Friday, November 20, 2009

Prayer for Pastor Frank.

Please pray for Pastor Frank in Ghana. The Bishop of New Testament Assembly in England has passed away. This was a dear friend, leader, and mentor to Pastor. He will be traveling to be with the family and other leaders of the organization. Pray for comfort, traveling mercies, and provision for this unexpected expense. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tomorrow is World Toilet Day!

The headline at today gave me a bit of a chuckle: Toilet - A very essential part of every home. As a scanned the article I learned that there is a day dedicated to toilets, and it is tomorrow. Yep. Tomorrow is WORLD TOILET DAY.

It sounds silly, but truth is, 2.5 Billion people don't have proper sanitation. That may not seem like a big deal, but you go without a toilet for a week, and you will soon change your mind! :-)

So, tomorrow as you go to the potty, when you flush, be thankful for your toilet!

Monday, November 9, 2009

If you are going to be doing any holiday shopping on, be sure to begin by first going to our website ( or blog. Click on the link. That is all you have to do. Each time you make a purchase by going to our website or blog first, we receive a 4-10% referral fee for your transaction. All monies go to AFN!! Happy Shopping!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Important Prayer Request!!

I met a lady today during Friday school who has a 15 month old foster son. They have had him for 10 months. He's been in the system for 12, taken from a very bad situation. They are praying to be able to adopt him.

They have a very important hearing on the 22nd. Please, please be praying!! I cannot share this family or the boy's name, but you can pray for the "S" family. Pray that he can stay in with his family so that he can grow up healthy and to know Jesus.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Blog

This blog is for AFN and missions and stuff in our life that relates to it. I try to keep it just to that, too.

But I have found that this whole blogging thing can be quite theraputic. I'd like to start doing it for more personal stuff. I don't expect some great audience to read my stuff. Either here or on the new one, but I will write anyway.
Check it out:

Condending for this generation

Our church, which has a new name, Truelife Church, is 9 days in to a 21 day fast. Each Sunday for the next 8 weeks we are condending and praying for diffrent areas. This last week we Contended for this Generation.

Pastor Brian preached. It was an awesome service and message. It was heart breaking and eye opening to see the pain and brokeness that this whole generation is expereincing.

I know my heart was changed about how I see this generation and how I really need to pray!!

Take a listen or download the prayer sheets. Click here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Operation World

One of my favorite tools for learning about the nations as it pertains to missions and the spread of the Gospel is the book Operation World by Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk.

It assigns a country to each day of the year for prayer. It gives you prayer targets, facts about the country, its progress and position in regards to the gospel being spread.

Obviously, God had given us a heart for the nations of West Africa. That is where he has called us to serve, at least for right now. But we also desire to see the gospel spread to all the nations, especially the nations in the 10/40 window. (Click here to learn more about what that is.)

The Word says "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." Mt 24:14

I encourage you to check out their website daily, or to purchase a copy of their book, and begin to pray for the nations, specifically, on a regular basis.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sodom and Gomorrah in Ghana

Let me preface this post by saying clearly that it has nothing to do with homosexuality---as is usually the assumption when these two Biblical cities are mentioned.

I just posted a video about Joy beyond circumstances. I am now moving to the complete opposite realm and am going to show you some really not so great circumstances that people are living in.

I check to see what is happening in Ghana. The headline today read "Sodom & Gomorrah To Be Destroyed." Like most, who know the reference, my mind went to homosexuality. It has nothing to do with that at all.

When I clicked on the article, my heart sank at the images I saw, and the news I was reading. It was a slum near main business district of Accra, with a population of over 23,000 people. The article goes on to talk about how terrible this place is. It did get it's name from the Biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah, but not because of homosexuality, but because of the pure sin--sexual and otherwise---that is prevalent in this place.

Here are some excerpts from the article. Click here to read the whole thing.

"ON A SULTRY mid-Thursday afternoon of Thursday stands a lady, almost nude, throwing water on her body. A group of young men sit idle meters away from her, chatting and puffing marijuana. Not far from her and just by a ramshackle that passes as a place of convenience besides a huge pile of refuse dump, two young men stick their knives into the carcass of a slaughtered sheep. Bloodstained cotton pads lie not far from the slaughter slab."

“Sex is nothing here; rape is normal. Few things surprise few people. Sleeping outside in the night is an invitation for a predator to strike. Most of us sleep with tight protective underwear – especially tight worn-out jeans on because you could wake up in the middle of the night to find somebody crawling on you to do his own thing.”

"Life here is the survival of the fittest. It’s unlike anywhere else."

The point of the article is the slum is going to be destroyed, because the settlers are there illegally, and the city has other plans for the land. The settlers are not happy about this, and are protesting to keep their homes; to be able to stay in their slum. They already had no where to go and now they will really have no where to go.

23,000 counted (which means there is probably alot more) people live in this one slum in Ghana. 23,000 that do not know or understand the love and grace of a Savior. This one slum represents thousands like it around the world.

“The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matt 9:37-38

Click here to see these photos with their captions online

True Joy

My Pastor/Brother in Law posted a video about Africa on his FB this week. It was about true Joy not being defined by circumstances. The theme: "I need Africa more than Africa needs me."

I have experienced what this video talks about first hand. In parts of Africa where dispair should be prevelent, you will find joy. They are not sad be cause of what they do not have or because of thier circusmances, instead, they are happy, and understand that things and circumstances are not the source of true joy.

The point is that we can learn from this--we need to learn from this. We base our joy and happiness too much on stuff and circumstance rather than the true source of Joy.

The only true source of pure joy is the Lord. The Joy of the Lord is our strength. That Joy comes from knowing that I have Jesus, no matter what comes my way, I know that He is my strength, my peace, my portion, my deliverer. Knowing that, I move forward. I press on towards the goal.

Click here to see the video.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Please pray for this very special family.

This link is to a blog that I read regularly. It is a family that I know, in fact, the Dad is our adoption attorney that handled both our adoptions.

Several years ago, his daughter (who is Maudilee's age) was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsey, six months later, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She has gone through treatment, and is currently cancer free.

Two years ago, their house burned down, on Rebekah's birthday (that's the daughter).

A few weeks ago the Mom was diagnosed with ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease. The prognosis is not good.

My heart breaks for this family. They have been through a lot. They are believers, and are praying for a miracle. I am praying with with them, and ask you to pray, too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's been awhile, so a quick update.

Summer is almost over, and like all summers it has gone by way too quickly. We had a wonderful summer, but I am looking forward to fall and getting back into a routine.

I will be homeschooling again this year, so I have spent the last few weeks getting the house back in order and the school room cleaned out. The kids are very excited about school, so we decided to start this last Monday. Daughter will be in 1st/2nd grade this year, and Son will be in K/1st grade.

Jody's new business is going very well. God is faithful, and has truly blessed us. He has a steady client that he subcontracts for, and has been picking up several other small projects as well. We are very thankful.

My younger sister who lives with us left this week to attend a three month internship at IHOP in Kansas City, Mo. We miss her already, but are excited for her and this new adventure she is on.

We have had an amazing summer at church. God is doing great things, and fall is going to be even better. Our fall kick off service will be in two weeks, and we will be officially revealing our new church name---True Life Church. I like it. I am excited. I love our church! :-)

We keep in touch with Pastor Frank, by phone calls and even more so text messages. It can be a challenge calling into the country, and sometimes it just doesn't work, but strangly, text always go through. He is doing well, the church is doing well, but struggling financially, as the economy is not doing so great in Ghana right now.

I am looking forward to fall, and I know it is going to be a great season.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The need

I wanted share with you a blog from a missionary family that is based in Kumasi, and does work mainly in the upper east region. The upper region is within the boarders of the 10/40 window--part of the most unreach section of the world.

There are so many people that lack everyday necessities, like food and water. These same people have no idea that there is a Savior who loves them.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

US President set to visit Ghana

While we were in Ghana, we taught some jr high classes. During one of the classes, we had an open Q&A. Almost immediatly, all of the kids began asking about our newly elected president. They were quite mezmerized with the fact that an Africa had been elected president of the USA. Infact, that is the ONLY thing they actually knew about him; that he is from Kenya (well, his dad is, but to them, that means he is) and that he is the first black President of the USA.

They were quite disappointed when they asked if I voted for him and my answer was a big huge NO!!!!! I explained to them that, even though I was proud of the progress our country had made in electing our first black president, politically our views are quite opposite, and that I do not agree with him on most issues.

Never the less, this man is a huge hero to them; a status that he is cementing by visiting their country. This is a huge honor for Ghana. Although I am not thrilled with anything Obama, I do wish that I were there to witness the excitement of his visit first hand. Ghanaians are going all out to show their respect and support for this man that to them represents ultimate success.

Here is a little preview of the preparations taking place...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Amazing Timing of God...

Today, Jody became a licensed contractor. This has been a dream of his for a long time. He enjoys working with his hands and is really good at it.

