"There are two great moments in a persons life: the moment you were born and the moment you realize why you were born."

Monday, November 29, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving : )

Wow so I was just talking to my friend Naomi about blogs and emails…GREAT IDEA she had…instead of me just bombarding you with one post every so often with everything I can think of to update you on I’m going to update more often with a specific topic or two. Less topics, more detail on specific topics and more often. Probably like once or twice a week. That way there isn’t a flood of info coming in and it isn’t a thousand pages long. SWEETNESS! Haha what do ya’ll think? I love it if I do say so myself.

So for our first ‘topic’ I’m thinking Thanksgiving. It seems appropriate since Thanksgiving was just a few days ago. No? Oui! (that’s yes in French and it’s not spelled Wee as to my surprise)

On Wednesday an annual Mission Baptiste Cote d’Ivoire (MBCI) conference was held here on ICA campus and those are the people we celebrated Thanksgiving with. In total we had about 40 people at the dinner table!!! It was insane : ) but so fun! We hosted the WorldVenture missionaries stationed in West Africa, the nationals living here on base and their families, all of the leaders and all of the journeyers, OH and a German : ) for our thanksgiving feast. For a few it was their very first thanksgiving! To be honest it was one of my favorites. We spent from 1:30 to about 7 cooking and preparing the meal together as the journeryers. We did, however, take a break for some Frisbee action, but other than that we were split up into teams of two to prepare a dish. My roommate, Holly, and I were in charge of the pasta salad (my favorite dish!). It turned out SOO good haha. After dinner we had TONS of desserts of course and just sat around the table talking and laughing. It was such a blast. I honestly cannot remember a day were I ate that much…you could not see the bottom of my plate when I first started and I even piled the food on top of each other. I was soo full it was crazy!

After the feast was over my family called and I had the privilege of being passed around the thanksgiving dinner table. It was my parents and brother George and two friends, Mitch and Brandon. It was fun talking and hear how they were all doing and for a little bit I felt apart of their thanksgiving dinner. It was fun. After our conversations were over I found a few of my journeryer friends laying out by our thanksgiving table looking up at the stars (oopps forgot to mention we ate outside). So I laid down and we ended up playing this weird laughing game where you lay on each other’s stomachs and try to make people laugh with out laughing yourself (I don’t know, it was weird) but we ended up just hanging out talking and looking at the stars (and of course massaging each other’s scalps). It was honestly the perfect end to the perfect Ivorian thanksgiving.

That’s what thanksgiving is all about, good food, good talk and good friends/family to share it with. I am seriously so thankful for so many things. First, for everyone at home in the states that have loved on me and let me love on them. My life will never be the same because of these people. My family and their support for me. And for my new family here, in Cote d’Ivoire. They’re great!! I am also still so thankful each morning I am blessed to wake up in such an amazingly beautiful place! God has been moving and working. He doesn’t need any of us to do anything, but he invites us along for the journey. I would love to hear what you guys are all thankful for and how thanksgiving went back in the states please!
Thanksgiving Scripture:
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I think it’s interesting that Paul says IN all circumstances and not FOR all circumstances. So we obviously wont be happy or joyful for everything that happens to us, but we still need to give thanks to a God who is always good!

“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God. I will give you thanks forever!” ~Psalm 30:11-12

Prayer Requests:
-Please continue praying for the country…this is the second & final vote for the next president of Cote d’Ivoire. Their debate this week went amazingly well, so now we are just praying that their gracious attitude towards one another continues and that there is peace
-There have been plenty of sicknesses going around among the leadership team here. Please pray for their recoveries and that we may not get sick also
-Our one on one conversations with each other. That they may be intentional (they have been thus far but that we may grow in deeper community with one another)
-And finally for our church here in Cote d’Ivoire “the harvest is plenty, but the workers are few” please pray for more leaders to help out especially with the Sunday school.

As always I thank you so very much for your love and support. There are pictures from our thanksgiving feast and everything we’ve done thus far on myjourneycorps.com so please go check those out. I hope all is well in your homes and families. Please keep me updated on your lives as much as possible. Know you are loved and missed!!!

Love always and forever,
Alyssa Joy Grabarkewitz : )

Monday, November 15, 2010

Quick Update : )

OK so this is actually my fourth time trying to post a blog, so this one will be EXTREMELY short just because I have to try and beet the internet timing me out : )

Life here in Cote d'Ivoire is awesome!! God is moving and challenging us here in so many new ways and reviving some old ways. This past Sunday I was honored to join in on the high school group not realizing that I was expected to give a mini lesson on loving our enemies, but it went so well :) God was so there and used it to encourage and uplift me. It's frustrating here, at times, because we don't know the language, but yet it's comforting. I was reminded in John that the way people know we belong to Christ is by our love for one another, our neighbors and our enemies. The Holy Spirit is my advocate and it's such a stress releiver : )

Then last night we took a wild ride to the Bush. We rode on top of the 4X4's it was so fun but sort of hurt if you weren't paying attention and got wacked on the head by a branch (happened to more then a few of us). We ate dinner there and spent time marveling up at the sky and how big He is and how small we are. It's insane!

So for now I want to encourage you to go outside tonight and just look up at the stars or even watch the clouds...don't you feel small, but big at the same time? DUDE God is insane and I absolutely love it.

Please continue with the prayers for unity and against spiritual attack. Also please pray for the Cote d'Ivoire government, that the peace through the elections would continue. Part two of the elections are this Sunday. and the Muslim holiday "tabasky" is this week full of sacrifces so please pray that God gives them revealing dreams about who Jesus is, since they hold dreams very high up here.

Thank you everyone for your love and support! Our ministry here is slowly but surely going and I want you to know that you are just as much here as anyone. I hope to put up pictures and to post blogs more often so that you all on the state side feel just as involved as I do! You're the reason why I am here. Thank you ; )