Happy June everyone! June has always been my favorite month. School ends, summer camps begin and caterings pick up at Stonefire (which means I can make some $). But June this year marks the start of the end of this year. It also means that I have officially lived with my family longer than without since I’ve been in West Africa. So this week I thought it was finally time to introduce you to my hosts the Soro’s. (That and I didn’t know what else to write about for this blog :) ). So this will be a two part blog: first part my parents, Martha and Yo and second part the kids. And here we go.
SORO Awa (host mom) & SORO Tcholofolo (host dad)
Tchol (short for Tcholofolo) and Awa (which means Eve in French) have 5 children. Their children are Martha (28), Pauline (24), Felerah (10), Azariah (7), and Benjamin (5). After Pauline was born it was expected that Awa could no longer have children. Little did she know, she would be pregnant 15 years later. Awa says that it was a gift from God that she was pregnant again. Awa works for an NGO that helps young women and children (primarily struggling within prostitution) and helps them in school and learn trades to no longer depend on prostitution. Tchol used to own a small boutique in the Grand Marché, however, like so many others, he lost his business during the crisis. Now he chill’s out with the other dad’s in the market or goes hunting. Both of my host parents are elders in the Téguéré church and neither grew up in Christian homes. Tchol and Awa accepted the Lord through evangelism outreach’s when they were in their late teens. I’m still unsure of Tchol’s family, but I know Awa is the first and only Christian of her 15 siblings.
Martha is the first of 5 children. She is 28 years old and is my “grand sœur cheré” or “dear big sister.” Martha and I share a room and bed together. Martha is a great tailor, however she cannot do this as a job due to the inconsistent pay and lack of benefits. So at the moment she is looking for work. Martha was unable to finish her schooling because the first daughter is normally expected to run the household. So she went to school to learn how to read and write and then dropped out. Martha and I are practically joined at the hip and I am very thankful for her.
Yo was an unexpected but pleasant surprise when I came home from a Bouaké seminar a month ago. Yo is the housekeeper who lives with us. I’m unsure of her age and she doesn’t know when her birthday is, but I think she is somewhere around my age. Yo’s parents are both deceased and her older brother has left. I am continuously amazed of this young woman’s strength, joy and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. And I hope to grow closer to her in the coming months.
SCRIPTURE of the WEEK:
“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” -Psalm 94:19
“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.” -Psalm 139:1
I’m not sure if I have mentioned this before or not, but since I don’t have electricity at my house we can’t use fans (dur :) ) so at night when it is ridiculously hot we stay outside and take “pre-sleep” naps. During my nap I usually spend my time praying and lifting up different things to the Lord. So last night during my prayer time with God two things stuck out. First, is that He KNOWS me…inside and out! He knows my heart, my mind and all of the confusion between the two. And despite that craziness that is going on…HE STILL FREAKING LOVES ME!!! WHAT?!?! That is ridiculous. I am still so overwhelmed by Him. Second, is that He comforts. Knowing that the Lord knows everything about me is scary, but also SO comforting. I don’t have to worry about if I am saying the right words or have to go through the pains of trying to explain myself, He just knows. And so that is what He is teaching me this week.
REQUESTS of PRAYER:
-SORO Awa, my host mother. She is sick and we’re unsure of what, but I think it may be malaria again.
-Martha as she is looking for a job
-Pastor Kéo left for the states on Saturday, pray for his trip and his message. Also for the support of the Professors and the pastors in training
-I would be focused here and now
-What is after this year? A second year in the RCI or am I returning to the states
-Against spiritual attack; particularly the little lies that Satan plants within us