|Tired after a long day in the waves |
When we first got to the beach, Ben just wanted to stand there and let the water bury his feet in sand.
|Karis and the elephant at the Accra mall|
|Ben thought the elephant was really great as it was just his size, but he was afraid to touch it. This from a boy that will walk up to a barking, snarling dog and try to kiss it on the nose!|
|After a while Ben stepped further in the water and he kept Mike worn out trying to keep him afloat!|
|Because we hadn't intended to stop on the way home, no one but Caleb had a swimsuit.|
|There were pineapples here and there all through the property.|
|Ben wanted to play, play, play until his body turned blue and he could barely stand. Caleb and Karis love the beach nearly as much as Ben.|
We had a good trip to Ghana the last day or two of January and the first part of February. Those of you that get our prayer updates know that the trip there took nearly 14 hours which we made all in one day. The kids were great, but we decided to break up the trip on the way back home. We stopped at a place for the night and although we were without swimsuits or really even clean clothes, everybody wanted to stay an extra night. It was nice to spend a day away.
We have been back on field assignment now for about 11 months. Those of you that know us well, know that this has been a difficult time. We've moved a lot, due to the Vancouver training. We've had so many struggles with our rental properties that we can't seem to sell causing us to pour so much money down that bottomless pit. Without our families involvements there, we would have been in serious trouble by now. Mike has struggled more with his stomach problems than ever before. Ben has had malaria twice. Caleb has been fairly seriously sick with that respiratory illness a couple of months ago. We lost our teammates due to a job change. All other company personnel that were serving in our city are in the states for at least a year. In addition to that are other hard things that I won't go into right now. Our country is suffering the after effects of the crisis meaning that our people are going through hard times right now too. All in all, we've also seen so many answers to prayers. There was a miraculous change in Ben's behavior toward staying in a nursery in answer to prayers of the ULI gang. All of the kids have weathered their illnesses this year with no ill effects. I've had women just asking for me to tell them the stories. I've seen God work in the lives of women this year. I've had so many answered prayers of those in my groups. Christine came back from what I had assumed was certain death. I couldn't believe how changed the kids attitudes were in the car as so many of our friends lifted us up for that difficult journey to Accra. I remember thinking even as I asked friends to pray, "they can pray all they want, but kids are going to be kids". Wrongo! I know there are more, but I can't think of them all right now.
One of our most recent answered prayers involves Ben, of course! We'd had a tough week. They were rewiring our house, which in Africa means busting all of the concrete walls out, running the wires, falling through the ceiling and then trying to build the house back up! We were all tired of living out of a suitcase and doing without our stuff. We had to buy a washer, which is expensive, because ours kicked the bucket. The refrigerator stopped working only to miraculously start working again after being off for what must have been a whole day! We'd had to piece our house back together and clean all of the concrete off and out of all of our stuff. We finally made it to Sunday. We'd decided to go to a church that was hosting the Baptist Women's President, Vice President and Secretary for the day. Ben was having a tough morning, as he often does. I didn't really think he could get much terribler, but the terrible twos are here! I'd taken him out of services to run around in the courtyard. He'd done OK for the first hour of church, but the next two hours usually get him. I plopped down on the concrete while Ben played. There was a car parked in the courtyard which is unusual. The kids usually get out of Sunday School before the adults and play there in the yard for an hour or so while the adults finish. Anyway, I was watching Ben, but I wasn't holding his hand or anything. He picked up a small rock, about the diameter of a dime, out of the sand and had been tapping it on a wooden pole. Next thing I know, I see him pick up his foot and throw the rock through the rear passenger window of the car. I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING! I signal the usher and ask whose car it is and tell him what happened. Then I sit there thinking about how in the world we are going to get enough money out of an ATM to pay for this. As I wait, I decided to go get Mike. I figured we'd better both be figuring out what we are going to do short of illegal activity to drum up whatever sum this is going to be. Much to my horror, in a few moments out walks the President, Vice President and Secretary of the Baptist Women in Cote d'Ivoire. I had barely met two of them, but am in a pastors' wives group with one of them, so that made me feel slightly better. We clean up all the glass and clean out the car and decide to go back in and handle this after services. Finally they all come out again and the owner apologizes, but says she doesn't want her company to know of the damages, so we can fix it at her place or ours. Long story short, our office guy gets involved the next day and helps us work out with her insurance to cover the damage. It turned out that she had glass breakage coverage! I didn't really sleep or eat for the 24 hours in between, but we were so thankful for God's provision on this problem. On the bright side, I don't think any of the Women's Council will ever forget me or BEN! The lady I was friends with just kept saying, Benjamin must be really strong, the whole time we picked up shards of glass out of the car. What do you say to that? Gee thanks, would you like to borrow him for a while and you cover the damages for his strength? ;)
We have also been blessed this month by the arrival of our crate. Our company allows us to pack a crate to be sent by ship each time we come out. It was so much fun to replace our ratty sheets, towels and kitchenwares, plus get some extras we'd packed like a couple of comfortable chairs for the living room and bikes for the kids. Everyone is beginning to try their hand at the guitar we put in too. It's time for the McAfees to get some culture! If we can just keep Ben from breaking it before he gets old enough to play it. Everyone is having such a good time with it, that we may need to consider saving for another one next time we are in the states.
Well, I've surely rattled your ear off by now. You are fully caught up on the McAfees lives! Can't wait to see you again. Make it this side of the ocean and we'll let you see firsthand how things go around here!
Love you all,