Since we have been back from Africa, Jody has singlehandedly supported us doing handyman work (something he had done on the side for quite awhile). All the while looking for a job at the same time, because he is very limited in what he can do as a handy man without a license.

He had several interview, and even had a very promising job that fell through. So he began to study for his contractors test and we began to save so he could get his license.

Then, out of the blue, he gets a job. God held off, and saved this job just for him. His boss has encouraged him to get his license, and promised to make him a sub contractor once he did.

So, today Jody is a business owner, licensed contractor, and has a client with enough work to support our family.

I sit back in awe looking at how God perfectly orchestrated the timing of events to bring this all to pass, and at how He made provision for us every step of the way. He is a good God, a good Father, who gives good gifts to His children.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A year ago...

A year ago, it became official that we would be going to Africa for at least two months, and the fundraising began. Because of your faithful giving, and God's provision, we made it! Our time in Africa was blessed. We saw many lives touched, as well as our own.

We have been home for nearly four months now...can't hardly believe it. Life is back to normal---better than normal! Jody is working for himself, and I am at home with our kids, not working!! :-) But, we miss Africa. We are all ready to go back.

We are praying and seeking God's direction as we make future plans, and hope to share those plans with all of you soon.

In the mean while, we are going to be focusing in on developing the Canaan Life Project state side, so tune in for details on that as well.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ghana News

Ever curious about what is going on in Ghana? (I mean, isn't everyone? :-)

This is the site we check daily. You can even listen to the radio live, which we do on occasion when we are homesick.

Check it out, it's pretty fun to see what their headlines are compared to ours in America

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm back!

OK, I am back to the world of blogging. I can't believe we have been home for nearly two months! My computer's power cord went kaput 3 weeks before going home, but I continued to journal and i typed it all out when we got home. So, I have finally edited and published it, something I meant to do about six weeks ago. So, there is that, and then some info from our Sunday presentation and then a video. I will get more pics up soon, too.

Since we have been home, a lot has happened. One thing that hasn't happend is a job for Jody. But, God has been so faithful. While we were away we prayed about what to do, knowing we were going into a bad economy. Our plan, we were going to persue getting our license and growing our small business, but Jody would also look for a job at the same time. Jody really loves working for himself, and is good at what he does. We are trying to get him fully licensed so he can do more on his own. We already have a registered small business, but you need a license to do handyman jobs larger than a few hundred dollars. (It takes about $600 upfront to get your licenses and bonds and all that.) Although he has applied for nearly 100 jobs now, nothing has opened up. However, he has remained busy doing small odd jobs. All of our needs have been met. God is so good.

I have NOT applied for any jobs, and I couldn't be happier about it. We felt so strongly that I should not work, other than helping Jody out from time to time. The most important thing I can do is be a mommy. That is why I got a "at home" job to begin with. It just kind of over took.... but moving on....I am enjoying being ONLY a full time mom and wife for the first time ever.
While we were gone, our house had a sunroom added on, and then another house attached to the sunroom. It was supposed to be done in Feb and my sister was going to move our stuff in for us before we got home. Well it was done but the other house was not, and so we had to wait on the insepction. In the meantime, we had a garage FULL of stuff. I spent the first few weeks home going through the whole house spring cleaning and purging junk. Something that was well overdue. Finally, we were able to move into our new room, and I finished the cleaning and purging project. Now everything is nice and organized. If only it would stay that way...

Other changes in our life: My sister has moved in with us. My kids think it's great and brag to all their friends that their auntie lives with them. I think its great to have someone else around who actually likes to cook and doesnt mind washing a dish once in a while.

I am loving being an auntie again. I already have two beautiful nieces and a handsome nephew, but they live all the way in SC, so I dont get to see them much. Elli is so beautiful, and sweet. She loves me the most :-) Well, she might love her mom more, but that's because she is dependant on her for food. ;-)

Our church has had some BIG changes since we have been home. We have been given a wonderful opportunity to merge with a church in Camas, Wa. So, we are now a bigger church with two locations. I am pretty excited about that.

We are working on getting a 'plan' for what to do next regarding Africa. In the mean time, we are going to get started on teh list of things we can do statewide for the canaan life project. Keep in touch for updates. First thing, a website dedicated to cannan life and all the projects involved with it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


March 29th AFN Missions Day at PHC

Today was our presentation to our church regarding our trip. Except that the Holy Spirit decided to interrupt! What an awesome service.

God is calling us back to surrender. To living set apart for Him. To live diffrently. Something that has been a personal challenge for me, especially since returning from Africa.

Since I didnt get to share all about our trip, I decided to post the section of my notes that were about the trip. I write out my sermons word for word...helps me process my thoughts, so it should be easy to follow. I will also post the video and more pictures!!!

March 29, 2009 Jody and I want to thank all of you for believing in us and supporting us. We love you and it was an honor to be an extension of this Body in Ghana. But I need to tell you, this trip only wet our appetite. We are anxious to get back “home” and back to the work God has for us there.

The video you just watched was just a glimpse into what our life was like in Ghana and what the people of Ghana are like. You just got a glimpse at our true home. We love our family and we love all of you, and the luxuries of America are great, but our hearts, our home is in Kumasi Ghana. God has truly knit our hearts with theirs, and we could not get back quick enough.

Ghanaians are the kindest most giving people you will find. They are very welcoming, hospitable, and loving.Jody and I’s main goals for our trip was to first of all see how our kids would adapt, and also to get a better grasp on the Canaan Life Project.

Our kids did great. They adapted better than us! They did miss their family, but they really enjoyed Africa. Which was such a relief to us. Our prayer has always been that they would share in the work God has given us to do, not just be there because we made them.They had to put up with a lot. Bad food, long car rides, people constantly swarming them and touching them, but they took it like champs.

Son was really not going along with the whole food thing. He is a really picky eater, but by the end he was asking for more. And he will tell you his favorite thing about Africa is that there is no melted cheese, which he absolutely hates. But he loves pizza---go figure!

Daughter is a trooper. She ate everything without much complaint, and reached out to the other kids, and even got up and sang a song with mommy during church. God’s little gift to her was during our last few days, Frank’s neighbor, and good friend came home from Accra, and brought his daughter with him. She is Daughter’s age, and she knows all about Hannah Montana, so they played “Hannah montana” for two days straight. Daughter thought it was amazing.·

Canaan LifeCanaan Life Project as most of you know is was founded by pastor Frank to help get his people out of poverty by teaching biblical financial principles. It teaches the people to tithe, and save, and run their own small business.Speaking of tithing.

Africans know how to take an offering. They have a minimum of 4 offerings on Sunday morning. Your first is the tithes and offerings. Then there is an offering of worship, then an offering of thanksgiving, and then, and this was my favorite, the tithes, in which all of the members/regular attenders brought up their offering records with their tithe in it. They do not mess around!

Although he has been working on this project for over 2 years, he has not gotten very far. Nothing happens fast in Africa. He has several participants in Kumasi, but is having trouble moving beyond the Kumasi church. It is not the program itself, which is great. It is getting the people on board with the concept that God does not mean for them to be poor.

They believe that they are just to keep on keepin on until Jesus comes back. For most of them, when we came to tell them about God’s desire to bless them, it was the first that any one had ever told them that God desires for them to prosper and be successful. And these are people in the church!

We are working with generations and generations of strongholds. Ghanaians are extremely hard workers, but they have a lazy mind set, believing that anyone who has more than them should give them a hand out…sound familiar?? That lazy mind set has kept them in bondage. It has kept them poor and ignorant.

It is a stronghold that will take a new generation rising up and saying, no, I no longer choose to live as a pauper. I am a kings kid and I am going to live like one. It is going to take a new generation to say, God has given me the gifts and talents to care for myself and bless others. We are not talking, either, about a prosperity message of mansions and bmw’s. we are talking about prosperity to have enough to eat and live.

On our way to Oda, we stopped to get some coconuts. We bought about 12 at 10 peswe's each. The man was so happy. He said God had heard his prayer that he would sell a coconut today. Who knows how long he will have to make that small amount of money stretch. This is just one example of the poverty in Ghana.This is the practical ministry need in Ghana. The hands on need.

Canaan Life needs further development of educational/discipleship classes and well as implementation and oversight of the program in the villages. This is what we will be doing. While we are here in America, we will be working on developing materials for the project and raising funds and grants for the project. When we go back, which we hope is very soon, we will be the project coordinators. Traveling to the villages to teach and help with the program and other various projects.

This practical need is not the only need. Ghana, much like the American church is very religious. They take church very seriously, and EVERYONE believes in God. But for many, that is as far as it goes. There is no intimacy with the Father. There is not a knowledge of the father’s heart. God said to make disciples, not converts, but sadly, the church has failed so much in this area. We leave people with a dangerous half knowledge of the ‘good news.’ It is more than a get out of hell free card. Jesus has so much more to give us, if we will only follow him. We want to teach them to follow.

