Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back to School

This is Faridah, whose mother died in June. This is the first time we've seen her since she went to live with her Dad's parents. It was a little sad as she is still grieving the loss of her mother.
This is my dear friend from Orientation. It was so great to have her with us a few days after our annual meeting.
Caleb and Karis are cutting passion fruit to make passion fruit juice popsicles. Our house helper called this our passion fruit juice factory!

Well, the McAfee kiddos have started back to school. We've completed two weeks now so vacation is quickly fading into the distant past. We have a 3 week training conference in September so we had to get school started so that we have a good start by the time that happens.

All our storying groups are going well. We just now getting to the birth of Jesus with one of our groups. We are excited about the fun stories of Jesus and anxious to see what they'll think.

We'll be saying goodbye to our neighbors at the end of this month. Greg, Laura and Noah will be headed off to the states and we'll have an empty house next door. We will miss them all.

I am experiencing a new time of readjusting schedules and routines as I have left my tutor sessions to study on my own. Also with a new school season was a new curriculum. And we are beginning to look at how we are going to attack this project of this massive city. We just have to figure out how all the pieces fit together and keeps us all sane.

Speaking of sanity, Mike's dad and my dad had to make a trip to Gastonia this last week to do some repair work to one of our rental houses. The trip was very successful. We are forever grateful to all of those that helped them. We couldn't have a better church home. They've kept our minds free of worry. Thank You!!! Hopefully the house will be ready again soon and on the market. The fact that 3 out of our 4 houses are vacant now is slightly nerve racking, but God is providing.

We love you all! My parents are going to get to make the trip across the big pond to see us in October and everyone is terribly excited! We are also thankful that my brother's twins have come home from the hospital and are gaining weight rapidly! My sister is expecting, too. And my baby brother seems to have an interest in a certain beautiful young lady. We are so glad for all of the great things that are happening.


Video Blog?

We are working on our blog. Hopefully in the near future you will be able to see videos of the family in Abidjan. This will be a lot of fun as you will get a better picture of life in Abidjan. It is a little technical so pray for us as we try to add this element to our blog. The first video will hopefully be of Caleb, Karis and myself performing a couple of skits at a recent meeting.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Family Reunion

We just finished our first annual meeting with all of the great missionaries of West Africa. We enjoyed our time of sharing, fellowship, and reenergizing. The best way to describe this event is a family reunion of people not related by blood, but by the blood of the lamb all sharing the same call. We laughed together, cried together, and covenanted together to work diligently to share the gospel with West Africans so that they have the opportunity to spend eternity praising our Maker.

It was a little odd to find myself in a room of people that I'd never or barely met and yet somehow be joined together by something a little difficult to put my finger on. Here are some of the things that made us an odd family of sorts.
There was the family resemblance. The Bible says, "How beautiful are the feet that bring good news..." and these feet were all beautiful with a strange tanline from wearing flip flops every day.
There was the commonality of relatives. We shared a love in our hearts for brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews with whom we share no blood relation.
There was a bond of hearts that knows what it's like to cry when they sing praise songs in English, grieve with the broken heart of one that's lost a child (a common greatest fear), feel deeply the loss of those retiring from our family, and who know the sorrow of leaving our most precious posession (family and friends) in a far away land.
Then there were those strange things. We shared a family favorite perfume, Deep Woods Off! We all grabbed for long sleeves and sweaters as the temperature dipped below a chilly 85 degrees. All of our lists and notes are in multiple languages because although we are gaining new words in new languages, we're losing old ones!

So we are glad to have met our new African family! We had a long, tiring week, but we are back to life as usual now!

Love to all!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Telling the Story...

One of our greatest accomplishments lately has been in telling the story of the Bible. We have progressed enough in our French that we can now tell Bible Stories in French. I takes me (Mike) about three or four days of preparations, but it is well worth the effort. Every Thursday we go to a little neighborhood called Vridi. We have been going there for about three months now telling Bible stories. In the last month I have been telling Bible stories from the OT to a group of 6 guys. Heather has been telling stories to a lady for several months now. They all claim to be Christians, but most of them have never heard these stories. We started with the creation story and have just finished with the Exodus. It is very exciting to be able to tell a story we know well in English in a different language. Please continue to pray for us as we continue to learn French and tell these stories. We go out at noon and come back around 5pm.

Please pray for the group pictured that are playing checkers. This looks like a friendly game, but they are actually betting on the game with what little money they do make. They are currently not open to the gospel, but I (Mike) still stop and talk with them.

The picture with the large red doors is the church in Vridi that we attend from time to time. You can see how poor this neighborhood is by looking at the drum set in the church. Drums are the only instruments this church uses. They start singing a song and the drummer joins in keeping them on time. One person did donate a keyboard, but no one knows how to play it, so it stays at the pastor's house.

Please pray for us as we continue to learn french and tell these people the stories of the Bible. May God get all the glory.