Here is what Ben thinks of putting on 2 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of pants, shoes, coat and hat to go outside only to get cold! He cried to go outside and then cried because he was cold.
This was the first time the kids could actually play in the snow. We had flurries the week before, but they didn't amount to much.
Here's the gang listening to the Christmas story in French at Christmas in Africa night!
This is Ben's first time to see snow flakes falling.
Pumpkin pie smothered in cool whip is good!!!
We've been able to stay home most of the time for the last couple of weeks. We've been getting reacquainted with those things that we love but miss while we are in Abidjan. For Benjamin it has been a time of trying new things. Some of those things he has loved, like macaroni and cheese and lima beans. There are other American things he has not been so fond of.
We have enjoyed being able to romp around the country and tell our story in churches here, there and everywhere. We've enjoyed hearing their hearts for the nations and talking about how people can join us.
One thing I wanted to ask you to remember in prayer is how our country is still being affected by the problems of the presidential election last month. Both run off candidates felt they had won the election and began to set up their own governments. With neither candidate willing to concede the election chaos quickly ensued. An independent counsel says the opposition candidate had won and that the incumbent needs to step down. The incumbent claims there was fraud in areas help by the opposition and in throwing out those "fraudulent" votes he wins. The world and Africa as a whole are standing behind the opposition guy and calling for the incumbent to step down. Whatever happens there are a few things that continue to bother us. Currently the borders of Cote d'Ivoire are closed and we couldn't get back in if we were to be headed back today. Our teammates evacuated with our "Daisy" dog before the mess started and now cannot get back in. Of greatest concern are those that are daily being hurt in the protestations and scuffles. Many of our friends make very little money and live from one day to the next on the few dollars they make each day. When they must stay in because of violence or when there is no market, they can't make money. Without money coming in, they don't have money for food. Also the surrounding countries are using their influence to try to force the incumbent to relinquish power, but that will make life even more difficult for the common people until a solution is found. All around there is much suffering and a peaceful solution is not forthcoming. Names and faces of those suffering are constant in my thoughts. Those that follow what we do know them too. Please pray for them. Pray that through all of the trouble they will turn to the only source of real peace. Pray that in the midst of their suffering, they'll turn to Jesus.
If I don't post again, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas. May you celebrate the true gift of Christ.
Well, coming from 90 degree weather to this 20 degree weather is quite a shock to everyone. Even Mike has taken to wearing long johns around the house! We've now had our first snow since we've been back. It didn't actually stick to the ground much, but it was enough to excite the kids. We took Benjamin to his first Christmas parade too, and he was highly unimpressed. He hates extra clothes and he hates to be cold. Those two injustices put together led us to a couple of hours of a screaming baby. To his credit it was 19 degrees and we ended up standing around for a long time. Even my toes and fingers were frozen and I was quite ready to go too! The worst thing about the whole evening was that someone decided, in our absence, that throwing candy was hazardous to the health of small children. Thus there was no reward for the frostbite!!!!! Let me just say that I think that candy is a small reward the parade watchers should receive for braving the cold to see 27 pint sized beauty queens riding around all bundled up and all of the other cars that are merely in the parade for advertisement purposes! Without candy, I found myself thinking all too soon, "How much longer can this possibly go on!?!"
So often, my heart turns home now. Please don't misunderstand me. I love seeing my family and friends here in the states, but I miss my African friends too. The fact that life there is in a big uproar probably doesn't help. Most of you have heard of the political troubles facing the Ivory Coast. To make a long complicated story short for those of you that haven't heard, after a recent election, the opposing parties are both claiming to have won the election and both have had their own ceremonies and chosen their new government. This is causing protests in the country and in our home city. Ultimately, two presidents cannot coexist. Our teammates decided to leave before the trouble began having heard how things might go down and can't get back in now due to turmoil and closed borders, making their lives difficult and unpredictable right now. At least we don't have to worry about their safety since they are out of harms way, but that makes the holiday season difficult for them. Precious national friends are stuck in the thick of it. Some of those are believers, many are not. For those that will be ushered straight into eternity because of this problem, many of them don't know Jesus as their Savior and Friend. They will stand before the throne as enemies of God, well deserving His wrath. Those are heavy thoughts. Please pray for our friends.
In remembrance of our friends and our newly acquired African culture, we've decided to host a Christmas party as we have every year for the last 3 years. This year, though, we'll be inviting Mike's family to enjoy "Christmas in Africa" in America. Those that have been following our happenings for some time know that we invite our African friends to our home at Christmas to eat rice and sauce and hear the Christmas story. After a recent visit to a church celebrating missionaries around the world with a taste of recipes from around the world and a word from my sweet niece about how she wants to eat with her hands as we do on the other side of the ocean, I thought it might be fun to bring some traditions from our African home to our American home. So we will subject the McAfees to some African culture and hope that they enjoy themselves half as much as we will.
I know you all are busy as Christmas approaches so quickly. As you give your Lottie Moon Christmas Offering this year, know that you are giving directly to our ministry. Please hear us say "Thank You!" from the bottom of our hearts. We are able to go because of the sacrificial gifts of Southern Baptists! God bless you because you bless the nations with the gift of the news of Jesus.