Good day ya’ll! I hope life’s going well thus far in the New Year for you and your family. I thought I would try to put up a quick update online, while I was going to be at an internet café haha so here goes just a quick update.
We have been finishing up on our classes and doing independent French learning. The past three weeks our seminars have been on the History of Missions/the church here in Cote d’Ivoire, African Perspectives and Values, and Islam. They have been some of my favorite lessons actually and super interesting. Our last class will be this week, where we’ll be wrapping up Islam with Rod Ragsdale.
We have been into town a few times for “projects.” This time I switched with my friend Jason and went to an orphanage and he went to L’Arche. The orphanage was quite a challenging place. At first some of the kid’s were afraid of me, because I’m white and they’ve never seen a white person up close. Then when I was trying to leave, the same kids screaming when I came in were screaming that I was leaving. It was sort of funny…ok it was actually HILARIOUS and everyone was laughing. Haha.
We haven’t been doing actual projects lately. It’s sort of cool, not because we’re getting out of work (I love working…come on) but because we’re just being sent out into town to build relationships with people in the market place. Everything in Cote d’Ivoire is based off of relationships. It’s so weird walking through town and seeing random chickens and goats and thinking “wow this is normal.” Or even when you see too small of trucks carrying too big of loads with people on top of those loads and others running after them… “wow this is my life.” Or even when I see 6 people on a moto (a small motorcycle taxi). Who would have ever thought that I would actually get used to everything? Haha
We did have the opportunity to return to our families homes. Steph and I went back to Soro Salif and Laurentine’s home. This time we brought pictures of our friends and families to share with them. It was great as usual and of course we were well fed and taken care of. The next few days after staying at their home, we were sent loose in town again. CJ, Jamie and I went to the panya and indigo market (the local fabric here). When we were finished paying for what we wanted we were discussing whose house we’d like to go and visit and just as we decided to see Laurentine and Salif again we turn around and guess who is behind us…LAURENTINE : ) after our greetings we asked her if we could escort her back home. When we got to her house she looked at all of our fabric and gave suggestions about what we should have made out of the material. (it is normal for one to buy fabric and have it made by a tailor) Then she took us to her tailor and we had outfits tailored made for us. I asked Laurentine to design my outfit and surprise me. Well we just got them back and I was for sure pleasantly surprised. In total the outfit including labor to make it and the fabric cost me 8,500 CFA or $17. How insane is that?!?! Coming here after being in the Plummer/McAbee wedding and having our dresses made…was such a shock!!! Some of us girls joke around that we’ll have to get our wedding dresses made here, because it’s so cheap to have things made. I will hopefully be putting a photo of all three of us girls in our new outfits.
This Tuesday I will be leaving ICA campus to go to Korhogo, where six of us will be doing our home-stays. We’ll be there until March 2nd, then we’ll be returning for a little debrief for a few days and then going right back to our families. Please pray for our preparation. We’ll all be living with an Ivorian family, but some of us will be the only American there. Please pray for our strength and our energy as we struggle through our French.
*Leaving ICA campus and leaving each other for the first time will be difficult. Please pray that we would remember God’s unfailing love and His constant presence with us.
*Against temptations and longings for things of this world
*Our friends and families back in the states. That they would know the Lord’s unfailing love and find comfort in His arms.
Scripture of the week (of a few)
“I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, “These are my people,” and they will say, “The Lord is our God.” ~ Zechariah 13:9