It is a privilege to be invited to a ceremony where our national friends announce the name of their new baby. Recently we had the opportunity to attend two different styles of these ceremonies.
The first ceremony, though a "Christian" family, was very much in the tradition of the Muslims. Where the baby is kept in the home with the mother, surrounded by friends, family and sometimes beggars. The baby is shown to you and a gift is expected to be left for the family.
It would be wonderful to see Christians having a time of dedication and prayer for their child in their church with Christian brothers and sisters committing to pray for this child rather than to continue a Muslim tradition.
We were delighted by the second baby dedication that we attended. It was for our fellow workers Hassand and Mary Dan Karami. They had had a little boy born to them in late February. On the following Sunday, they brought thier baby ( still not formally named) to church where the pastor prayed, and presented him to the congregation. Announcing Joshua's name to all. It was such a joyus time. Everyone praying and praising for the birth of this little boy. It was then followed by a meal for all in attendance.
What a difference. We pray that in time young belivers of Niger will see the importance of dedicating thier children to the Lord. Of seperating themselves from the ways of the past and looking to scripture to see how even Jesus' parents brought him to the temple "to be presented to the Lord" ( Luke 2: 22)