And then, there is the ‘other’ side of Ghana. The dark side. The side that the girl inside me who so desires to take the road less traveled wants to see touched for Jesus. Ghana is 50% professing Christians. The other half is Muslim. Do not believe what the media and our ‘president’ want you to believe about this religion. It is not peaceful religion. It is a religion that is destroying lives around the world while the majority of the Christian world just sits back and watches.

We could always tell when we were going into a more Islamic section of town without even being told. It was more poor and sad and more hopeless than other parts of town. The upper ¼ of the country, called the upper volta, is almost completely musilm. Because of the violence, the entire region goes under cerfew and military control at 4pm in the afternoon.

Our dear Cecilia, whom we love, says it will make you cry and cry. She says the people are so sad and dirty, and simply hopeless.All the other stuff is great, and I know God has called us to do it. Canaan Life is a wonderful evangelistic opportunity, but our desire is to see the many people groups of Ghana that have yet to hear and understand who Jesus really is and what he did for them. And it doesn’t stop in Ghana.

The Ivory Coast has always tugged on my heart. All of the west African nations are in need of the gospel. See, they are the road less traveled. They are the ignored African territory. But just imagine, if there is a Jesus movement in these nations that are open to the gospel but primarily Islamic, just imagine what they can do to their neighbors to the north, the closed nations of the middle east?

Many have asked what is your plan? What did you do and what do you want to do? When are you going back? I wish I had all those answers. While we were there, we preached, built relationships, studied and promoted the canaan life project, and did a lot of waiting around. A lot of waiting. A lot of reading and praying and dreaming and talking. Our plan? What we want to do? We want to go back, set up camp, and get to work. And we want to do it soon.

In the mean time, there are hurting and broken people in need of a savior wherever we go. We are going to keep our eye on Africa. We are actively persuing his call and actively persuing getting back there. In the next few weeks you will begin to get more information about what we are doing while in the US to help with Canaan Life, and what our plans are for returning. But in the mean time, we are going to be hard at work here. Gone are the days of idleness. We cannot afford to be ilde. The church cannot afford to be idle any longer. God’s calling is active no matter your location.

March 12--Trip Overview

Trip Overview…

We accomplished what we set out to do, which was to get a picture of what is going on with canaan life and what needs to be done, and what our role would be in that. We will be bringing you more details on that soon.

The second objective was to introduce our children. This was very successful. They did great, and they adapted wonderfully.

We want to thank all of you for your love and support. We saw many lives touched while we were there, but none more than ours. Our hearts are renewed with a vision and passion for the people of Africa.

What now? Well, if it were up to us we would be on the next plane out. We will be taking the month of march to get settled and debrief. Then we will begin to pray and speak with our leaders about what we do next.

One thing we know for sure, time is slipping away from us and there are still so many that need to hear the gospel! Both here and in Africa.



Feb 12, 2009
Today was a major bummer of a day. This afternoon our external hard drive, which had all our movies were lost. I tried everything I could think of to recover them, but it didn’t work. Nothing had happened to it, either, so it was strange and quite sad. I will certainly be bringing it back to the store. I hope they let me return it.

Then, this evening, again, nothing abnormal happened, but my computer’s cord would not work. It wouldn’t charge the computer. Now, not only no movies, but no music, email, journal, nothing!!!

Aside from these two tragic events, we had a good day. We went to the church/school to teach, but we didn’t. We will next week. We also met with George regarding the dam project. Not sure what we accomplished, but it was a good meeting! J

Feb 13, 2009
Today was a good day. Nothing much during the day, but we stayed over at Franks after dinner and I had a good talk with Cecilia. She showed me all the pictures of her dresses, and one from when she was a baby. She told me about her family and then and showed me a picture from her Christian wedding. She and Frank looked so young!

While we were talking and there was an obituary on the TV of the ‘sudden’ death of a 107 year old man. He was a family member from her father’s side. She said that her grandmother lived to be 110 years old. She was never sick, slipped while doing laundry and broke her hip, she died a few days later. She also said in the villages that often people will lived to be 120, 130, sometimes even 140!!

Feb 14, 2009
Valentines Day.
Today was a fun day. First, we gave the kids a whole cedi to spend at the little store. They love going to the store across the street, and now they had their own money to spend! All during and after breakfast they kept saying Im ready to go home (aka I want to go spend my $$)

Finally, we go to the store and they each choose a pop and lots of little candies or sweets as they call them here.

Then home to rest. We are going to go to the craft village and pizza at noon.

Well, at noon, er…uh…2pm. We head to the ATM. I need to get money before we go. Well, that’s not going to happen today, BOTH ATM cards and 2 ATMs I am still getting the same message, Invalid Transaction. A quick, yet paniced call to dad and we find out that our account is fine, but some of our banks ATM cards have been compromised. Ours must have been among them. We will have to wait until Tuesday (Monday’s President day) for dad to confirm and then transfer the money to our personal account. No craft village today.

Instead we go to see the bats. There is a part of town where all the bats tend to congregate. There were a lot. This place happened to be by the Kumasi Zoo. Frank asked how much it was. Again the broonie gets the shaft. 3 cedis for each adult, the Ghanaians are only 1. Still 3 bucks for a zoo is not bad.

The zoo was small. Only about 20 exhibits, not including the 1000s of bats flying over and living in the trees above you. There was nothing fancy about the exhibits, simply cages with a sign.

There were ostriches, snakes, turtles, crocodials, lions, porcupines, baboons, monkeys, and chimps.

The chimps were by far the best part. They surpassed all monkey exhibits in the US. They would perform—hang upside down, do flips, put out their hands for food, etc… If you threw food at them they would catch it. If you didn’t---watch out! They would fling poop or spit water at you. One baboon threw it at Jody, but he blocked it with his hand. They were really neat.

After the zoo we went to pizza at a small resturaunt at a hotel. They advertized oven baked pizza and Frank says it’s pretty good.

We ordered two. One cheese and one with the works. (Ham, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, artichokes)

They only had one size, equivalent to a US small. And they were 12 cedis each (about$10). It was worth it. They were really good. Malachi ate 4 pieces—2 of which were with the works. Something he never would have done at home. The kids loved it.

After pizza we drove around for a bit and went home. When we got home a storm began. We sat out and watched it, the wind cooling us down. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

February 15, 2009 ELLI IS BORN!!

Today we spoke at a small church in Kumasi.

Daughter summed up her feelings about Sundays quite well this morning. She said, “Is it Sunday?” I said, “yes.” She said, “Oh man, Sundays are always so long!”

That is true, especially for them. They have to wear nice clothes and sit still in a long service that is really hot, with nothing to do, that is in a language they don’t understand.

Son expressed his same feelings during church. He said he felt like he wanted to go home (in Kumasi), because church was hot and long.

During church Daughter was entertaining herself by cleaning her shoes. I looked back and she has rubbed the bottom of her shoe with her hand and then looks at her hand and licks it! It was so gross, even the pastor next to her told her to not do that; it’s bad for you. Oh, that girl!

After church we went home to take a nap while we wait for lunch. Right as we are about to fall asleep and right after Malachi already had—coby comes to the door. It is time to eat.

We get up. We wake up Son. Quite reluctantly. We go over. Walk in and dinner is not ready. It’s not even close to being ready. We were not happy. It appears that Coby decided it was play time.

Finally, dinner is ready. It was so good! Cabbage and Califlour, chicken, rice and a sauce. It was a good sauce, a little spicy but not much. Son ate two helpings of it!

After dinner, we went home to finish our nap. At about 3:30 I get a text that Elli is on her way. Jenn’s in labor. After our nap, we went over to franks for a bit and visited. They were all happy to hear about Jenn and prayed for her.

We went home and waited anxiously for news. The kids prayed for Jenn and Elli. We went to bed early and slept with the phone next to us. I certainly wish I were home right now. I am so sad I am missing her birth.

Finally at about 11:30pm I get the call that she is here. I am so happy, but sad that I am not there. Now, I am anxious to get home to meet my niece.

February 16, 09 Monday

Today we went to the school to teach. I taught English. We were supposed to leave at 9, so I could have time to review the lesson before my class at 10:35am. We got to the school at 10:20am. Thankfully it was a test day. So I didn’t have to do much.

This evening we played card games with the kids. They love it. They love, love, love playing games with mom and dad. After that, we read some from swiss family robinson. Then, early to bed.

Feb 17, 09
We had the day off, so we did some pre-packing and cleaned up the room.

At dinner (which was vegetable stew with fish) we brought over the toys and gifts we had. We gave coby some rescue heros and cars. Quedru, we gave a dool with several outfits, a bottle, and feeding tray, and a purse. Lucinda, we gave a doll. We gave Linda and the baby some lotion and receiving blankets. The rest of the toys we gave to Cecilia to do what she like. She said she would bring them to the church to use in Sunday school. She said they also need toys for nursery kids.

The kids really enjoyed giving their gifts and seeing the kids play with them.
Feb 18
Today we when we went over to Frank’s we saw Lucinda playing with her doll. She was carrying it everywhere. Her mother came over just to say thank you. She was so grateful.

