more people become able to read their language, especially those who never got to go to school, who cannot read in any other language either.
That brings me back to the words of this poem that came through my pen nine years ago, a peon of gratitude for the beauties of the land and prayer for the Word to be known by its people. May it be so!/Amen!/Amiina!/ Ki- taa ki puu bɛ̀ ! (That last version of “Amen” is Nyarafolo.)
Thank you for joining us on the journey – I will share highlights! That is, I will blog or post photos on Facebook when I actually have an Internet connection. But eventually we will connect!
If you would like to experience more of my contemplative poetry, check out my collection of poems recently published by WestBow Press. It is available on these sites:
Direct from the publisher, WestBow Press: https://www.westbowpress.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/824658-when-he-whispers
Christian Book Distributors: https://www.christianbook.com/when-whispers-learning-listen-the-journey/linnea-boese/9781664224100