We had our last District Meeting with this set of 4 Elders this morning at the church. We were all a bit sad to say good bye to Elder Sulu, our District Leader and Elder Usoh who makes everything so fun.
Last week at the market, we shopped for a thank you gift to give to the Elders who get to serve in Mali. We found the perfect thing at the Artisan’s Market– Chiwara carvings.
Here’s the note we gave each of them with their Chiwara:
According to Bambara legend, Chiwara is the name of the antelope spirit that taught humans the fundamentals of agriculture. The Chiwara is an enduring symbol of Mali and represents hard work and excellence. Still today, the Chiwara society in Bambara culture gathers young-adult males to clear, sow, and harvest the fields when the greatest number of laborers is needed. The survival of the community depends upon the quality of their work.
Thank you for serving the Lord with hard work and excellence, doing your part to establish His Church in Mali. You have had a pioneer experience that few missionaries will ever have. You have cleared, planted, and harvested among these precious children of God. We will never forget you.
When you look at this Chiwara wood carving, remember that you are a Chiwara missionary. Remember.
We love you!
Elder et Soeur Lewis
These Elders have been like sons to us. We are so grateful to know them. We wish them well as they return back to Cote d’Ivoire.