Today we went to the church to meet with George about canaan Life. It was a good meeting. George is a vital need for Canaan Life. Bringing management to Frank’s vision.

Linda had her baby today. Via C-section. So Frank and Cecilia and I and Malachi went to the university to see her and to get some money from the ATM.

He is so cute! Linda was still in recovery, so we didn’t stay.

Feb 19
We were supposed to teach today, both Jody and I, but the truck is broke and frank had to leave early for court, so no teaching.

We spoke to Cecilia quite awhile today about old methods of discipline. She said that in the old says, parents would mix ginger and pepper and put it by/in your nose, ears, eye, mouth.

They also beat you with a cane, either on your hand or your back or legs. If you were really bad, they would hold your arms and legs and beat you. Some parents would even take their kids to the police and have them beat you, if you were really bad.

WOW! Sure glad I wasn’t an Africa kid.

They still “beat” kids with a cane. Nothing like what was described. They may get one on the rear or the hand, but that is it. Even the schools do this. BUT, this I must say, the kids respect adults and are very well behaved.

We had a great dinner of fried chicken and yam chips. Yummy! After dinner, we all went to the hospital to see Clifford. He is so cute! Linda seems to be doing well and will come home this weekend.

This afternoon, when we were talking about going to see the baby, Son asked if the baby drank mamma’s milk. I said yes. He said, I have seen lots of baby’s drink mamma’s milk in Africa. It was so cute, and so true! There really isn’t a “bottle” option around here. Formula is WAY too expensive. Even orphan babies are usually wet nursed.

After two weeks with no water, we finally have water. Yay! But then we (and all the pastors staying for the conference) tripped a breaker. So, no power, but we have water again! The power was turned back on soon.

This weekend is the annual NTA Ghana council conference. All of Frank’s pastors come into town, and most are staying in the conference center. It will be a very busy weekend for Pastor Frank.

Feb 20
Typical day in Africa. We went to the church with frank because Jody had to teach…or not. They took a field trip! So we are in the hot office for nothing.

Frank has his pastor conference, so we will be here awhile.

During our office visit, we were served porridge. It smelled so so good, but it was the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten in my life! It burned, and was sour and bitter and spicy all at the same time.

Feb 21
Today, we went to a funeral. It was Frank’s uncle who passed away. It was quite an ordeal. A BIG ordeal.

When someone dies, the family gathers that day. Then there is a celebration one week after the death. Then, sometime after than anywhere from a few days to a month, there is the funeral, which is on a Saturday. EVERYONE comes to the funeral. First there is the burial, not as widely attended, mostly for family. But then there is the memorial portion. People come, there is LOUD music. You greet EVERYONE, shaking their hand. Then you sit and visit for a moment. Then, you are brought to a courtyard where you are fed or given drink, depending on what is being served and what time you come. Thankfully, we only had sodas. Then you go back and sit and visit. During the visiting, you make a donation. A receipt is made out, and an announcer announces who you are and what you gave. Then you sit down, and EVERYONE, comes to you and shakes your hand and says thank you.

Certain clothes are worn, and they are either red or black or a combo.

The NTA church came, about 40 in all in one group entrance, to be an example and say we are here for you in your time of need. It is one of their ways of evangelizing.

There is dancing. One person will get up and dance and people will surround them and like “brush” them with their hankie. It is their way of saying we are here to lift you up when you are down. This funeral lasts from early morning, around 5 until after dinner time, around 6/7.

Then, the next day, the family, dressed in black and white, get together for a meal of thanksgiving. This happens after church and lasts all afternoon.

Finally, the next day, the family gathers one last time to sort out family matters such as the will and take care of the funeral bill, which is paid for by the donations. Then they will decide what to do with the remaining balance. This time is also used to resolve any existing family disputes.

And, that is it for the funeral…until a year later. Then there is another big celebration, celebrating the anniversary of the death. This is always advertised by posters around town. This is also when the tombstone is put in place.

During the funeral, which was really boring for those of us who don’t speak Twi, Daughter was so board. She said it was the longest day of her life!

She was slouching all over the place, and I kept telling her to sit up and put her hands in her lap, and to sit like a lady.

After the funeral, Frank asked what I was doing, and I told him, I was reminding her to sit like a lady and to mind her manners. He said that is what he thought. A lady came to him and asked. She thought I didn’t want Daughter touching the chair, because I thought it was dirty. But then when she came over to thank us for our donation, Daughter shook everyone’s hand, so she changed her mind about being offended.

I was so hungry on the way home, but too scared to say anything, so I just prayed lord, please let them have us over for yams and chicken, but not if its anything else.

Lo and behold! Yam chips and chicken! Yay! It was like 8pm, so it was cold, but still good. We ate fast, and then we went to bed. It had been a long day.

Oh, right before the funeral, we did have jalapo rice. We had to eat fast, and didn’t really have time to finish, so Coby got his rice in a plastic bag. Son wanted more, so he got some in a plastic bag, too. He ate it all, some before the funeral and some after. He loves it. He is truly African now!

Feb 22
Today was Sunday. Our final service in Kumasi. Jody spoke on Joseph, it was great message. Very sad, though, I am ready and not ready to go home. I want to see my family, especially Elli, but I am not ready to leave here for good.

Afterwards, we napped and had peanut butter soup. We also walked to the store, and guess what we found?! Chocolate chip cookies! AWESOME! They are so so good.

Feb 23 09
Today we just hung out as we are winding down our trip. The plan is, which changes often, to leave for winneba and accra on Wed. We will stay in winneba until Sunday AM and then go to accra. We’re gonna stay in a 11 cedi/night hotel with no ac. That should be interesting.

Fried chicken again for dinner. It was pretty yum. I love it. Cecilia made fufu for herself and Jody asked if he could beat it. She agreed. They all thought it was so funny! He did Ok, but will have to work on his technique. The Collin finished the job. Making fufu is quite an art. You take boiled yam, casaba, or plantain. Place it in a wooden bowl that his wet. Then you take a large stick with a flat surface (this is usually made from bamboo) and beat it. While one person is beating it (usually a man) the other person (usually a woman) gathers and folds while adding just a bit of water with her wet hands. She also picks out any imperfections. This is all happening within the rhythm of the beating of the fufu. So, you gotta pay attention and hope the beater is, too, so that you don’t lose a finger. In about 20 minutes, you have fufu!

Feb 24 09
The past two nights neither Jody nor I have been able to sleep. Last night we were both up until 2am! We mentioned this to Frank and he said it’s home sickness. He says whenever he is about to go home the same thing happens to him. Hmm. Never knew that.

Today, Anointing came over and brought Jody a tie. It was very kind of him. We’ll miss him.

We also noticed today that there were some hot pink chicks (as in chickens) running around the yard. What is the heck?---ask Malachi would say. We asked Frank about this and he said the farmers will paint the chicks pink so that the hawks will think they are bloody and dead and will not eat them. That made me feel a whole lot better---I thought it was some sort of radioactive freak of nature!

Other than that, nothing much today. Oh, but we are not leaving tomorrow. Car problems again. We’ll leave Friday. Maybe.

Feb 25
Today we went to the Post Office box to see if our package from Susan and Krista made it. After 3 hours, we still don’t really know. Let’s just say, the Post Office workers aren’t in a hurry to help. T hey wanted a tracking number, but when we said we didn’t have one, they wouldn’t even go look to see if it came. What a bummer. They said if it comes before Friday that they will call us…I don’t have my fingers crossed. That they will call, that is.

We went to Wed night church. It was a farewell service for us, but it rained, so there was only like 5 people there. Well, at least they told us that’s why there was only 5 people!

We said good bye and gave a final word of encouragement. The lady that our church helped by a hair dryer for several years ago gave me a thank you gift. A beautiful cloth a photo and a letter of thanks. It was, of course, presented to me. One thing we have learned is that anonymous giving is not the way to go around here. Everything is a presentation followed with handshakes of thanks.

Feb 26
Today we got ready to leave. We are not leaving now until Saturday, and we will stay in Winneba until Wed. We packed up most of our things and cleaned out most of the room. We spent the rest of the day resting and spending time with Cecilia. She was making palm soup. It is quite a process. You start out with the palm nut/seed. You boil it for a day, and then all of the oils begin to come out. You press out all of the oils, and use that to make soup. It is pretty good, without the fish.

Feb 27
Papa’s birthday was today. I am pretty sure the kids were the first to say happy birthday, since they called him at like 6:30am Oregon time.

We had a very special treat today. Collin’s bother, the judge we met in Accra was in town. He lives next to frank and owns the small store we go to, which his brother runs. Well, he has a daughter who is 8. Her name is Aquia. She and Daughter played together all day. Aquia knows about Hannah Montana, and even has the DVD. So, that was WAY cool. Daughter was smitten. They played “Hannah” all day long.
Before dinner, it rained. All of the kids played on the porch during the downpour, but they didn’t stay very dry, playing in the water seeping through the gate. They had so much fun. Daughter says she is sad to be leaving Aquia tomorrow.

