"They are very religious people, you know," the old man said. "For all that."
"How do you mean?" Mother asked.
"Everything they do is with one eye to the spirit. When they plant their yams and manioc, they're praying. When they harvest, they're praying. Even when they conceive their children, I think they're praying."
Mother seemed very interested. But Leah crossed her arms and asked, "Do you mean praying to their own pagan gods?"
Reverend Santa smiled at Leah. "What do you imagine our God thinks of this little corner of His creation: the flowering trees in the forest, the birds, the drenching downpours, the heat of the sun--do you know what I'm talking about?"
"Oh, yes," Leah said, straight-A pupil as always.
"And do you think God is pleased with these things?"
"Oh, I think he glories in them!" she hastened to say. "I think he must be prouder of the Congo than just about any place He ever made."
"I think so, too," he said. "I think the Congolese have a world of God's grace in their lives, along with a dose of hardship that can kill a person entirely. I happen to think they already knew how to make a joyful noise unto the Lord a long time ago."
--The Poisonwood Bible