Layha; celebrating the Lord’s gift of a ram for sacrifice

Roy and I went across the river on Sunday to join our Fulani friends in the celebration of Layha or Eid-Al-Adha, the feast honoring Abraham’s willingness to give his son and God’s provision of a ram in the son’s stead.  This holiday and the day ending Ramadan fasting, Suumaaye or Eid-Al-Fitr, are the BIG TWO for our buddies.  They get new clothes and do the dying designs on their hands and feet for both.  They gather in the morning in a huge field just outside the town and the head Imam gives a talk centering on sacrifice and atonement, and they all pray and he sacrifices a sheep, which gives them permission to return home and do their own.  They send pieces of meat, raw or cooked, around to family and friends.  Older men often give out candy or coins to kids.  Most of the men and also the younger women make the rounds, sitting just long enough at each house to drink a cup of tea and eat a bite of rice and meat, say a prayer and move on.  We did just that on Sunday, starting at about 11 am, finishing up at our 6th house at about 3:45 pm.  Our hosts always insisted that we eat more than just a bite, and we did our best.  We missed seeing one special friend, but saw two of his brothers running around town.  It was a day of joy and a day of many tears.  The sermon that morning given at our little farm church by Alexandre, the CEFA farm manager and our next door neighbor, was on Ecclesiastes 3, very fitting for our last days here in central Africa: a time to weep and a time to laugh…celebrations and partings, knowing that some we will see again and some we will not.  Thank you for your prayers as we navigate these last days.

J, the one of Chief T’s sons that Roy has connected with most

Lapful of kids, and a backseat full too, on their way with us to their grandma’s house

Oh I’m gonna miss A and her antics, always ready to make me laugh. She’s drinking her tea out of a casserole lid.

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About danforth

As Covenant missionaries, we are working with all the tribal groups of the Central African Republic (CAR) but are trying to give special attention to the Fulani, a Musxlim, cattle herding, and semi-nomadic people group. We live on an experimental/training farm, near a mission station which has a hospital plus bible and nursing schools. We are establishing relationships with the local people groups through compassion ministries; Roy through agriculture and Aleta through public health and visitation, in order, ultimately, to share the good news of Jesus the Messiah with them. CAR is one of the least developed countries in the world and is currently in continual crisis (since the coup in March 2013), so reaching out in compassion is key to reaching their hearts. Due to the ongoing conflict and resultant ethnic cleansing in CAR, we are crossing the border to interact with our Fulani contacts.
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