My journey to Benin has come to an end. As the wisest man ever to walk the terrain of the earth said: there is time for everything. The journey has made firm imprints in my heart and I am thankful to all whose efforts whether materially or spiritually have made it possible for the journey to be completed.
The journey of Benin whose mission was a result of divine Providence bears lessons that I will never forget. My time, indeed, lasted a only nine months, but the same time will prove to be character solidifying for me and a blessing, by God's grace, to the few I was in contact with.
Firstly, I have learned that whatever the loaves and the fish you hold the Lord is capable of using them mightily. I went to a French speaking country hoping to be a blessing to them by imparting of the Word of Life. It is often said if you want to reach a men's heart speak to him in his own language. Also, the fact that the Beninese people generally don't speak English necessitated that we should learn to speak French. And that too very quickly. Moreover, the fact that I was able to share the gospel in a foreign language within in a year of learning is on itself a miracle. And there are many such experiences which, again, reminds us that we should never be limited in looking to what we have or have had in the past as a measure of what we can do.
I have learned that Jesus is not only my Master and Father, but He is a friend. When I was adjusting to Benin culture, I was later overwhelmed with seclusion. I was in farthest part of modern civilization, it was as though I traveled back in time. Removed from association of familiar faces of friends and family, I was led to really doubt if I am an introverted. I yearned for conversations that I was used to, the comforts of those I have known of old. All this is what is sometimes associated with culture shock. Yet it was during those dark times that I learned that I had a friend all along who sticks closer than a brother. Jesus is His name. Precious lessons learned through heights of pain are scarcely forgotten.
It was not only me that was impacted in fact I was touched more by the impact that the Lord worked through meager efforts. During my time in Benin, I worked more with the youth than with adults. I was motivated more by the fact that when I was at their age I wished that I had a strong spiritual male figure. And I was determined to be that to at least one of the boys. I wrote more about those experiences in a past article. Practical godliness is just as important as studying the doctrines, thus those were our focus in our studies to maintain a meaningful and salvific relationship with Jesus.
I take comfort and I believe that as the work is the Lord's, He is capable of sustaining and therefore I ought not to worry. After all, all that we can give to bless others comes from Him. I hope this journey has somehow been a blessing to you as well to draw you closer to our dear God.
I am planning to write one more article about my experience post Benin mission.