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

Monday, February 7, 2011

Living with an Ivorian Family

Well since my last blog update I have officially moved in with my family. It is needless to say quite an interesting experience. My host parents have 5 kids, 4 of which still live at home. The 7 of us live in a 3 bedroom concrete home. I share my room with my “big sister” and the three little kids share another. There is no electricity or plumbing; we get our water from a few different wells around the quatier (kind of like a neighborhood). The quatier is just outside of town with lots of open land and farms. I have yet to start any service projects, but hopefully this week that will change.

Life with the family seems to have no routine, or at least I haven’t yet to find it. We wake up between 5 and 6 in the morning (yup…I wake up that early Pop :) ) and do a family bible study. Right now we are reading through Matthew, and that is my absolute favorite time of the day. It’s a time where the family only speaks French instead of their mother-tongue Tyembara, so I can understand them for the most part. It’s also an awesome prayer time together and a neat way to start the day off with your family. Afterwards I go outside to sweep our living room/courtyard…it’s outside under the mango tree haha. I take my bucket bath and eat my breakfast. Do my homework, and help cook or go to town with my host mom. Right now I am sitting in her office (I think, I’m a little confused haha) and she’s teaching my little brother Azarier how to spell on the computer…haha it’s kind of funny, because he keeps pulling up solitaire and getting caught. At night we all take bucket baths again and eat dinner and hang out on the patio. I seem to be the entertainment in the neighborhood, since we eat outside for dinner, all of the neighborhood kids come and watch me eat. It’s a little awkward I won’t lie, but sort of funny. I thought it would stop after a few days…nope still goes on, and there’s even more now.

This is a super challenging experience for me right now. I have to constantly seek out the Lord for my strength, energy and comfort. I have to take each day at a time or else thinking I’m going to be here for the next 9 months is just way to overwhelming. It’s difficult not being able to be alone for just 10 minutes (unless I’m bathing). Even when I am doing my ‘homework’ time or alone time the kids are all around watching what I write and being fascinated with English. A very humbling and challenging thing that God has been showing me is that I am nothing…I have nothing to offer or give these people. However, it was encouraging to read in 2 Kings 4:2 “ ‘What can I do to help you?’ Elisha asked. ‘Tell me what do you have in the house?’ ‘Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil’ she replied.” God used that ‘nothing’ and filled endless amount of jars to pay this widows debt and then on top of paying her debt gave her enough to live on. God is constantly doing that…He uses the weak to lead the strong, the nothing that we say we have, or the things we deem as common or unworthy and uses them to glorify himself. That’s what I am hoping for, that the God who created the universe would take the nothing that I have and do something extraordinary, to bring more people to himself and bring glory and honor to His name.
(Hides and I got our hair braided)

Scripture of the week:
The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
He leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength
He guides me along right paths,
Bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley
I will not be afraid,
For you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
In the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
All the days of my life,
And I will live in the house of the Lord
Psalm 23

This has been my encouragement and something that I have been reading daily as a reminder that my God is always with me! ALWAYS!! And even when I am in the deepest darkest valley, He’ll never forsake me.

Prayer Requests:
That God would continue to be my vision…and my only vision
Against homesickness and against attacks from the enemy
Integration with the family
That the Lord would turn my worries and doubts into thanksgivings and songs of praise
For energy!! I’m so tired ALL the time haha
My family at home in California, I’m missing them a lot

Well I think that is all for the moment. Again thank you for your updates on your lives and the lives of your families. I hope you will continue to pray for me and update me so that I can continue to pray and encourage you.

Until next time…
Alyssa G. {G’Nandja}

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Alyssa! Praise God! I have come to love a line that goes "May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering." pretty awesome what your doing and I'm so stoked and also jealous. Thinking of your love and submission to God fills me with joy. Thanks for being a frontier, leader through humility, encouragement, and servant! Praying. God bless friend!
    Stephen weynolds.. Blah!