Friday, May 28, 2010

Anyone can Story!!!

Caleb found 3 people that would listen to a story. He is telling the story in English and Olivier is translating for him.

It's a long story, but from what I heard he told it ALL!!!!

He even asked the 4 questions we ask at the end of the story.
1. what have you learned from this story.
2. What are the characteristics of God in this story?
3. What do we need to obey in this story?
4. Who needs to hear this story? now go a tell 5 people this same story.

This is again on the campus where Jonathan did a devotion to over 20 Christians and I followed up to encourage them how they can change peoples lives by just telling a story.

I remember the line from the movie Ratatouille "anyone can cook". The meaning through most of the story was just that, anyone can cook. However, later in the story the meaning changes to a good cook can be found anywhere.
Our team from Parkwood Baptist Church came to Abidjan the other day for their annual mission trip and witnessing at our University here in Abidjan. The team did a GREAT job and we talked with over 200 students and faculty. This is my sidebar to let the other Churches out there know that we would love for them to come to Abidjan too and help us out. Anyway, Caleb and Karis love it when the Parkwood team comes. Caleb asked if he could go with us to the campus and watch and listen and just be with the team. He was allowed with the warning that he should be quiet and not interrupt anyone when they are storying or talking with people. He was also told to stay with me and Zach as I could keep him in line. Caleb did real well the first 2 days and he asked if he could go with Olivier and Jonathan the 3rd day. I decided it would be ok since he obeyed so well the first 2 days. The above pictures are what happened when Caleb went with Jonathan and Olivier.
I am humble by what Caleb was able to do. I did not know he even knew the stories we told. We generally tell the stories in French and I was not aware that he knew them so well. We are told in Matthew 28:19 to go and make disciples of all nations. Caleb was willing and able to tell these people (his current nation) about the love of Jesus. Caleb just turn 11 on the 27th of this month. He told 6 people the story of Creation to Christ. So I am sitting here thinking "Anyone Can Story" we just have to be willing and obey God's will and go. So I ask you, How many people have you told about Jesus' love this month? We also need more people willing to come help us. Are you willing? remember "Anyone Can Story"!!! This doesn't mean that a great story teller can come from anywhere, it means ANYONE can story and we are commanded to tell that story to ALL the nations. Why don't you come to Abidjan and tell a few stories. Don't worry, if you forget a part of the story, Caleb can help you.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Going, Going, Gone

I sat on a crude wooden bench in the shade of a tree this morning with the stench of the lagoon being carried my way on a breeze. I watched as my dear friend's entire stock of worldly belongings were tied to the top of a bus in a couple of boxes and then as she and her two girls climbed on that same bus. I wished I could get on with her, but my family, my work and my calling are here. We waved goodbye from alongside the bus. Karis was tearfully lifted high to reach out and touch the hand of my friends oldest daughter as she reached out to say goodbye. All of my goodbyes had to come with no tears. Tears aren't acceptable here for any reason other than death and even then they must be restrained. The ache still burns the back of my throat with tears that are yet to be shed. My friend left for Burkina to be with her family in her home country, leaving her husband and two sons behind. It sounds odd, but is very common and normal here. I will miss her terrible as she's been a HUGE part of my every day. Please pray for her as she tries to purchase a home with her savings from working here. It's so little, but she knows that my friends and I are praying that she will be able to get something quickly as her fifth baby is due in September. One of the hardest thoughts for me is that she left not understanding why Jesus is the only way. I've tried for as long as I've known her, and yet she still doesn't understand. I just pray that the Father calls her and makes truth clear. I don't know when I'll see her again, I hope sooner than later. May the One that loves her more than I, reveal His will to her.

On a happy note, we have our annual Parkwood team here with us this week. They are working hard and enduring hardships for the sake of the gospel. Electricity is sketchy this week. Running water is not dependable. People on the university campus are argumentative and unreceptive. Pray that through the struggles, they succeed in accomplishing the works God called them to this week.

With Love,

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

How's that for tough?!!!

I wanted to take a minute to appreciate the special ladies in our family and thought what better way than a whole bunch of pictures. We know that the call that took our family across the ocean separated you from some special people. So enjoy these.

