It’s almost impossible to believe I wrote this update almost a year ago. How could time have gone by so fast?! It seems impossible. Today I am reminded of how loved I am by so many different people from so many different worlds. Facebook posts tell me I have friends in Peru, France, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, Germany, all across the US and who only knows where else. I am privileged to serve a God that is bigger than anything I could imagine, and who crosses language, cultural, racial, ethnic and continental barriers. Seriously, Jesus is amazing.
The following was written 9/9/2014:
Birthdays, goodbyes and one year celebrations
August has been one incredible month. Well maybe I should say the end of August has been incredible, I can barely remember the beginning of it to be honest.
I celebrated my 26th birthday at the end of August, and I must say it was one of the best birthdays I have ever had. The weekend before, our team leaders Phil and Mimi came up from Bouaké and Laura and Crystal came from Korhogo to spend some time in Ferké talking, planning and also celebrating. We spent two days at the Hôpital Baptiste guest house catching up on life, sleep and Boy Meets World.
On Monday evening we headed to Tanti Flore’s restaurant (the only restaurant in Ferké) where we met Christy, a nurse who lives and works here, and her husband Elie. We enjoyed a fantastic dinner of chicken and fries. Afterwards we met the rest of the Ferké missionaries at the mission station, where we enjoyed carrot cake and vanilla ice cream. The carrot cake even had cream cheese frosting! It was incredible. We talked and laughed for most of the night, then us girls and Phil and Mimi headed back to the guest house for movie night.
Tuesday afternoon everyone left to their respective homes. Hannah and I arrived home just in time. A huge storm started shortly after we walked in the door, so we did what you’re supposed to do when it storms in Côte d’Ivoire, sleep. After some good rest, I headed outside to see what the family was up to. Marcelle, the niece of my host mom, and the oldest girl in our little family, was outside cooking. Her son Peniel and Junior, the son of mama’s sister, were also outside playing around on the front porch. It was still raining a little and freezing cold, of course it was probably like 75°, so we all bundled up in pants and sweaters and sat on the porch talking.
After Tanti Solange (mama’s sister), Marcelle, and Grâce had finished cooking the evening meal, we all went into the house and waited for mama to say it was time to eat. My host mom came out from her room dancing and looking at everyone expectantly, after a little bit everyone started singing “Happy Birthday” in French, then they sung in English. It was hilarious! Then we all gathered in the living room/dining room/tv room and ate until we couldn’t eat anymore.
It’s certainly not easy to be away from family and friends on special occasions, but I felt so loved by them, that I almost forgot where I was!
A week later, we said goodbye to Tanti Solange, Esther and Junior. We had gotten used to the constant laughing, talking and screaming of little boys in the house, and now it’s way too quiet. They are missed terribly!
This past weekend, Hannah and I headed to Korhogo to celebrate our one year anniversary of being in Côte d’Ivoire. I can’t believe it’s already been a year! It has gone by so fast. We celebrated with Pastor Nanougou, one of our national team leaders, his wife, Maï and their daughter Lucia. We ate dinner and went to the ice cream shop together. It was fun to catch up and talk about the future as well as think about how far we’ve come. A year ago, it would’ve been a very quiet dinner in Franglais (some French but mostly English), now we are able to talk and joke and laugh, all in French. It’s incredible!
Thank you for your support, both prayerfully, and financially, over the past year. You are the reason that I am able to continue to build relationships and share Jesus’ love with people here. I look forward to sharing what The Lord does in the next year.