I can’t believe tonight is our last night in Kumasi. Two months goes by fast. Too fast.

Feb 28 Final Day
Today, we left Kumasi. It was really hard. I cried as we said good bye and as we left town. I am not ready for this adventure to be over. I am not ready to say good bye to my family here in Kumasi.

This morning, we finished the packing and cleaning up of our room. We had some fufu and packed up the car. We took some final pictures and said good bye. Gabriel will be driving us to Winneba. We were in the car and on our way by noon. The kids took a nap and 4 hours later, we were in Winneba.

Winneba is the poorest city in Ghana. It is about 45 minutes from Accra. They are known for fishing and smoked fish which they export around Ghana. It is way below the poverty line for all of Ghana.

That said, the beaches are beautiful….except for the excessive trash. We are not staying at the hotel we were told about. Instead, we are staying at a “resort” that is right on the beach. It is a pretty nice place. We feel really luck to be staying here. It is going to be fun.

We got all unpacked…unloading all 11 bags. Then we went and got some dinner at the restaurants and went and put our feet in the warm water.

Then, after showers (an over the head shower, what a treat) it was bed time…at 7:45. Our room is small with only 1 double bed, so dad and Malachi are on the floor. The ladies get the bed.

Mar 1
Final Sunday. Winneba was one of Jody’s favorite places from last time. I didn’t go last time we were here, I went to another church, so I was excited to check it out. WOW! It was LOUD and they were into it! It was a great church service. I spoke on Standing and God’s armor.

There is a blind man there, whom Jody remembers from last time. He really gets into the service and has someone watch for him so he can dance.

The service was LONG, and afterwards we went back to the hotel. They brought us dinner, jalapo rice. We ate and then spent the afternoon playing in the water. The kids loved it. They have never been able to place in the ocean without freezing.

After a swim, we got cleaned up and went to get a soda. Half the church was at the restaurants. There was a soccer game on, so we hung out at watched it while the kids played on the playground.

Mar 2 Monday
Today, we went into Accra to go to the craft market. We get there, and get out and Malachi has to go to the bathroom. He said in the car that he had to go number 2. Jody took him to the bathroom, but only accomplished #1. Ok, we are on our way. The market is always crazy, because everyone is trying to sell, and you have to not act interested and trust in your guide to barter for you, so you don’t get ripped off. I was prepared for a long day.

Well, about 30 minutes into it, Son is crying. I realize he is probably hungry, so frank buys him a soda to tie him over, but the vendor has to go and get it. In the mean time, he breaks down. His tummy hurts. He tells daddy, I gotta go, and I gotta go now. So Jody had to run with him to the bathroom. They barely made it. Poor guy is “running”. We meet up with him, and I bought him some Imodium. He WOULD NOT take it. So, this day has gone downhill FAST. So, I said, give me 10 more minutes and I will be done. I and Frank go into the market, I picked a store, and just bought what I thought would work for people. I am about to leave and run back to the car so we can take him home when I get a call. It is Jody. Son wants a lion. (He could not decide earlier). He is also feeling better. I get him a lion and we get on our way.

He is fine now, even though he has NOT taken the medicine. We decided to get some pizza on our way home. We got pepperoni pizza. Well, it was NOT pepperoni. It was cut up hot dogs on pizza. No one ate the hotdogs. They got picked off. Yuck.

We went home, took a nap, and then went to the beach again. Then some dinner and bed. Tomorrow will be our last full day here.

Mar 3
Today, Jody went to go meet some guy who is an inventor. Frank wanted to meet him. They didn’t get to meet him, you have to write a letter and request an appointment. While they were gone, the kids and I hung out, got some lunch and finished Swiss family Robinson.

When Jody got back, we spent one last afternoon at the beach. Tomorrow, we will head home. We are so very excited and so sad, too.

Mar 4-Final day.

Today we packed up and were on the road by 9am. We went into accra and went to the accra mall. WOW! It was SO COOL. It was a touch of the western world in Africa. Two supermarkets, a book store, and several European stores, with a few American ones, too. They had a real food court, and even a real movie theater with new releases. We got REAL pepperoni pizza and real ice cream. They had nice bathrooms. One in which I found a one peswe, which I needed to complete my collection. Thank you Jesus for that little gift.

After looking around for a bit, we headed to the Trade fair. We went last time on our way from accra to Kumasi We looked around for awhile, but after a bit, we were just done and ready to go home.

So, at about 4, we headed to the airport. We went to customs, and the lady asked if we had kids. We said yes, and she said OK, and passed us through. It pays to have kids when going through customs.

We got all checked in about 6, and waited. And waited. Finally, three hours later, we are on the plane. The kids fell asleep right away. Jody and I stayed up watching movies. We would sleep on the next leg.

We got to Amsterdam and were so tired! But the end was in sight. We found a bathroom and took “showers” and got new clothes on. Then we found a mc Donalds, and at 6:30am in the morning, we had hamburgers and French fries. The kids were SO SO excited. They ate it up fast.

Then, we decided to “cross into Amsterdam” so that we could go to the starbucks. We wanted to get KT and Brian a city mug. And some coffee for ourselves. First coffee in 60 days. It was SO good.

Well, about 20 minutes after our mcdonalds and starbucks binge, it was payback time. Yeah, the tummy does not like fast food and coffee after 60 days of good eating.

Finally, back on the plane. I was so exhausted. So was Jody. But neither of us slept. I think it was the combination of excitement and real movies that just needed to be watched. The kids slept for a few more hours and then watched movies the rest of the time.

Finally, we landed. We were home. It was so good to see Ellie for the first time and the look on the kids faces when they saw their nana and papa was pure joy.

We are home now, but our hearts are still there, and we are open and ready for the next chapter God has for us. When will we return? What will we do while we are here? Only time will tell, but one thing remains true. We are not our own, we are bought with a price and where HE goes, we will follow.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Update on the broonies.....


Day eighteen, Monday
Today went to go get some fabric for Elli’s dress, and go to the dress shop. Daughter and I went with Cecilia. Gabriel drove us. He is the school bus driver. Very nice guy. We go to a fabric shop. I picked out some ‘lace’ for Elli’s dress. It is not what we would think of as lace. It is the eyelet (I think that is what it’s called) type of design. It’s pretty and white. Then we pick out some material for me. I am getting dresses made for me. Not because I want any (I have a whole box full of African clothes at home that I never wear. I am all for looking native, but they just are not very comfortable.), but because I am told I need some! So, I picked out some flower pattern, the best of all the choices, and not only end up with that, but also some of the material that I chose for Elli. I guess I am now getting more than one outfit!

So, Cecilia bargains a price, says something to the driver, who comes in and pays the lady. During this whole process no one says a thing to me or even looks at me. We get in the car and go to the dress maker. We get there, and Cecilia looks at me and says, “you have the bag?”
Uh…no! No one told me to get it! So, Gabriel and I get back into the car and head back to the fabric store and pick up the bag. Now, back to the dress shop.

I pick out a pattern. Some crop pants and a shirt. I really just picked at random, because I know the chances of me actually getting that are slim, and the chances of me actually wearing it are even slimmer. I also said I wanted an outfit like Cecilia wore on Sunday—a skirt and top. She measures me. This too, still means little. You still don’t know if it will come back right. I have had outfits made every time I’ve been in Africa, and it never quite turns out like you asked or imagined. And it’s a 50 50 chance that they will fit right. But hey, I could never make something as beautiful as what they make using an old fashioned sewing machine, so who am I to complain if it isn’t perfect.

I told them I wanted a dress made for Elli. For size 3 months. I say this knowing it will come back big. I had some 1 year old clothes made last time I was here, and Malachi was able to wear them when he was 3, and Maudi when she was 4.

Back home. Back to sitting around. Frank says he will make us tomato soup and bring it over, since Jody still isn’t feeling well. It comes, and there is a whole fish floating in our tomato soup. As soon as I lifted the lid the whole room smells like fish. We…uh…weren’t hungry. Praise God for PB and J. And toilets that flush things. (A major missionary no, no. You are supposed to eat what is prepared for you out of respect. Yes, this is true, but desperate times call for a bending of the rules. One can only take so much fish!)

Day nineteen

Well, Jody is finally feeling better today! We are going to speak today at Christ the King Palace. They are having a Fulfilling your Financial Destiny seminar all this week. Jody and I are the key speakers. (They certainly didn’t choose us for our successes in this area!).

After breakfast today, we spent some time talking with Bishop. We were talking about the mindset of the people as a whole. Many are lazy in their thinking, and expect anyone who has more to take care of them. They think only of today and not tomorrow, and it has been this way for generations. Even the government depends on other governments to balance its budget and such. What a sad bondage.

We also talked about the church as a whole here. Very religious. Everyone goes to church an whoops and hollers, but there is a lack of depth and a lack of commitment to Christ.

