Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ballerina Girl

Karis had her ballet recital last week and here are some pictures. They didn't allow pictures during the performance this year, but Mike did get video. We'll show it to you in November!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

We had a Little Rain Last Night

As you can tell we had a small storm come our way and because the ground is saturated now we almost flooded the house. You can see that the water is at our door in the first picture so I decided to go out and bail water. I eventually opened our big doors for the truck and started bailing water from there. I know I have bailed water out of a boat before, but I think this is the first time I've had to bail water from my house. We removed about 2 to 3 inches of water from our yard, but as I type this post it has started to downpour again. Wow, anyone need any water?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I hope that many of you that read our blog are Dads. And to those of you that are, from the bottom of my heart, Happy Father's Day!!

God has blessed me tremendously with wonderful men in my life. Men that are truly storing up treasures in heaven. My own dad has loved me and encouraged me all of my life. He worked harder than most men will ever work to earn a living and take care of my family. To my small frame, he's always been a big man with big feelings. When my Daddy is happy he laughs in such a way as the whole room has no choice but to laugh too. My Dad loved us all in a big way too, from me the oldest down to the youngest. I'll never forget the day he told the whole church that my youngest brother had been born with tears of joy. Some people out there think four kids are a burden, but not my Dad. He'd tell you that each of his babies were a gift from God. I remember trips to the farm together and trying to wrap my little hand around his gigantic pinky as we walked through the field. I remember that he always reminded us that an education is very important and he backed that up with all sorts of spur of the moment spelling bees and research papers! I hated them then, but know that was because he loved me and wanted the best for and from me. He expected and exhibited a life devoted to God.

My father-in-law has also been a great spiritual influence in my life as one of my earliest remembered pastors. He taught me much of what I know about the Bible. He taught me how to share my faith and was the first to whom I shared a desire to "go into all the world and preach the gospel". He raised three men that he can be proud of today.

My grandfather has a special place in the heart of his first granddaughter! He's always been someone that I respected greatly and knew without doubt was a man of incredible integrity. He's always accepted a tag along to "share" in his work. He also is a part of so many memories that I hold dear. I can hear his deep bass belt out hymns that would make anyone cry and his voice praying will forever be with me. Grandpa, thank you for being a rich spiritual heritage for me and my children!

Lastly and with special importance, Happy Father's day to my kids' dad! You are a wonderful father and husband. Your obedience to be sent out is an example to us all. I love seeing you play with and spend time with your kids, as I know this will shape their hearts to become the kind of people God can use.

And so to all, may this day be a time of refreshing and renewal. If you are feeling unappreciated as a Dad, I hope you know today that your appreciation is just slow in coming, not absent. God bless you as you follow the example of our Heavenly Father!


A Frustrating Day/ An Answered Prayer

Friday was a day that by all appearances was about to go down as one of the more frustrating of my time here. Our baby is still not sleeping well at night and likes early mornings, so even little things can be highly irritating and the day was shaping to take the cake in the irritating department.

By early afternoon I found myself with a few extra minutes on my hands. Our great teammates were taking care of food for our evening team time and so I turned my thoughts to what else needed to be accomplished for the week. It had been a couple of weeks since I'd made it out to see my friends at the market in Vridi and so I decided to set off to do that and try to mark another errand off of my to do list while I was out and about.

Benjamin doesn't like car rides and so decided to serenade me for a little while with a song about terrible mothers and hated car seats, at least that's what I got in the translation. ;) He had just stopped his warbling when I had an encounter that I'd best not go into detail about. It would most likely end up in me insulting certain people best left uninsulted if I would like to keep my visa to stay in the country! SEVERAL minutes later, and a few dollars shorter, I moved on in my trip down the road muttering to myself about injustice and untruth. GGGRRR! Because I was muttering to myself and not completely thinking through where I was going, I missed my turn. I had to loop back, losing another 10 minutes, but then couldn't find the side errand I had meant to do. GGGGRRRRR! Now I've been on the road A LOT longer than I meant to be and Benjamin started up his song. GGGGGGRRRRRRR! If I wasn't so stubborn and hard headed, I probably would have given up and headed for home. Finally arriving at my destination, I hopped out to see rain clouds. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! I went on thinking my time now would just me a greeting and goodbye. I haven't been storying with the two ladies I was going to see anyway. One is a Muslim and one a Catholic. Both are pretty content in their positions and since they see us as all being on the same road of worshiping the same God, are happy to see me, but don't see their need to change.

