Repost from July 10, 2016
I don't get as much time as I used to for blogging, so it seems like every time I sit down to do so that so much has passed that I don't know where to begin.
There is a very neat part of this culture where kids go off to spend time with relatives, occasionally friends, for the summer. They might be gone a couple of weeks, a month or the whole summer. We were blessed this year to host the youngest Kassou in our home for nearly a month. Yassoua (his name means boy) came to stay at our house the 5th of June and we returned him to his family on the 1st of July. I've never even been privileged enough to have one of my nieces or nephews stay more than a few days, so this was a scary and exciting time!
Yassoua has spent a few days with us a couple of times and one of his brothers had once or twice, but we aren't talking about a few days here. I was so pleased that we were considered close enough to be chosen. I love my sweet African sister Viviane and her precious family. Yassoua came into a different world where English is spoken more often than not, hot water comes out of a shower head, kids sleep on a bed with a couple of dogs, a slew of programs are watched on our TV but almost none in French, hamburgers and chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese are dinner favorites, there is almost always chocolate in the house, outside play with Dad means baseball time, Mama likes to wear pants at the end of a long tough day, etc. We had a good time together. Ben and Ty especially liked having a big brother around again, when they weren't trying to kill each other, of course. This is one of the super fun things about living overseas. Our kids have the opportunity to enjoy and experience things from this amazing culture.
We had one of our super fun, super stressful events last month. VBS is not something that is done here. In fact, there is very little if any evangelism done with people under 18 here in this area. There is no literature, so everything has to be either made from scratch or translated and pieced together. This year I translated and pieced. We had lots of fun with the kids. It is so neat how little it takes to get a smile here. A coloring page and crayons can bring a smile for hours and draw in half of the neighborhood. This is the second year we've been doing this and so the kids are starting to get more used to the idea. The first year, we had to "shake down" half the kids to get our crayons back. I always wish I had enough to just let them keep them, but we need our craft supplies to keep going. Another big hit is game time. Duck, Duck, Goose, Red Rover and tag could last for hours! This was the first year for an actual craft time. White paper folded to make a card and a few coloring pencils to draw with were so great, that when we brought out the craft sticks, yarn and markers on day three, we were barely able to drag the kids away! Around 40 kids prayed to receive Christ. We had kids from all religious backgrounds and were so glad to get a chance to make a difference in their lives.
From an American perspective, it was a hard few days. We had 175 kids divided into three classes. We had between 10 and 15 adult volunteers each day, most of which were not accustomed to working with kids. The joys of the week completely outweighed the hard moments.
In other news, my traumatizing truck rides with strange passengers continues. We have lizards everywhere around here. We have big ones and little ones. I actually like lizards fine except when they live under the driver's seat of my vehicle and run out and around the truck periodically to scare me. I'm beginning to think somebody is trying to give me a heart attack!
On and on each day goes, the next one usually even more interesting than the last.