Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New Friends

Karis has met a new little friend. Bethany is 7 years old and lives down the street from us. She only speaks French, so right now she just comes over and she and Karis play without talking. It is quite interesting.

As you can see, our Christmas tree is more complete now. Thanks to help from missionaries here, we painted ornaments, made snowflakes and tied bows on our tree to make it look more festive. I'm really going to hate to have to take it all down.

We've done all kinds of Christmas festivities this weekend. We went to a kids Christmas program at one church and a Christmas day program at another. Here you either go to church on Christmas Eve night really late or you go on Christmas day. It was quite fun to get to worship the Lord corporately on the day we celebrate Jesus' birth.

On Christmas eve we had a little yard party and invited the people that work for the mission and other neighbors and friends. We had about 60 there to eat rice and sauce, cookies and other assorted goodies. I was in charge of making cookie bags to give out as a small Christmas gift. Needless to say, I'd rather not see another cookie any time soon. Caleb, Karis, Noah and Bethany did a little skit of the first Christmas. They mostly acted out their parts while a narrator read. It took a little practice though as it was all done in French.

We had a great Christmas, but of course we missed you all. We opened gifts, took a friend to church with us and then gathered together as a mission family to eat. We got to sing carols together which is great because it's the only time we get to sing in a group in English. I don't think the Africans are big on Christmas songs as I haven't been able to pick out a Christmas theme in the songs we've heard recently.

I have lots of pictures right now, so if I am still posting Christmas pictures in the next few weeks, you'll know why.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


We are getting some routines established here which is nice. I remember thinking back in July that it would be a long time before there was a normal again.

The missionary women all get together for Bible study every Tuesday night. The men, not to be outdone by their wives and sisters in Christ, get together to pray that their favorite team wins the football game that was recorded over the weekend that they watch while we do Bible Study! So it is Tuesday night football in Abidjan.

Fridays have become another silly ritual for us. We all get together in the kitchen and make chicken nuggets and fries for dinner. The kids pretend to be little chefs and dip and bread the meat. Then they pretend to take orders for the family waiting in the dining room for dinner and set their table. Then we all sit down when it’s ready and say how glad we are that we didn’t have to cook supper tonight.

Our tutors come most mornings of the week, so between them and home school we are pretty busy until lunch. We usually head out in the afternoons to run errands or find people with whom to speak French. The kids here are out of school on Wednesdays, so this week we found a few kids to come over and kick a ball around and play jump rope in the afternoon.

Almost every evening we go out to speak French with our night guard. He’s gotten very accustomed to us coming and seems so happy to have someone to talk with. He fusses when we are late or miss a night. It makes bath and bed time a little hard to get our evening routine done, but gives us some practice we need.

On Friday mornings Mike goes out with a group of men to share the gospel with whoever they find. He really enjoys getting to be a part of this although he can’t share much yet.

We’ve been to the same church now for several weeks. We are beginning to figure out how the service works and what to do when. They have just poured a cement slab floor which is nice for keeping the sand out of your sandals.

We are now waiting for a season here called Harmattan. It is a period of only a few weeks here where we are that dust blocks out the sun and makes it look cloudy. Since the temperatures are really heating up now we are looking forward to this blessing/curse. We understand that everything is covered in a thick layer of dust, but the cloudy look lowers the temperature in the day and night.

Mike got to go to the bush this last week. He enjoyed his time visiting in the village and took this great photo of a termite mound. Hopefully we can all go next time.

Our missionary friends here have helped us make ornaments for our tree so that we’ll be all ready for Christmas. It is still very odd to think that Christmas is on its way when it is so hot and green. We are missing Christmas Carols too, but our city of West Africa does a pretty good job of decorating for Christmas. We hear that is highly unusual here. The malls, grocery stores and airport all have their Christmas decorations up. They use all sorts of colors to decorate with, and it is pretty cute. It seems that the brighter things are the more they like it!

The missionaries that are still here on Christmas will get together to eat and celebrate the birth of Jesus. Of course we will miss you all, but are thankful that we have people here with whom to gather.

Mike and I will celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary on Sunday. It is crazy to think that it has been 12 years already. I am thanking the Lord for this special gift in my life. I pray that God will give me the grace and ability to be the helpmeet Mike deserves.

Thank you for your prayers. We love you all and Merry Christmas to you.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

It's Christmas Time!

Whew! Sorry it's been so long since I posted. We had a little malaria scare last weekend as you know and it threw us off for a few days!

We had a lovely Thanksgiving. We hope you did as well. The kids made gingerbread cookies for our celebration with Aunt Barbara. We got together with all of the missionaries here and ate chicken, dressing, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes along with a whole bunch of other things! We thanked God for our new friends and all of our friends and family back in the States!

As you all know Caleb came down with Malaria the weekend after Thanksgiving, but the malaria battle seems to be over. He has made a full recovery and is busy as usual! Thank you for your prayers for him. Just as I posted that he had malaria and it was know big deal, Karis ran over to tell us that he was throwing up. His fever went very high and he lost all of the contents of his stomach, but very suddenly the vomiting was over as quickly as it came. I can't help but think that was due to the prayers of those getting our email. By all accounts from others, that should have lasted a few hours. His fever remained high through the night, but he was able to sleep without having to get up to toss his cookies! It's funny that you can get so excited about someone not throwing up!

We had a great prayerwalking experience on Wednesday. We went to the little neighborhood where we've been attending to walk and pray. We had a volunteer team here that went with us. Many got to share the gospel although none responded. We were able to pray with many individuals about needs in their lives. We also got to meet the chief of the Mossi there in that area. That was a scary and fun thing. He is a Muslim, but allowed us to pray for him. He did not stick around while we did it, though. He sent us on with his blessings saying that we serve the same God. We pray that the Lord will open his eyes to THE TRUTH.

It is in the 90s and yet we are putting up our Christmas tree today! The kids are so happy to be putting up the tree today as it means Christmas time has come again. The stores here are decorated in really bright colors and lots of tinsel! It's definitely Christmas and this is definitely Africa!

We pray that the Lord blesses you as you begin your preparations for the celebration of the birth of our Savior.