I greeted. I was polite. I asked about their families and everyone we mutually know. I looked around at the Catholic widow's meager products in search of something that I could use or give to someone to use in an effort to help her make enough money to eat today. Not seeing anything, I was thinking of how I might palm her some supper money. Suddenly my little Muslim friend announced, "I had a dream about Jesus, tell her about it, Christine." Now one might think this would be the first piece of information you would give a friend that has been beating her head against the wall trying to tell you about, but in traditional African style, she'd waited until the end of the visit to announce her news. Now my Muslim friend speaks some French, but not much. She understands things if I say them REALLY slow and don't use any words of substance! My Catholic friend speaks a language they both understand well and French well, so is our translator if there is something important to be said.

You may remember my Muslim friend as the mother of a baby I had asked you to pray for a few months ago. Thanks to your prayers for the baby, he came back from death's door. Even that is a great miracle as I wasn't sure he'd even make it through the day when I posted that note. He still seems to me to have something seriously wrong, but looks healthy enough besides terribly poor muscle development.

Back to the dream, it all boiled down to; she had seen Jesus in a dream and the others in her dream had said that JESUS was the answer to her child's healing. Now she's always given credit to the prayers that were prayed for that baby, for bringing him this far. The dream was just absolute acknowledgment of that. She's also had a feeling from the dream that there were further keys to her understanding Jesus. Fortunately, for right now, she has sought those answers from me. I told a quick story of the paralyzed man with four friends. In that story, if you remember Jesus himself makes reference to their faith and His ability to forgive sins. I told the story as simply as possible and she seemed to understand. Pray with me for Fatimata, her baby and my friend Christine. Pray that God reveals the truth of salvation to these women through the divine healing of this baby.

Thanks so much for your prayers!


Sunday, June 6, 2010


I had the privilege of Baptizing one of my African friends today. Bamba had accepted Christ several months ago. Central Baptist Church from Arkansas has been coming to Cote d'Ivoire and traveling up North to share God's word with a village. In the process they meet Bamba and shared God's love with him. He was Muslim and had a lot of questions. I learned Bamba spoke Jula so I decided to start talking with him in Jula. After I finished my language study, Heather and I started storying with him and his family. He had already accepted Christ and was now being discipled. The church brought a group to Cote d"Ivoire this week and Bamba asked me if I would baptize him while the group was here. I found a place in the Lagoon that wasn't too dirty and I joyfully baptized Bamba. It is with great joy to hear that Bamba has already started sharing his testimony with everyone. I heard the stories while he was up North about him sharing with other bus drivers and also the police and rebels. This is exactly what happened in the Bible when someone accepted Christ. They were full of the Holy Spirit and shared with everyone the love they had found. Now, I challenge you to remember the joy of your salvation and go and tell someone about the love Christ has for them.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

More City Pictures

City Pictures

As I've mentioned in the past, we don't get very many pictures of us actually at work as getting them are a bit difficult. Just imagine if you wanted to carry a camera to work and take pictures of everything you do during the day. Your coworkers would think you were a little weird to say the very least. Add to that the fact that we already stick out like a sore thumb and we don't wish to distract from work we are trying to accomplish.

Some good friends visited recently and did some work capturing in pictures the heart of our city. I am slow in posting these, but here is a little bit of a visual idea of where we are and what we do.