Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sick Day

This is Ben's sick face. He was actually on the mend by this time, but throwing a tantrum just seemed to be a habit at this point! ;)

Daisy's back!

Welcome Home Daisy

She's already back to taking a Sunday afternoon nap with Dad.

Benjamin loves it when Daisy says, "Please!" I'm pretty sure she gained a few pounds that day.

Playing Wii with Autumn

Our little Ben used up a sick day last week. He got malaria and so we had some scary moments. We are getting better at enduring those terrifying fevers now and with the prayers of many, he came through just fine!

We enjoyed a farewell visit from our old teammates. The kids played wii, board games, watched movies and threw water balloons. It was great to have them all together again! Ben loved babysitter Autumn. I really think she should just stay with us!!! I was able to go out and not worry about him fussing. Guess we'll have to find somebody here that he enjoys spending time with.

School is officially in again, so we are all learning to juggle schedules. Come on out and we'll show you do it!

Love to all,

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Volunteer Fun

Caleb on the Basketball Court

Ben crashing the game with his own game of chase

This is a painting by a man depicting some of the horrors of the war here in the spring.

We've been having a great time with the young man, Zach, that came from our home church. We haven't been able to do quite as much due to more worries of security and just a smaller number team. We don't often get to host just one person, but we've been glad to have him.

Mike and sometimes Ben and I as well have been hitting a few of our favorite spots with him trying to drum up new interest and find seekers. The guys have done fairly well. I can't say that Ben and I have found a lot, partly due to his inability to sit still. I have enjoyed my time in Vridi reconnecting with old friends and greeting new ones.

Because of the bus accident I mentioned a few days ago, there has been much sadness. I have been glad to see that my friend who lost her husband seems to be dealing OK. She was so distraught in those first days, that I was worried. I still feel so bad for her, but it looks like God has wrapped comforting arms around her. The first of last week, I found out that another acquaintance of mine was in the bus. She is someone I spoken with often, I just hadn't gotten around to sharing stories. I had thought on Wednesday about how open she seemed with me right now and had thought I'd try to see if I could sit down with her next time I saw her. On Friday of that same week, she was on the bus. Now that is an opportunity I'll never have. She also left 3 small children behind.

The kids and I have taken the last couple of afternoons to do our own work in the neighborhood, or at least attempt to. Thursday we tried a little Bball game. Caleb got in some play time and so did Karis, but the court was in the sun. Our play time choice of around 4 wasn't so great. They got a little too hot to fast. I think we may try a little later next time. Ben led a parade of children around the court in the middle of the game. They followed him like the pied piper wanting a chance to play with his soccer ball, or touch his hair or his skin. He thought the whole thing was quite amusing. With all of the madness going on, I didn't get to talk to anyone. I kept my eyes glued on the little running white baby and tried to keep from losing sight of him. I didn't even get a picture of Karis playing because Ben was so hard to watch. It was fun, but stressful. I'd hoped to sit and chat with some ladies while the kids played, but there was a lot going on and too many danger zones! Friday we just walked around the neighborhood greeting those we've missed. Walks with Ben are never dull.

We are now waiting for our old teammates and sweet little dog to arrive. They are on their way from Ghana and we can't wait to see them all. Ben is so excited about something named Daisy, that he can't seem to place, but wants to meet. It will be so good to have a dog again!

We are looking forward to a few more good days with Zach and lots of catching up with the Moodys! Hopefully I'll have more photos and stories soon.

With Love,

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

Bamba and some ladies he's been sharing with and Ben

Ben and Mike ready for Vridi, guess who picked the hats!

JB's bullet This is a stray that hit our gate near where our guard was sitting.

Ben's favorite time of day is when JB comes every evening!

Here's Zakariah with his new chair.

Who needs a moving van when you've got a bike!

Ben Cooking

The Bus Fell in the Water

We've been enjoying our time back in Abidjan even though a lot of our time over the last few weeks has been hearing the difficult stories of friends from their time during the crisis here. I had wanted to write here some of their stories, but there were some pretty terrible things that happened and so I've decided to cancel that idea. We knew they'd lived through hunger and thirst, fear and gunfire. I was a little unprepared for the torture that happened right in the street.

Our Vridi friends had been glad to tell us that although they suffered hunger and fear, for the most part, they suffered the crisis without permanent loss. This week, loss came to Vridi.

Mike, Ben and I arrived in Vridi Friday morning to visit some people. Ben hadn't made an appearance yet at Vridi and he is a BIG attraction! Soon after we'd gotten there one of the people that passed us in the street stopped us to say that "a bus had fallen in the water". The French at Vridi is always interesting and she was indicating another part of town, so I couldn't figure out her story. Besides that, I didn't know her from the man in the moon and so we moved on. Upon arriving at the stall of my market friends, I was not even greeted properly before the whole story came rushing out. There was a city bus crammed full of people, many of them from Vridi, that had an accident on a bridge and as a result, tipped over the side and plunged into the lagoon. 37 were quickly found dead and 10 survived. The numbers will most likely rise to around 100 men, women and children, as this was a busy time of day for the bus. For me the worst of the news was that the husband of a friend was among those on that bus. She waited around 36 hours to hear the final news. Her name is Marie and she has a daughter just younger than Ben. She is Catholic, but has listened to many of my stories. Pray for her tonight as she deals with her first night of no hope! Pray too that I can be an encouragement and a comfort to her in the coming days, weeks, months.