Elli’s dress did get done today. It turned out so cute!!! Super super cute. I was going to mail it but now I am not. I don’t want to risk it getting lost. So, Jenn, you’ll have to wait. And, like I predicted, it does not look like a 3 month olds dress. More like 6-9 months. But that may be a good thing for Elli.

Service went very well. We talked about poverty and what the Bible says. After church, we got in the car, us and 6 other people! I guess we were giving them a ride. 12 people in the car. That is a new record!

After we dropped off the people, we went into Bishop’s for some tea, and a cucumber, and bread and a cheese spread. Oh, it was good. It was some fake sharp cheddar cheese spread. I am all about fake cheese. I absolutely LOVE cheese in a can, which this tasted just like. I had two pieces of bread with the cheese on it. It was awesome.

Then, home and to bed in our hot hot room. I think I am beginning to change my mind about an AC.

Day twenty.

Today was exciting! We got our package from mom and dad! We walked down to the little store around 10, and got some Pringles. Paid 2.90 USD for them, but it was SO worth it! We also got some pop in a can, and Son got Chocolate Milk. (which has way too much chocolate syrup in it, so it has a nasty after taste, but he liked it.)

Right before we got home, our phone rang and it was the post office saying we had a package!! We were super excited.

Jody called frank to tell him. He called to ask if he could pick it up, but Jody had to pick it up because it is in his name. So, Bismarck (or as we call him Bisquick) drove Jody to the post office. He had to wait forever, of course, and pay 7.30 USD in tax, but he finally came back with the package.

The kids LOVED it! Son kept asking if Daddy went to Papa and Nana’s house to get it. I told him it came in the mail, and he finally got it. Then he thought that it was pretty cool that we got mail.

They had to eat a sucker and life saver right away, and use their paper and color book right away, and read their cards over and over. And, they would not be quiet until mom shared one of her pop carts (as malachi calls them) with them. And then, of course they had to have some gum. Daughter wanted the kind from Nana’s purse. 

Daddy loved his books, and I enjoyed the pop tarts and dots, but I am pretty sure I will not be able to keep them all to myself.

We are back to church again tonight. Jody’s turn to speak. He is going to talk about having plans and goals for our life and money.

Day twenty one—three weeks here!

I can’t believe we have been here for three weeks! It doesn’t seem like that long, and yet at times it seems like the days last forever!

Today was another around the house day, as we prepare for tonight. It has been SO HOT. I have hardly slept the past two days. We have decided that we are for sure going to get an AC. I am ready to go get one right now. Frank says we can go get one tomorrow.

I am the speaker tonight. I spoke on Heb 12:1-3 and running your race well and fighting off discouragement. We have had a good size crowd each night. I pray that they all received value and knowledge out of the seminar.

Day 22

Today was long and miserable, but quite adventurous, too. Yesterday, frank said be at the house by 7:30 for breakfast, and we will leave at 8. We will go see a pastor and then get the AC. We’ll be back by noon, so Jody can prepare for tonight. He is speaking at the church we went to the Sunday after we arrived when we didn’t speak, since we didn’t know we were supposed to. They were disappointed, so we are going back.

Well, unsurprisingly, that isn’t exactly how it went. We left at 8:30, and that’s not bad. We went to the village to see the pastor. But both Jody and I had forgotten he said that, so we just kept driving and driving, and we’re like what? Where the heck is this Air Conditioner? Togo? Well, we finally remembered. The village was 30 miles out of Kumasi.

On our way we passed a bus. A very full bus, I might add with people and things stacked in, on top, and on the back. I am pretty sure if they crashed, no one would be hurt, except maybe the people on the top of the bus, because they were packed in so tight.

When we got to town, we found out the pastor was on that bus on his way in to see frank. I guess they had a little miscommunication about where they were meeting. We also found out we had a flat tire. So we pulled over to put the spare on. A guy came and did it for us. Not surprisingly. People are always willing to help….as long as you tip them.

While we were waiting, a crowd began to form, as it usually does (about 50 kids and some adults). George video tapped them trying to greet the kids, who were in the car. Many asked Daughter if she would like to come live with them, and told her how beautiful she was. One touched her arm, and then she and her friends all giggled. Many boys greeted Son and said they wanted to be his friend.

George gave me the camera back, and I recorded a bit more. Once they see what you’re doing, they want to make sure you get a picture of them. Well, then I remembered that my screen flips. If I turn it, they can see themselves. Coby loves it when I do that, and so do Daughter and Son. So I decided to give it a shot. I flipped the screen, and they went bananas! They started jumping around and singing. It was so much fun!

Finally, it was time to go get that AC….or not. Let’s go look at a dam, which included a small hike. So, off we set to the dam. We take a look, chat for a bit with the dam keeper, and head back.

As we were heading to the dam, I saw an old lady sitting out in the courtyard of her house (a courtyard in the center of several houses, actually. And by house I really mean hut. At least that is a better description.) She had no top on. No big deal, just keep walking. Well, on our way back. She called out to us. She wants to greet the kids, because they are so beautiful. Frank says, go say hi to grandma. So we do. The kids go up and shake her hand; breasts down to her knees and all, out for the world to see. I thought oh great! Now I have to explain why this lady is sitting here with no shirt on and why that is OK. But, no, they didn’t even bat an eye. They didn’t even seem to notice! I asked them if they noticed anything different about her, and both of them said no! Perhaps the Holy Spirit was shielding their eyes.

Ok, back in the car. We drop off our guide, and of course, tip him. Now we are finally on our way…..and then the spare tire goes out. So we stop, and get the regular tire fixed.

Alright, tires fixed, off we go to the AC….or not. How about another dam. Alright, not to panic. It’s only 12:30. Still early. We get to the dam site, and I stay in the car. The kids have fallen asleep. About 20 minutes later, we FINALLY really head back to town.

We get to the AC place. I am in the car with the kids while Jody and Frank and George go look at the AC, and make sure it works. It works well, so Jody comes back to get the money. He gives the money to frank, and--- MAJOR mistake here--- gets back in the car WITHOUT Frank or the AC. A few minutes later, we see George and frank go down the street. About 30 minutes later, they come back, and go back to the AC place. Then, finally come to the car and tell us we are waiting on a part from another store. What? . Apparently there is no hose. We have to wait for someone to bring it from another store. So we wait some more. It is now 2:30. After waiting some more on a guy who was supposed to be there in 20 minutes, about an hour ago, we finally leave, without the AC. I am about to cry at this point, because I am SO HOT, and the kids are board so they are driving each other and me crazy, and Jody is cranky because he needs to get back to get ready for tonight (which by the way, we didn’t know about until last night after church). My only hope was a cold room, and that hope was quickly fading. The guy says he will call when the part shows up and will deliver it. Even frank isn’t confident in this. Thankfully, we had not given him any money yet. Let’s go home.

We head that way, and drop off George. We stop and pick up Cecilia. I thought Jody was going to lose it. Cecilia means many stops. And right he was. We stopped at a shop, then we stopped to look at an AC Frank spotted. Finally, we are on our way home. I think frank could tell we were getting agitated. As we are heading home, we pass a place that Jody had seen an AC when he had gone to the post office. He, to me, mentions it. Well, shouldn’t have opened his mouth, because as soon as he did we pull over to look at it! I couldn’t help but laugh at that.

A few more stops to get bread and water and eggs and we are FINALLY home. The time is now 4:30. We are hot and cranky. Jody decides that he will go by himself tonight. The kids have been in the car all day, and I need to pack for tomorrow. I decide to give the kids a shower, just to cool them down. They really liked that. In the midday the water is warm, not super cold.

After our rinse off, we head to dinner. Jody will come later. While at dinner, the AC arrives. Jody finally comes back and says it is on and our room is cooling. We hurry up and eat so we can get back to our room. When we get there, Jody stays out so the kids can play outside. I go to check out the AC. I get to the door, and I can smell something burning. I open the door, and the AC is off and the room is full of smoke. I look over, and our extension cord/power strip is melted, and there is a burn mark on the floor about ½ and inch away from the carpet. Jody came in and was not happy; it had just been one of those days. He had asked specifically if the AC was too strong for the cord. Both Frank and the AC guy said yes. Well, they were wrong. Thankfully, it was only an overload on the power strip. It didn’t damage the AC or my computer cord (which was plugged in, but the computer was not plugged into it), and it didn’t damage the outlet at all. We plugged it into the wall, and it worked fine. Our first cool night. Very worth it. Jody heads off to church; I get the room tidy, pack for our trip, and give the kids a bath. Then to bed for all of us. Even I was exhausted and couldn’t wait up for Jody.

Day 23, Saturday

Today was quite uneventful. First, something from yesterday. Since we have gotten here, every time we pass a group of kids, and sometimes adults, we hear them shouting the same thing, but we have no idea what it is. On the way home yesterday was no exception. Cecilia told us they are saying O Broonie! Which means Oh, white people or white person. So that’s us, the Broonies.

