Sunday, August 29, 2010


Fatimata and Baby (read on for their story)

I have a few updates for you from different areas of life around here. We have 7 weeks left in Cote d'Ivoire. One of those weeks we will be meeting Mike's dad in a neighboring country for a spiritual retreat. Some of that time we will have to pack up everything we own and prepare it to be left in a hot, humid environment for 9 months. Much of that time will be used in going to visit EVERY person we know to say goodbye, because we are African and that is what we do. In our spare time, ha, we'll be trying to prepare all of our areas of ministry for our absence. Needless to say, we have more stuff to do than time to do it with.

I know that you all have prayed with us on numerous occasions for many different things. If I remember what I've asked you to pray about, I try to let you know how that turned out. Unfortunately, my memory is a little slippery.

A few months ago I told you about the baby of a Muslim lady that I knew that was very sick. Mom's name is Fatimata. I was almost certain the baby was near death. His little head just rolled listlessly. He wasn't focusing on anything. When he was trying to nurse, he couldn't really even suck. You prayed and within a few days the baby was doing better. His mom called me after 3 days. My heart sunk when I saw the number. I thought they were calling to say he'd died, but not so. After a week or so, he was much better. Within a month, he was doing well. It is obvious he has some form of disability, but now he is starting to babble and hold his head up well. The best thing of all is that she credited our prayers with the healing. She has now started listening to the story set of God's plan for redemption. Her French is not good and my Moore is not good, but we are making it work. Each phrase we work through in both languages to make sure she understands. Right now, she's listening. She even told me last week that she "prefers" Christianity for a number of reasons. Her home life is HARD. Just pray with me that God opens her eyes to eternity and the exclusivity of the Way.

My dear friend Agira, now in Burkina, had her baby this week. She had a little boy on Wednesday. Everything went wonderfully and she also thanks you for your prayers. She has no doubt that your prayers work, but she is just blinded thinking that either road is equally good and you should stay on the path you started on. Unfortunately, my influence is now limited to 5 minute phone calls. Pray that this dear one understands the Truth! Pray also that she finds a home she can afford. After 3 months in Burkina, she still hasn't found a home for her and her 3 kids there with her.

I also remembered one of my more amusing moments in Burkina last month. Every day while there, we walked a lot. The people I was able to visit lived in more remote areas, even those that were in the city. Upon driving as close as possible, I would have to walk for an hour or so to reach their homes. One particular day we'd walked for an hour and a half (walking briskly mind you) and came to this chasm. There was a 3 foot jump to an island about 3 feet wide and another 3 foot jump on the other side. If you missed the jump, the fall was only about 5 feet, but not something I wished to do. We had a guide that was leading us back to the house with a little moped in tow. The moped looked like a bicycle with a gas tank and our guide was a beautiful African woman, but she easily made 2 of me. In addition, she was carrying a 2 year old baby on her back and had a 4 year old with her as well. At this point Agira was 8 months pregnant. Our guide jumped the chasm first and Agira handed across the moped. Then I jumped, graceful or not, and I made it. Agira jumped too. One down, one to go. We did the same with the next jump and all made it safely except for a 10 year old tag along that was caught mid fall by the arm by Agira and pulled to safety. We've now been walking for about 2 hours and our guide looks at me and asks if I am ready to ride the moped. Now, I am used to walking, but I am carrying an 18 pound baby and he is getting really heavy. I am, however, TERRIFIED of the moped and I've never ridden one here. I ask, "is it still REALLY far?" and get the answer, "yes!" OK, time to swallow my fear, because if I say I'm walking, that means the pregnant lady will have to walk too. I agree and warn them that I've never ridden a moped and don't know how. "No problem!" they say. I pull out my baby wrap and tie Benjamin on my back tight. Now that I've agreed to this, I've got to figure out HOW. There is a little metal rack that hangs out behind the seat, and I know that is where the little ones sit when Mom drives. So upon mounting that, I have to figure out what to do with my tight wrap skirt, which I forgot to wear pants under this particular day (some days I do, some I don't). So I climb on as best I can and Agira arranges my skirt for me. That is really not what is bothering at that moment though. What bothers me is that I am on a moped with a baby on my back behind a large African with a baby on her back. I am trying to figure out how hard I can cling to her and where exactly I can get a good handhold that won't hurt the baby. I settle for wrapping my arms around her as best I can and hanging on for dear life even though, the WHOLE VILLAGE is now watching me. I am fairly certain the back seat person isn't supposed to hang on, but I don't really care right now. Note to self, wire rack may be good for hauling water, but HURTS for carrying grown woman. All I can think of is, if I fall off, Benjamin falls of too! Finally we make it and I gladly hop off. Now this lovely lady heads off with her baby on her back, to get my 8 month pregnant friend and her 4 year old. They join me in no time and I feel like a total loser for being such a scaredy cat. Of course, my sense of safety has kept me alive thus far and must be good for something. We took a different route out that evening that meant a LONG walk, but let me keep at least on foot on the ground at all times. It was great.

