At 4:00 am on Saturday, Stephanie, Leah, Olga, and I rolled out of bed, put on our clothes, and headed with our luggage to the street to hitch a ride towards the city.  At the market, we boarded a minibus headed clear across town.  Finally, a larger bus carried us another forty minutes to a large settlement of foreigners who have fled unrest in their home countries.  Arriving at our host church there around 7:00 am, we set up my tent and ate breakfast.

The event was a Bright Lights conference for young ladies — the first one we’ve done outside of our own home.  It ran like clockwork all day Saturday and Sunday.  I showed the seven video sessions on my laptop perched atop a large  speaker in the absence of a pulpit, verbally translating them from English into our national language.

The ladies and girls in attendance sat or lay on tarps on the concrete floor of the sanctuary, with walls still being constructed of sticks and stones but shiny metal sheeting already in place for its roof.  On one side were speakers of the local tribal language, with Stephanie translating quietly for the few who didn’t understand the national language.  On the other side were speakers of a foreign language, with the pastor translating in front of them.  All told, Biblical truths were proclaimed in four languages at the same time!  After each session, each language group met to summarize and discuss the material presented.

When Saturday’s sessions ended at 6:30 pm, I grabbed my flashlight to take a dipper bath in the outhouse, then retreated to the privacy of my tent to relax, read the Bible, pray, and munch on crackers, tuna, dates, cookies, and Skittles.  By the time our hostess announced that dinner was ready, I was already settled in for the night, in my blanket-bed with my bag of valuables under my pillow.  I’d already explained to her how tuckered out I tend to be after the mental and physical exertion of conference translating, so she understood and bid me goodnight.

On Sunday, we participated in the church’s worship service between the conference sessions.  As the conference concluded, we praised God with testimonies, closing remarks, and prayer.  Four o’clock pm found me striking down my tent, then heading with my companions to the bus stop to retrace our steps all the way back home, where we were warmly welcomed by our menfolk around 6:45 pm.

This Bright Lights conference presents powerful and much-needed truths about purity to young people.  Please pray that we can take it to many more churches.  And please continue to pray about my cultural struggles, which have intensified since my blog post on the subject a week ago.

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