So, today, we were supposed to go to a village, Dormaa. But, Frank’s car was having issues, so it got put off to tomorrow. So, we spent the day at home. We played with the kids (Jody played hide and seek…perfect building for it…with them) and read and rested.

We went over to Franks in the afternoon and watched “Free Willie” on tv…the latest American blockbuster!! Malachi thought it was cool because it had a killing whale (what he calls killer whales).

After a lovely dinner of rice and fish sauce, we went home. We were ready to shower, it was exceptionally hot and humid today. We got the kids showered, and the water ran out…No shower for us. Yay. Perhaps the morning will bring us water.

Day 24, Sunday
Up at 4am today. We are leaving at 5am, and we wanted to take a shower, since we didn’t get to last night. We beat the trumpet blower this morning! Thankfully there was water, not much, but enough.

We are on the road by 5:30 not bad. We put the kids PJs on, and they went in that, so they could go back to sleep.

We noticed as we were driving out of town, lots of groups running with their trumpets, whistles and cow bells. So, it is just not our neighborhood that gets to wake up to this weekly pleasure. Frank says it is the latest trend with young people. They will wake up early on Sunday to run—for fitness---but then when they are done they go eat and drink, so it really is of no benefit. It is more of a social event.

We got to Dormaa at about 8:30, and pull into a filling station with a car was area, an oil change area, a mini mart, and….a hotel!! Yep, right on top of the mini mart. This should be interesting….

We check into our room, and oh, God is good. It is nice and bright and clean, has an excellent AC and cable…meaning cnn. That is really the only other channel that comes in, but it is American, so we are happy. And, to top it all off, there is a hot water heater. WOOHOO!!! Hot showers!! You never quite feel clean from a cold shower, especially one from a bucket.

Church was great. I was speaking. I had prepared what I thought was a great message. I didn’t prepare my usual way, which is writing out the statements I want to make. Instead I used the outline system. It usually doesn’t work for me that well, as I forget half the stuff I want to say, and well, that theory proved true. My message, with an interpreter, was only about 10 minutes!!! Not that it mattered. Church was still about 3 hours long, and that is when we left. They were still going when we left.

I noticed something that I haven’t seen before in Ghana, but in the Ivory Cost. When we prayed, all the women covered their heads. Frank says he has been trying to break this tradition for years, but they still insist on covering their heads. That and sitting segregated, women on one side, men on the other. I have only seen the head covering in this town, but the segregation is everywhere. He says that he will tell them sit together! They will do if for awhile, but pretty soon they are back to their segregation.

Frank sent us back to the hotel in a taxi. He knew we were tired and hot. We had a wonderfully relaxing afternoon. We enjoyed the AC and CNN. The kids and I took a 3 hour nap.

Frank told us that there would be an evening service, which we didn’t know about, so Jody spent the time preparing.

We were to leave at 7. We are ready at 7 and they bring us dinner. Yam Chips. They were great; would have been even better with ketchup. He also brought Planate chips for the kids. They are like a dried banana but thinner, the size of potato chips, fried and salted. They are not that great, in my opinion, but Son LOVED them; ate two whole bags. (A bag is one serving.)

About 7:30 we head to the church. I noticed that it was extremely windy outside. Half way to church, I saw lightning. We get to the church, and they have postponed the service, because it’s going to rain. It’s not canceled, just postponed. Rain doesn’t last long, usually, so they will have it afterward. The people won’t come when it rains, but they will know to come when it stops.

By this time, it is nearing 8pm. Frank says we will go back to the hotel and wait. Jody says why don’t we drop off steph and the kids and then go back. Frank said, we can, but they really want the children to come. They love seeing the kids. He said if they would sing a song in front of the church that thousands would come to see it. Both kids said NO WAY! 

It is true wherever we go the kids are the ones who get the attention from other kids and adults. They think they are beautiful. I think they probably very rarely see white children, where as white adult might be more common. One lady told me my kids had beautiful round heads!

The rain didn’t let up, so the service was cancelled. The kids were a bit freaked by the storm, but also found it fascinating. We gave the kids a bath…a real bath with hot water that they could soak in and play in. Daughter went first. Son second, and while he was in the tub, alone, the power goes out. Thankfully, Jody was right near the door. He was able to get in there before he started to freak out. I found my cell phone, to use for a light, and we got him out and dried off.

We all climb into the one king size bed, and watch a little CNN. The power comes back on, so Jody gets up to turn on the AC, but not 10 minutes later the power is off again. We decided to call it a night, even though it was only about 9:30.

Day 25, Monday

We all got up about 6:30 this morning. Not surprising considering we had a long nap and went to bed early yesterday. I took a nice hot shower. Loved every minute of it. We are SO getting a hot water heater when we live here.

We were ready to go at 7:30. Frank comes, and says we are not checking out yet. We are going to go to the border town he told us about, and then to the pastor’s home for breakfast.

We head to the boarder of the Ivory Coast. We don’t take the main road, because you have to go through all the customs and paperwork, but if you take a side road, the border control will usually let you in to visit the village. He was right. He let us right in. The village is half on the Ghana side, half on the Ivory Coast side. Before colonization, there were not nations, nor borders. There were only tribes, so there was not national line dividing the land, so these people have lived together for hundreds of years. All people born in this town have dual citizenship.

We walked right into the Ivory Coast, and almost instantly, you could see the difference. It was poorer and dirtier that even just a few houses down. IC is much more Islamic and it is French. Both French nations Jody and I have visited were much more oppressed and much poorer than the English settled nations.

We spoke to a woman whose house is on the border. She says when she sleeps her head is in the Ivory Coast and her body is in Ghana.

We get back in the car, and we drive to the official border crossing, just to see it. One thing I have noticed about Dormaa is there are many more Muslims. Not surprising considering its location.

Then, it was off to the pastor’s for breakfast. We get there, and it is a small, but nice home. We sit, and soon they come out and put a serving bowl in front of Jody and one in front of me of rice pudding. Each bowl could have easily fed 12 people. Easy. We both look at Frank and say, is this all for us? He says yes. We ask, are they expecting us to eat all of it, and he says yes, eat as much as you can. They also brought us bread and avocados. The kids serving came out of mine, because I had more than Jody. Not that it even put a dent into my portion. Malachi wouldn’t touch his. He was being a pain. He eats it at Franks. Jody was able to eat his whole bowl, and I probably ate 3/4ths. I can usually defeat things like that, but it was either, puke and eat more, or stop. I have never eaten so much rice in one sitting in my entire life. Frank said you did well, that was a lot of rice! He didn’t have the rice. He had boiled plantains dipped into the chicken sauce we had last night. I would definitely rather have all the rice.

Day 26, Tuesday
Today we stayed at home. Frank had court. After court, we went over to his house, and talked about Canaan Life and our role. I have had a lot of questions about the matter, and we were able to sit down, and really get a feel for what is going on, what will be going on, and what role we will play. The needs here are many and great.

Not long after we wrapped up our talk, Son comes running in, “my eye, my eye, it’s burning!” I see that he has a big blue spot by his eye. I ask him what he has been playing with and he says I don’t know. So I take him into the bathroom, and was his eye out. He, of course, is screaming and resisting the whole time. He is still freaking out that his eye hurts, so I go outside and ask Daughter, and she says I don’t know. Well, I look down, and there is the same blue stuff all over Maudi and all over the ground. The trail leads to a bucket full of water and laundry detergent. Next to the bucket is a bleach/soap stick. “We’re you playing in the soap?” “No” Wrong. They finally confessed, they had been playing in the soap water, and Daughter flicked water at Malachi and it got in his eye. Thankfully it was the soap and not the bleach. Many drops, and much water later, his eye is red, but fine. What will they get into next!

After that we got the kids all settled again, we watched Oprah. It’s on everyday at 5pm, and once in awhile we get to watch. We rarely, if ever watch it at home, but it’s American, so we watch. The episodes are all a few years old, and there is only a handful that repeat over and over. There was one about Katrina a few days ago, and then another with a date of 2005.

There is a station her Viasat 1. It is a new station, and has lots of American shows, current hits like Hanging with Mr. Cooper, Cosby, and Friends. And the latest blockbusters like Matrix, Swim Fan, and The Day After Tomorrow.

Then it was getting close to dinner. We prayed, Lord, please, no fish! The Lord has heard, and answered our prayer…we are having Fried Chicken and Yam Chips. Our favorite. Jody drove to the store to get Ketchup. You have to have ketchup to make the fries taste like fries. The Fried chicken is really good. It isn’t battered and fried, but it is really good.

Well, dinner was good, but we didn’t quite escape fish. Frank made us a Tomato Sauce of his own for our fries. It had tomatoes, onions, peppers, and of course, FISH!

It rained right after dinner. Not for long, but long enough to cool things down.

It is not the rainy season, so Frank says that we must have brought the rain. Gladly!  We actually miss Oregon rain and cool weather.

