It seems that blogger and I are still in a battle of the wills. Guess I better learn how to be brief! :)
Another really fun, exhausting, rewarding, pull you hair out frustrating part of our summer was VBS. I know, you did VBS too. I know you were tired right? Again, not minimizing anyone's battle, but VBS here is just hard to get across in words. Before the thing ever starts, teaching materials have to come straight from the drawing board. We have to figure out lessons and games and songs and crafts from scratch! We then have the task of teaching people that aren't used to doing much of anything with kids how to play, teach and pray on their level. Children are most often seen as just a distraction at church. The main idea for them is often to keep them quiet and out of the way. Also, just for reference, a child here is anyone from age 0 to 15 or 16 depending.
The funny thing every year is that we never need to advertise for VBS. If I show up in my truck during the summer months and start doing stuff, the kids come out of the wood work. We had a funny experience this year because the first day fell on a Muslim holiday. We had around 70 kids and the day was very manageable. We are only able to break the kids up into three classes for lack of trained teachers. I had the oldest class and with a little less than 20 kids, it was very DOable! Later that evening the Jgirls and I sat at my house finishing craft projects for the next day and I opened my ignorant mouth. "Oh, I think we won't have more than 85 or 90 tomorrow. God will ease us up slowly so that we can handle the heat! He'd never send us 120 or 130. That would just be too much!" HA! We had 150!!!! Day three, I was over an hour late due to horrible rains and flooding that should have caused me to go back home and we were up to 175 kids! I drove past an overturned city bus. By Friday we had around 200. Nobody can count high enough fast enough to tell us what we really had. It was like a little army of ants moving and running and wreaking havoc all around us. So many many kids heard the saving message of Christ. There were easily 50 of them that prayed to receive Him as Savior. The middle class is hard to count as all ALWAYS want to pray. It is my most earnest prayer that many of them understood and stand behind their decision. Many of them won't be back to church until next year. Their Muslim parents let them come to play so that they will be out of their way and stay for lunch so that they have one less mouth to feed, but would never let them come on Sundays. I truly believe that God can take the honest prayer of these kids and help them continue their journey to Him in His time.
We did a lot of travel as a family this summer. We went to Benin for a meeting and spent most of July in Senegal for another meeting. The kids enjoyed the pools. Ben and Karis LOVED hanging out with American friends. Those that don't know the mission family may not realize that our kids look forward to our meetings so that they can have a big family reunion. They ditch their old parents that they see all of the time to hang out and spend precious moments being a kid with others that understand well the lives that they live.
Maybe I can call a truce with Blogger and get another post out soon. I'd love to tell you all about our fall projects and I need to find some pictures of our kids to post!