To our moms: We know that you have endured many days that you may have felt unappreciated. Know that today you and the many sacrifices you made on our part are very much appreciated. I pray that God will give me the same patience and endurance and careful instructing in the word that you both passed on to us. We love you both so very much.

To my Grandmas: The loving legacy you passed on to my parents and then on to me will continue on for generations to come. The songs you sang and the stories you told are treasured in my heart for always. I pray that God gives me at least of fraction of your grace and beauty.

To my sisters-in-law: I know you didn't choose me, but I am so glad that God chose you and put you into the lives of my kids. It is nice to that God gave you special ladies as Aunties to my kids.

To my precious sister: I love you so much and miss you today. I thank God that he gave my adorable neice and nephew such a good mommy. Know that you are in my heart and thoughts today and always.

To all of you special ladies that are aunts to my kids by calling, not by blood: We are so glad that God has placed you in our lives as an added blessing and bonus to the wonderful family we have that is so far away. Thank you for the time you take to love our kids!

May God bless you moms tomorrow!



Just some more shots I thought you might like.


Babysitting African Style

This little five year old loves taking care of her little sister while Mom gets things done around the house.

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

Here are some pictures I thought you might like.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May is Here

It is May already! Our baby is 7 months old. Caleb and Karis are looking and hoping for the end of school. Keep watching kiddos! We have volunteers on their way and the rains have come!

Everything is happening so fast right now that the days/weeks just slip by. Rainy season seems to have made its appearance. The road in front of our house fills with water when the rains begin and stays that way until long after the rains are gone. We lovingly refer to it as the little lagoon! Mike calls it our "pool", but I don't like to even joke about that. Let's just say that safe sewage disposal is not always a reality in Africa.

We have some new groups started and we are just waiting and watching to see how those will go. We really see the parable of the seeds that were sewn in the different soils as we start these groups. We are praying for fertile ground.

For those that have been wondering, I finished my language requirements last month. I'm not going to say I am done learning, as I want to continue.

Benjamin is seven months old now. He is getting to be more fun as we see his big personality emerge. I am worried that we may be in for a rough ride. He's got too many big people in his life that love the stuffin's out of him. I am afraid he might be a little rotten already. He's learned well how to voice his opinion on who he wants to be with. He can stretch out little baby hands in acceptance or turn his face away and hide. He's crawling, but not satisfied with that. He thinks he should be able to run and play with big brother and sister. He's pulling up on things already wishing and hoping to head off and play. He loves to eat and NOBODY gets to put something in their mouth without finding something he can eat to. He's got me on a no wheat, no dairy, no eggs, no nuts diet trying to find the source of his fussiness. That has definitely gotten better the last couple of weeks, so maybe it's working. I think I am fussy now, so how do we get this to work out right.

Caleb tried to knock a new whole in his head this last month. He was climbing, imagine that, and fell and hit his head on a concrete stepping stone. I was in the house right beside where he fell and ran out right away as the fall sounded bad. I arrive a few seconds after the event to find so much blood I can't even imagine where the source is. A few towels later and a hectic taxi ride to the clinic just to find that he knocked a little, yet deep, gash that didn't even require a stitch. I think they probably would have given him one in the states just to make mom feel less stupid. I have to say that when I saw all of the blood that fast, I tried to think how much would it take before he'd lose conscientiousness and was afraid to try to find the source as I didn't want to see by child's brain leaking out!!! Please stop laughing at me, this was traumatic!

Karis is just up to her usual antics. Fortunately enough, she doesn't do too many things that could cause her brains to leak out! She'll be finishing up ballet in the next few weeks or so and having her annual recital. She's fussing right now about how "hard" ballet is, but after her evening in the lime light I expect she'll be all aglow like last year!

We are looking forward to a big month of May. We have volunteers from our great home church on the way in less than two weeks. That will keep us very busy for a while. Then of course there is our regular work and Caleb's birthday at the end of the month.

I hope this finds you all well. May God bless your work wherever you are reading from. Think about a trip to Abidjan, it's a great place to be.

With love,