And that was just another great day in the life of a missionary. Come join us for some good old FUN!
With Love,

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back to School

Our little buddy LOVES music.

The kids have started back to school and so that is a big part of our day right now. For some reason, school seems to take longer at the first of the year around here and so goes this year. Benjamin doesn't appreciate school time too much right now. He thinks EVERYONE should play with him ALL of the time.

Our storying groups are still going full swing. We are looking forward at the time we have remaining here and figuring out how to get everyone either to a stopping point or to a way to continue. Some groups will be finishing out the evangelism set so that they can come to a decision time. Some groups will be continuing with stories from one of their own. Some groups will be handed off to friends. Pray as all this goes on that we don't lose momentum and that the Word continues to spread.

Continue to pray for our Muslim friends are they are in this time of fasting. Pray that they find the Truth.


Friday, August 20, 2010

First Steps

Benjamin decided to take his first steps on film. He'd taken one step here and there before, but this time when I pulled out the camera, he took 6. I think he'll be a while in continuing on his own as he prefers to have someone help him. No doubt he'll be ready for a pair of shoes by the time we get to the states!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Same Old, Same Old

We are back to life as usual. We started back on school last week as we will have some interruptions again this year and so need to get as much under our belt early as possible.

We've recounted all of our Burkina stories to all of my Burkina friends. We are always met with the same responses... "You rode the train?!?!" "What did you eat?" "Who did you see?" "Where did you go?" It's been great fun to recount people and places and food to all of my friends and see the appreciation that I understand where they come from now. They'll test my Moore out a little to see if it has improved and we all go away happy.

We are coming into the month of fasting for our Muslim friends and neighbors. Starting Wednesday, or a little earlier for the women, they will be rising around 3:30 AM to prepare a big meal for the family of rice and sauce. They will eat some time before 5 AM depending on the family. They will then take a nap or just carry on with their day. They will pass the entire day, without eating or drinking. Some will even spit out their saliva all day. They will continue with their normal prayer times and then after the 6:30 PM prayer, they will eat another large meal, again probably rice and sauce. They do all of this in an effort to do a couple of things. One this is supposed to help them decrease their sinning and increase their list of good things before God. Also this is a time to better know God. The last week or so may be spent in all night prayer meetings at the mosque. They will ask God to give them dreams and visions.

This month will allow for many conversations for us. For one thing, we will be asked why we don't fast this month. We'll be asked when and why we fast and so we'll have many opportunities for sharing our faith. Also since everyone's thoughts are on spiritual things, conversations are more likely to start on any manner of topics. In addition to that, we take this opportunity to ask God to send our friends and neighbors exactly what they are asking for. We hear many stories of Muslims that were converted after dreams and visions of Jesus and a further look at His claims and WHO exactly He is. Pray with us as you can by name for several friends we SOOO want to become believers: Agira, Mamouna, Seidou (SAY-doo), Mariam.

We also hope that you might pray with us as there is a possibility of the political climate heating up a bit again. Elections may come in October. Pray with us for peace and for the leader that God wants and can use.

Benjamin is growing like a weed as usual. He's 10 months old now. He is honing in his skills at furniture cruising. He really loves to have someone hold his hands so that he can run through the house like everybody else. He is still afraid to turn loose, but I am sure that once he gains his confidence, he'll be quite the terror! He appears to be very good at languages although his words are not at all clear yet. He very often gets his point across by shaking and nodding his head as well as gesturing. All of my Burkina friends are sure he'll be speaking Moore in no time. We'll see. I have a feeling he hears too much English, but we'll see. He still doesn't like to sleep, so maybe he's putting all of that extra free time he has into being multilingual.

Hope this finds you all well. We love and miss you all.