Friday, July 19, 2013

Valley Baptist Church

We had yet another great team come out and visit with us on a "Vision Trip."  Valley Baptist Church from Searcy, Arkansas came out to look at Abidjan and to hopefully partner with a local African Church to plant new churches.  We are praying that they decide to come back out again.  The purpose of this trip was to do just a little bit of everything.  We toured the city, looked at the sites and visited several places that don't have a Baptist Church or even an evangelical Church in the area.

The team visited with Pastor Kassou and his family to see how a Christian family lives.  We also shared a meal with Pastor Kassou and his family.

The team also worshiped with the Baptist Church in Treichville.  They visited the Church Sunday morning and Wednesday night.

As always phone numbers were exchanged as well as email addresses.  I have no idea how they will communicate without a translator, but I have no doubt that emails will be sent.

Heather and one of the ladies from the church at Treichville.

Paul was the only guy that came on this mission trip.  The other five members of the team were women.  Pray for Paul as he feels he is being called to the mission field.

Pastor Dah, just to my right, and the church gave all the members of the team as well as Heather and myself, matching African clothes.  We put them on at the end of the Wednesday night service.

Just one more picture of the team in their cool African outfits.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Another Great Team

Evangelism in the rain, that's my kind of team.  They did the work despite the obstacles.  We did discontinue the afternoon session because of lightening.  :)

This is the gang in front of the church they worked with.

The gang at Vivian and George's house for supper.

Vivian's Dad with Mike and Ben

The gang with the pastor and his wife and their gifts.

June has been another whirlwind.  In brief recap, we had a team come from Louisiana, had my birthday, went to a meeting with workers from our area of the continent in Kenya and gained a teammate. 

We had a great time with our volunteer team.  They did a great job with evangelism.  We've been working with the church to continue to train them to carry on the work.  Mike has been doing some hands on work and I did a brief training with the ladies.  We'll both be back for more of the same. 

Caleb was able to finish up his school year.  He will be in grade 9 next year and Karis in 7.  Ben is still, well, just a mess. 

I think I'll forever be Mama Benjamin or Benjamin Ma depending on who you ask.  Ben has just made too big of a splash around here.  However, I did get a new name that still makes me smile.  For as long as I have lived, I've always been a little envious of other kids who had names you could shorten into something short and cute that only their friends or loved ones called them.  Heather is just a bit hard to shorten.  As most of you know, I was dubbed Esther here, due to pronunciation problems with Heather.  I've grown quite accustomed to being called Esther over the 5 years that has been my African name.  I've had a handful of other African names, but it is Esther that sticks with me.  My dear friend Vivian looked at me one day a couple of months ago and narrowed her eyes at me.  She continued to look thoughtful for a few minutes and then she said, "I'm trying to figure out how to 'caress' your name."  I nearly giggled at the construction of the phrase itself.  I'd never thought of "caressing" a name, but I guess that really is what makes a nickname special or something that only those close to you call you.  After a little more thought, she came out with "Esti".  She was happy and so for that reason, I was fine too.  I know it probably sounds stupid, but it's just one more piece of belonging here.  Have I mentioned lately that I LOVE AFRICA!

I hope to get you some pictures of our time in Kenya.  We are having some camera troubles and are waiting for some friends to toss us a few!  We enjoyed being with special friends.  The kids got to do VBS and Ben can teach any and everyone all of the music an dancing.  His sister can too, but she might not be as ready to do so.  It was the first time we'd all been together in 5 years.  We were staying on a retreat compound that was completely enclosed and we had the run of the place.  There were some others there at some points, but our group was so large that we outnumbered most any other group.  Our two big kids were gone just after dressing each morning and we only saw them in brief snatches until bedtime.  That is an incredibly unusual thing for us since we are usual together.  Even Ben made friends and he only cried a couple of times about going to class.  Now he wants to go back to class!

We are doing well, but staying busy.  We've had some little troubles with minor illnesses like cold, flu and stomach bugs.  We've got a big few months coming up, though, so we are hoping to stay well.  I'll keep you posted as I can.

With Love,