Our next door neighbor is an "important" person in the Guinean government. From our house we can see over the wall into their courtyard where many weekends they hold parties. We love to see all the African women robed in their glorious colored gowns and headdresses who attend.
Several weeks back, we were invited to attend a birthday party there. My man took Little Aggie to fulfill another weekend commitment while the girls and I dressed up and headed next door. We were led to an area underneath a sun shade and seated. Soon, a few plates of food and some drinks were brought out to us. No one else was given food yet and I realized that they considered us guests of honor. It was fun to get the attention.
but we don't deserve it.
As the party progressed, I noticed that the number of kids seemed to be growing exponentially. It took a little while for me to figure out that they had opened their gates and allowed all the children in the vicinity to come in.
Perhaps this is why only certain people are served meat at parties here. There isn't enough to serve everyone--and since everything centers around community--they don't want to turn people away. So, they make sure those they consider their most important, invited guests are served the best food. Then, they give everyone else whatever they have left: rice, pasta. That thought makes me feel sick because I know that those impoverished, hungry children were more important guests than we.
I noticed later in the party that there were just too many for the amount of food. We saw some children taking plates from the trash.
The party continued. Music was blaring and kids were dancing. They crowded around us, vying for our attention. Children eagerly awaited their turn to hold the girls' hands or sit on my lap or talk to us.
One little girl didn't really speak but she just sat by my side holding my hand while I talked to others. At one point, I felt something and turned to see her kissing my hand.
I don't deserve it.
Parties here have opened up GOD's word to me in many ways. I think there is much about this culture that parallels the one JESUS lived in. Verses that I dug into for principle when I lived in America, are practical to me here.
It should have been that way all along, I think. JESUS' life as my reality and my heart, not my belief system.