|My precious friend Maman Kassou leading worship|
Hee hee! It's me, sheepishly coming back. I realize how long it has been. SO SORRY! I'm not sure I even know where to start to catch you back up on us, but here goes.
We've had a fast and crazy summer. We had 3 volunteer teams with us and a group of journalists from the board that came to write some stories and take video of us, our city and our work. I'll begin to include little by little some of their photos. The ones for this time are from the church in Abobo Belle Ville. I love so much this church and this pastor's family that these are among my favorites of all we have. If you like what you see, stay tuned to see who will be featured in the 2014 International Mission Study!!! We are so honored to be a special part of this publication. We had a great time working with the journalists and look forward to seeing our city from their eyes.
In addition to all of that excitement Caleb had a great time at MK camp in Senegal. He always enjoys his time with other MKs. Karis is super excited that she has been invited for next year. We appreciate all of you that give to Lottie Moon and the CP so that things like this are possible for us at a reduced cost.
Our whole family got to have a cluster meeting bringing together about 7 countries worth of staff and flying in specialists from other areas. Our kids got to do VBS while the adults had times of spiritual renewal along with strategy meetings and training. Again, BIG THANKS to those that give. I nearly froze my behind off as the daytime temps stayed in the 60s at best and night temps plunged to some crazy lows and we had no heat. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm most at home in the tropics now! Rainy season has been too chilly for me this year. Maybe I need to find out where my African friends get their parkas and ski masks! ;) TRUE STATEMENT: I have worn my long sweater many days this year. 78 and windy is no longer my kind of weather!! I'll try to get some pics from our time in Kenya up soon.
I was able to participate in a retreat for local pastors' wives' from all over our country. These are becoming slightly less stressful and more times of sweet reunion with precious ladies I'm coming to know. I still do the wrong thing sometimes or say the wrong thing and get myself in trouble. This year we all slept in the same room and the second morning I was headed out to take my bucket bath and stopped off to tell my buddy where I was headed. The other pastor's wife she was having a serious discussion with said, "HEY! I'm mad at you." Oh dear what did I do this time. She says, "I am the big sister and yesterday I had to come tell you good morning at your mattress, today you are walking out without even saying good morning. I'm MAD!" I've now learned that defending myself or explaining my error is a waste of breath and otherwise worthless, so I dropped straight to my knees, looked at the ground and grovelled. It worked! :) Note to self, don't bother explaining, just beg forgiveness. One of these days I'll get it all right.
I also got to be a part of a couple of national meeting events. One was a nondenominational revival type of thing. It was pretty fun and/or funny. I got to parade through the crowded streets of Abidjan with my sisters in Christ, singing and dancing and passing out fliers along with a six man band. Pretty great, huh? I was able to spend one day at our national Baptist convention before catastrophe hit one of our new personnel. I wish I'd known it would be my only day.
We had a couple of young women come to spend the semester with us in our company's HandsOn program. A week and a half after arrival one begun to break out in hives that we couldn't seem to get a handle on. She spent 5 or so days in the hospital and has since left for the US. It was a very stressful situation for all involved. Colleagues in the country helped me out some with taking a few turns in the hospital. She speaks almost no French and nobody wants to be alone in the hospital anyway. My dear friends the Kassous just happened to be spending the week at our house for the convention and stayed a night with my kids since Mike is out of town. In addition, Viviane was a constant help to me and passed many hard hours in the hospital with me and helped me pray and let go of the stress. She made sure I ate and slept as much as possible. Over and over, she proves to be such a blessing to me. I never knew to ask for such a special friend. I'm so grateful for what the Lord has done for me.
Now we are left with one young woman that we are trying to figure out how we can help her have a successful semester. Pray for wisdom for all involved.
Well, supper is late at this point. Please know that even when updates are slow, I appreciate all of you that keep up with us and keep in contact.