Ash Wednesday

As a pastor serving in a congregation my life has been patterned around a liturgical calendar and the seasons of the church year. Taking this call to Global Mission has meant that in the last few months I haven’t paid close attention to the church calendar. Recently I realized that Lent was approaching and I began thinking about preparations for observing this season of repentance and reflection and especially how I would observe Ash Wednesday.

I was worried that I was going to miss it all together. We were scheduled to drive on Tuesday from N’Gaoundere to Garoua Baloui and then on Wednesday take the eight-hour drive back to Yaounde. So, I thought I would not be able to take time to “remember that I was dust, and to dust I would return.”

Anne Langdji and I had been keeping a pretty intense schedule of meetings and the church year calendar wasn’t my first priority, but I haven’t missed an Ash Wednesday Service in at least thirteen years. So, as the day approached I was struggling to figure out how to mark it. I had download the devotional booklet produced by a facebook group of colleagues and was going to satisfy myself with that. Yet, God had other plans.

Before we left Garoua Baloui on Wednesday we were scheduled to meet with the director of the Bible School. His first order of business for the morning was chapel. To my delight it was to be a service complete with imposition of ashes. I would not miss the beginning of this church season after all.

I was able to hear a sermon on the text for the day and have the cross etched on my forehead. The pastor told me in French, “remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” My Lenten reflection has begun. May you be strengthened in your Lenten journey.

I am westafricabound.

N'Gaoundere to Garoua Bolai 023

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mona Fitch-Elliott
    Feb 18, 2013 @ 12:46:04

    Andrea, thank you for sharing your journey and your daily adventures. Glad you didn’t “miss” Ash Wednesday. I was with two sisters from Trinity distributing Ashes at the a Light Rail Station in Jersey City on Ash Wednesday. Although many hurried by and were not interested I was surprised by how many people were glad for the opportunity to get their ashes…happy not to “miss” the remembrance. I went on to visit an elderly couple, Charlotte and Jerry, in their Bayonne home. Jerry, a former professor and marathon runner can no longer walk or speak, but is always eager to receive communion and they were very appreciative that day for ashes and a video clip of the Trinity choir’s gospel rendition of “It’s Good to Know Jesus”. I visited others in homes and rehab centers and ended a long day with an evening Ash Wednesday service at Trinity. I won’t forget in these days of lent that we are but dust and to dust we shall return. Be blessed and be safe as you continue on. Mona


  2. Carolyn Rothman
    Feb 18, 2013 @ 21:42:54

    The church is with you in all of your travels. I love it!


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