Friday, July 21, 2006

A crescendo of sunlight builds behind the mountaintops then explodes over the peaks to warm the morning air by 20 degrees, instantly. The multitude of flies who reside in Morocco immediately recognize this daily occurrence, and begin landing on every available sleeping, uncovered face. Many learn to sleep with sheets pulled over their heads to ward off these pests.

This land of red and brown and green is the most unusual place I have seen. It's beauty is secure, and each landscape resembles the word pictures portrayed in the Bible. Even with the 120 degree temperatures, and brilliant sunlight, the darkness is embedded deep within the souls of the lost. Bondage is reflected in the many covered faces of the women, and the filthy children that run the streets without regard for safety.

The love these people have for outsiders is humbling. They do not reject us on appearance alone. They invited us into their homes and embraced us for being simply, people. We could learn a lot from their hospitality. The food served was far from anything I knew, but it was delicious, and in abundant supply.

The women of this country work extremely hard, while the men relax and enjoy tea at cafes throughout the day. They do not complain, they simply work to keep their families fed. There are few heavy people in Morocco. Food is not as plentiful as was prepared for us "rich" Americans. Many grow their own and try to sell any extra for a few dirhams (to pay for the tea their men drink).

Many people own and ride donkeys... sidesaddle. They can be purchased for around $85.00. Mopeds are the most popular mode of transportation. Cars, buses and trucks will yield to dogs and cats (mangy ones) but run down mopeds or pedestrians.

Here resides Islam. A religion with a powerful hold on unsuspecting people. The people group we worked with are the Amazighe's. They populate much of North Africa. They are also known as Berbers. There is a move among them for freedom from Islamic rule, and a desire for land and rights. The unique fit of our team coming to do a drama for them about "Freedom" was not something that they took lightly. As we traveled all over the southern part of the country, we were repeatedly asked how it was that we had a drama with this name, when they were seeking it so diligently.

Their children sing songs about it. The adults perform traditional Ha'washes or dances to drums and wood flutes. It is quite a fete. We were priviledged to take part in many of them. Our Savior opened many doors for us to share our faith across the country as these questions were asked. Many great discussion resulted. Many seeds were planted. Even one young man gave his heart to the Lord! There is much to tell, and plenty of time to do so.

Our team of students were incredible. They were very mature spiritually, and all passionate followers of Jesus. The light of Christ was reflected through them even when words were not allowed to be spoken. There is a difference in this group of young adults. And it was apparent to all who met them.

dad

18 Comments:

At 10:42 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Your description of what you saw takes me there! I will look forward to all the stories you will have to share. I rejoice in knowing that BJ wanted you all to see that and you did. Maybe not in the way he originally planned, but in God's way! God bless you all!

 
At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Chris Stevens said...

Brent, Deanna, Lauren and Whitney,

I can't describe to you the feeling in my heart when I read your words about Morocco. I love that land and I love its people.
What you described is so familiar, almost as if it were still my home. I know I only had three months, but I left my heart with my friends and neighbors and hanoot keepers. I left my heart on the dirty streets with the mangy cats and vegetable sellers. My heart aches for Morocco.

Only God knows if I'll ever go back. Honestly, it's not very likely. But in any case, I now have the chance to hear about it from you guys. You have been blessed, I know, by the hospitality and warmth of Moroccans. How could anyone leave without feeling that blessing?! Please don't refrain from telling us about it.

I heard you some good times with the sandstorms. Any camels? Did you eat some emcemin(warm tortilla)? Tajeen? What cities did you visit? Really, I want to hear all about it.

Much love to each of you. It was a splendid pleasure to meet you again at training in Dallas before you left. I was only expecting a few minutes to spend with Rachel, but instead I was taken aback by the time that we spent together. Thank you for blessing me with that.

I love you so much and I'm glad to have you returned safely home.

Chris

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Glad to hear your back. Praise God for all He does, and thank you for being His willing instruments.

 
At 4:08 PM, Anonymous kristin dutt said...

i'm so glad you're home!!!! man i prayed like crazy..and from the bits and pieces i've heard so far..it sounds like the Lord moved in miraculous ways!!

mary and i will be in Tulsa august 2-4. we hope to spend some time w/you and deanna and the girls!!

love you alot. i've missed you!
~kristin

 
At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ya did good!

 
At 9:05 AM, Blogger Danzeisen5 said...

We are SO glad you are home safe and that you got to be a part of such a wonderful move of God! I can't wait to hear all about it.... Our prayers were always with "Umpe Bwent and Aundenana, Warwen and Lou Lou in Apreca!" So glad to see your faces in the pictures and know you were safe and experiencing so many wonderful things and touching so many hearts. We love you lots
Lynae

 
At 2:42 PM, Anonymous kristin dutt said...

hey parents and sisters!!

WELCOME HOME! i'm glad you're here. i just wanted to touch base w/you about me and mary's visit to OK. We will be there August 2-4. we'd love to see you guys as much as possible. DJ told me that Lauren and Whitney go back the 3rd..so if you aren't too busy on the 2nd, we'd love to see yoU!

i love you guys. missed you this summer! see you soon!
~kristin

 
At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please pray for the family of IWU student Kara McCue that drowned this week. She was to be a senior (nursing major) this fall. She and Luke had been married almost a year. Her funeral was today.

 
At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You described where we were in North Africa perfectly and helped me to imagine it all over again. I miss you all a lot. It was hard to not wake up to our teams faces this morning. I love you very much dad,
-Brittany

 
At 11:20 PM, Blogger Cousin Beth said...

So very glad to hear you all got home safe and sound and very excited to hear about your trip!
Angela got back from her first missions trip here in the states a week ago, and one of her first comments was, "Now I understand why BJ did what he did!" Our youth group was able to see 29 kids get saved. Praise the Lord!
Next week we will be in Williamsburg and Virginia Beach and will get to spend time with Lynae and family part of the time. We're so excited. We love you all more than you know. You remain in our prayers.
Love,
Beth

 
At 2:45 AM, Blogger Ashley Reagan said...

I miss you! Thank you for sharing the amazing things that God did this summer. I really enjoyed our last team time together when you and mom were there with us! I love you guys!

 
At 1:07 PM, Blogger Lattany said...

Your description paints such a vivid picture of the scene there in NA. I am very anxious to hear all your wonderful stories of God's grace made manifest through your trip.

Lattany
Fairfax, VA, USA

 
At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bless You Brothers & Sisters

 
At 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying much for you Lattany! You are a precious 17 year old girl with much insight. I believe God is raising you up for something very special!! Praying for your family as you grieve your tremendous loss! We love you all!

 
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