I was walking out from church one Sunday when a man called out to me, querying, “Taxi?” I answered back, “Only if you give me a good price!” We agreed upon a (good!) price and I hopped into his yellow paint-chipped taxi. He wanted to know if I was married. I avoided that question, since I do not like where it usually leads, and I changed the subject. “What are you praying for during this month of fasting?” I asked. He looked in his rear-view mirror at me and said, “Beggnaa xam Yalla” (I want to know God). I felt my heart swell within me with that same desire for him. “Do you know how to know God?” He shook his head no and asked me if I did. Yes! So, with a quick “God, help my Wolof!” prayer, I shared with him the News that has made all the difference in my life. God did help my Wolof because I managed to explain everything I wanted to about how God loves us so much, but how none of us have managed to walk in God’s way, but rather we choose our own way. I explained to him about how Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for our sins, how God raised Him up, and how anyone who believes in Him can know God and walk in His way.
As we wound through the streets of Dakar, the conversation also turned here and there and ended up back at marriage. He must have guessed I was not married even though I had not answered him directly, since he chided me a little, telling me, “It is not good not to be married. Marriage is from God,” reminding me again of the high value in this culture of relationships and interdependent community. I answered him, “Yes, but it is also not good to run after a husband or a wife, but to receive a good spouse from God.” He agreed with me and said, “Yes, it is not good when some Senegalese will seek a Toubab (Western) wife for his own interest.” I somewhat stifled my surprise and thought, “I like this guy.” “Marriage is for God, not for our own interest,” he said. As we pulled up near my house, I thanked him and asked him his name. “Mo,” he answered, “And you?” “Khady” (my Senegalese name), I replied. Seeing his integrity, I told him, “I’m going to pray for you, that God gives you dreams and shows you how to walk in His way.” He lifted his hands up before his face, receiving the blessing, and thanked me sincerely before saying good-bye.