Sitting on the crowded bus on my way to work, I thanked God for a seat. I enjoy the early morning fresh air during my hours riding buses to work.

An elderly woman tried to step up into the bus, but she couldn’t. So, several passengers reached down to help her mount the steps. As the old woman clutched the pole, her body trembled. For several minutes she shook as she got her breath. The seated passengers looked at her, but no one moved.

My seat was another two yards away from her, but I stood and pointed to it. And then several other standing passengers helped me steady the woman as we made our way to the seat. The woman thanked me and smiled at me.

Glancing up at two military officers I watched the hard, cold look in their eyes change to one of warmth. And then I saw other seated passengers look at me almost as if I were human! Maybe actions do speak louder than words in a Muslim country. Persons from other clans refer to these Whip people as the fierce, hard-hearted warriors of the country. Sometimes when I look in their faces I believe it.

Griping the overhead bar I felt very happy. It is more blessed to give than to receive. Even if what you are giving is just a seat on a bus. I truly felt joyful that I had something to give. If I hadn’t had a seat, I could not have helped the poor woman. Then too, maybe, God gives us, so we can help others who don’t have.

And then a man stood up and gave me his seat. Now this had never happened to me. So it’s true. Give and it will be given unto you. For I received not just a seat, but respect and maybe the beginning of a Christian witness.

A week ago I learned another lesson while riding the bus.
Never close your eyes to pray when you are riding the bus.

The bus will drive right past your bus stop, and you’ll need to spend another hour driving all over the city.

I get up before the crack of dawn in pitch dark at five. I make a cup of coffee without electricity, read the Bible by candle, and get ready for work. Then I head for the bus stop and my hour ride to the clinic.

I’ve always hated city life in Africa. I told God once that He’d have to speak to me in an audible voice if He ever wanted me to live here. I want to go to the African bush, a rural village free of city traffic, noise, pollution, diesel fumes and congestion. It’s less stressful and less expensive.

I loved all twenty-nine years living in rural bush villages, but God wants me here in the city to learn the language and medical diseases.

Some days I want to really hate this big, old smelly city and be unhappy and depressed. Then I consider the Bible verse, “Whatsoever state we find ourselves in we should be content.” I confess that I haven’t yet reached that state of contentment, but I’m heading toward it. Maybe one day I will be able to say I too, have learned to be content in this city life. And then, God might just move me to the rural life.

Blessings on you and yours until next week.
Thank you for your prayers.


About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
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