Wow I am so lame…I said in my last blog that I would be posting updates more often, but…I’m lame. Haha internet wasn’t working for a week, and then I just got lazy. I’m sorry friends
My Ivorian Family:
Anyways!!!! I will update you about what has been going on for the past two weeks. Last weekend (12/10) we were split up into groups of two and separated for our first time to go live with Ivorian families from our churches. I had the privilege to stay with M. Saro-Salif and his wife Madame Laurentine, with my friend Steph I can’t express how unbelievable this experience was! Our family was so patient with us, and we ate food like you wouldn’t believe! Hospitality is held to such a high standard!! It was nothing like I’ve experienced before. Our family introduced us to all of their neighbors and friends at church, and even their family members in the market-place. For the first time since arriving to Cote d’Ivoire I have felt a part of the Ivorian church and a part of the community here. It’s amazing. People ask us now, where we were if we skipped church and if we’ll be with them for Christmas and it’s just SUPER COOL! Haha
Now for this last weekend…(12/18) our families had the opportunity to come and return the visit. We showed them our dorm and ate lunch together. They also got to meet our Journey Corps family and the families all interacted with each other and laughed about their weekend with us.
Last Thursday we started community service projects and mine was at L’arche. L’arche is a home for mentally disabled young adults. Due to the crisis the classes have been cancelled and a lot of things have changed, but they still hold onto hope. M. Coffee (such a fun name!) has only been working with L’arche as the director for a year now, but has huge hopes and dreams. The awesome part of L’arche is that they don’t see it as an asylum to just help these adults, they’re a family. And they make that known. That was the first thing that was said in our introduction that they were a family, and they wanted to invite us to possibly be a part of it. They also emphasized that not everyone has the opportunity to be a part of it, so I feel extremely honored. Please be praying for this family, and that the situation here would lighten so that classes could start again.
So Sunday school has been a roller-coaster of confusion for the past two weeks. I was left alone with the kids two weeks ago to teach them Christmas songs. I totally don’t mind that at all, but two things complicate things. 1-I don’t speak a lick of French and 2-I can’t sing. Haha PERFECT Thank the good Lord in heaven, who is amazing, that my friend Jason was randomly with me, and he is an amazing singer and guitar player! (he actually leads the Journey Corps worship usually). Then after that, Timothy asked me to come up with a play for the following week. I seriously thought he was kidding, but of course he wasn’t. So, I came up with the idea of just going through the bible and making different sections of the Christmas story and writing them down, and then the kids have to come up with the play. (I thought they could handle this, since they’re the older kids) So this last Sunday, Timothy and I split them up into groups of 4 and we’re making it a competition. So on Christmas Eve they’ll all be performing their sections of the play to the entire church and the best group wins. I am so stoked to see what they come up with.
Verse of the week (or two ):
“O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; My whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast I will praise you with the songs of joy. I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.” ~Psalm 63:1-8
Quote of the week from a book I think everyone should read, “Meeting God in Quiet Places” by F. LaGard Smith
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could begin each day recognizing our great need for spiritual nourishment and strength and praising him for being the true source of our life, the One in whose image we want to be continually re-created. The more we come to know God, the more we appreciate how very much he desires to satisfy our hearts with their every longing and need. Nothing is too much for us to ask. Certainly he is our Source, but even more, he is our Sustainer. He suckles us [like a mothering lamb] with life and love!”
Political situation: It’s still tense, but life goes on as normal as it possibly can. I did get to see a little piece of a march, but it was peaceful.
Christmas: For our Christmas here and the preparations for the 24-hour Christmas Eve service at church.
Home-sickness. We’re all feeling it especially during the Holiday season, also please keep our families in the states in your prayers. They’re missing us also.
The leadership team is now discussing where we will be living and working in Cote d’Ivoire. We leave in just four weeks! Wow! So please be praying that God would have us exactly where we will best be used for the glory of His kingdom. Also that He would be preparing our hearts to be transformed.
Thanks so much!! I miss you all like no other and I am praying like crazy for your Christmas season. Especially, that we would learn what the Christmas season actually means. Please tell me how else I could be praying for you guys. And as always keep me updated on life! Love you lots!! And pictures are coming super soon! (As soon as I can figure it out haha. ) they’ll be on a website called Picasa.