Day 27, Wednesday

Today, was another day at home. We’re starting to go a little stir crazy, so we decided to go on a walk. We took a really long walk, about 3 miles. We walked up to a school that we can see from our house, up a hill, then down to the filling station (where we stopped for a Fan Ice) and home. We passed a sign that said Boogie Spot, and pointed up a road. We thought that was so funny, and told the kids it was a place people went to pick their nose. They of course believed us. (I’m pretty sure it’s for a Dance Club.)

Dinner was fried chicken and rice. God must really love us!!! A thunder and lightning storm started right after dinner. It rained, but only for a few minutes.

We took the kids home, and sat on the porch and watched the lightning. It was really neat, and a lot of fun. They had never done that before. Son was a little concerned that the lightning was going to sting him. He kept saying, lighting can’t sting you right? I kept telling him yes, but it almost never does. That didn’t seem to be a good enough reason for him. So, I told him it was too far away to sting anyone, and that seem to make him feel better. It was beautiful, that’s for sure!

After awhile the kids got board, so they went in to watch a movie while we stayed outside, it was nice and cool. Robert, our downstairs neighbor boy came in and watched with them. He is 14, but was fascinated with Toy Story 2 none the less,

Anointing came over and struck up a conversation with us, Jody right about that time, got a call from Brian, so I was stuck talking with the chatty cathy. Then Jody came back, and the time the movie was over, so I went inside, while Jody visited with him. He is quite a talker. Anointing is a nice guy, and faces many of the same struggles as most Ghanaians.

Day 28, Thursday

We are down to one month left. The time has flown by! I am ready to go home and not ready to go home at the same time. I think we all feel that way.

Another day spent at home, for the kids and I that is. Jody went with Frank to look at a dam building site…the one we were supposed to go look at the Sunday he was sick.

We are supposed to go to ODA tomorrow, so we spent the day cleaning our room. Aquia came over and swept for us. Then we packed, and the kids and I spent the day being lazy and playing together in our cool room.

I believe that is the thing I am most thankful for regarding this whole trip. Being in Africa is great, but more so is all the time we have been able to spend together as a family. Africa forces you to slow down. In America, we are going, going, going. There is no concept of time here (which drives me nuts), so no one is in a hurry. So, we wait, a lot. It can get annoying, but it creates a lot of family time. We are building so many memories that I will cherish forever.
Time for dinner. Chicken again! YES!!! Oh,yeah, and some fried cabbage (which by itself I love) with tomato, and FISH! It wasn’t half bad. Would have been even better without the fish.

After dinner, it was home for baths and bed. We have been experiencing a water problem. There is something wrong with our pump. So, Jody had to go to the community well to get water. He, of course didn’t actually draw it or carry it home. The neighbor did that. We don’t do anything around here. Not that we wouldn’t or don’t want to, but they don’t let us.

Right as we go to give the kids a bath, the power goes out. Thunder and lightning again. So, we get the little battery operated lantern, and head to the bathroom anyway. Nothing like a bucket shower in the dark to remind you that you are in Africa. To remind you how blessed you are to be here. We are one of the few who are blessed to be able to have all these adventures while also doing the will of God.

Day 29, Friday.

After breakfast, Frank, Daughter, and I went to the bank to get some money before our trip. That, of course meant also stopping at the church, and for gas, and for propane.

We get back, and an hour later, load up and head to ODA. Us, Frank, Cecilia and George. Nothing like spending 4 hours squished in the car. To give us all a little more room, I got in the back with Son and Daughter sat between Jody and George. The back is NOT made for adults. Even I, with no legs am quite squished, but I have a window, so it’s worth it.

ODA, if the roads were good, would probably only be an hour away, but it takes us 3 ½ to get there. Every few hundred feet you have to slow down to avoid a large pot hole, speed bump, or large truck. That is on the paved roads, of which only half of the way is.

We stopped about half way there for some coconuts. There wasn’t drinking water for sale, so we get coconut milk. Frank buys just us like 10, plus several for George, Cecilia, and himself. Seriously overkill. But, when he gets into the car, he explains why. The man who was selling them told Frank “oh there is a God, and he has answered my prayers. I prayed this morning that I would sell some coconuts.” The coconuts were 10 peswes (Ghana change). He made about 1.5 Cedis. That is about $1.23. He was very excited about his ‘successful day.’

Finally made it to Oda. Drive right up to the Pastor’s home. Get out, sit down, and discover, we are not going to a hotel. We are staying here. In a room with no fan. Talk about a mood killer when you were mentally prepared for a nice cool room.

The Pastor rents a portion of this complex. The portion we are staying in is like a boarding house. There are about 6 rooms and a sitting area. All the rooms are empty right now, so the land lady said he could use them for his guests.

Well, we greet the pastor, and his wife brings us some Malta. We have been able to dodge this nasty drink so far this trip. But, now our time is up. Malta or Malt as they call it. Is like root beer with hops and malt in it. It is non alcoholic, and very popular. It is not very tasty in our opinion, and I know that Son is going to agree with us.

Jody tries to trick him by telling him its root beer. He takes a drink and says “Yuck! That tastes like beer!” Uhhhh…ok….. So, mom has to drink his. Daughter isn’t a fan either, so Dad drinks hers.

We get settled, and they serve us dinner. Rice, cold cabbage salad with FISH, and sauce. For dessert, apples. YUM! Now, the sauce. Most interesting thing to date. It had sausage (aka Hot Dogs) so the kids were stoked about that. It also had some “beef.” Very chewy yet crunchy beef. IT WAS NOT BEEF. I believe it was snail. We asked Frank, but he didn’t have the same as us…they gave us the good stuff. He says you can’t get snails this time of year. Well, then I don’t know what the heck it was, but it was something with a small body connected to a small head. I have had snails before and they tasted and felt a lot like that. If they were not snails, I don’t really think I want to know what they were.

After dinner, we get cleaned up and head to church in the next town. It was a small church, and Jody spoke. He spoke on David and Goliath, tying it into God’s plans for us. We have been speaking mainly on that topic; his plans and purpose for us, and that he wants us to prosper and be blessed. It is such a simple message; the basics of the Gospel. But, sadly, for most it is the first time they have heard these concepts. They believe in God and that he wants to save them, but that is it. They are here, they will die, and they will go to heaven. That is about it. It breaks our hearts.

Well, while Jody is speaking, Son is entertaining himself by making up songs. He does this a lot. He is not doing it quietly. While Daughter next to me is doing the potty dance and making horrid whiney faces because she has to go. I, too, have to go desperately. The two Malta’s I drank are now sitting in my bladder begging to come out. It was seriously hot, too. But, despite all that, we had a great service and a great prayer time.

We went home, and Frank said if it’s too hot, you can bring your mattress out here (to the sitting area). So, that is what we did. It was too late to bathe the kids, so we just put them to bed on the couch.

Because Frank, even up to the last minute, was not sure of our hotel accommodations, I wasn’t feeling really secure, so I packed sheets and towels, just in case wherever we were staying was not up to par. Thank You, Holy Spirit for prompting me to do that. We used all that I brought.

I took a nice cold bucket shower, and went to bed. I was beat.

Day 30, Saturday

Today we went to a neighboring town. All of us, and the pastor, too. I don’t know the name of the town, but it was the first town where the Holy Spirit visited Ghana, and it spread from there. We went there to meet with a pastor who wants to join Bishop’s fellowship. Well, we really were just along for the ride, and just sat there while they talked.

Afterwards, we went to visit West Africa’s biggest tree. It was discovered in 1850, and was as large as it is now, supposedly, which means it is REALLY old.

They jipped off the broonies. We had to pay 10 Cedis to see the tree. Frank and Cecilia only had to pay 2. Gheesh!

Off we go on our small hike. The forest was beautiful with lots of colorful butterflies, trees, and even a large ant trail like you would see in a documentary.

The tree was quite large. Nothing compared to the redwoods. Daughter started to run right up to the tree…BIG NO NO. See, it’s not just the largest tree, but also a shrine. They worship it. They believe that if you are sick, you can pray over a coin, and put it in the tree and the gods will heal you. Or you can bring it liquor, and the gods will come and drink it and heal you or bless you (and there was a large pile of liquor bottles). If you bring the gods a meal, they will come eat it. They also believe that little dwarfs come out and sweep the forest floor by the tree, and that the leaves have power in them. They say they believe this and nothing can convince them otherwise, because these are their beliefs.

Our guide is telling us all of this. Frank isn’t interpreting a thing, since he thinks it’s a load of hooey. We are with another family of Ghanaians, who keep telling him to tell us. Finally, George gives us the heads up about what the guide is telling us.

After a few more minutes of looking at the tree we head back to the car. We go down the road, and buy some oranges. Oranges are in abundance here, but they are not eaten as we would. The top layer (meaning the color) is cut away, and then the top of the orange is cut off. You then suck out the juice, using the remaining peel as a cup, and throw away the orange. Sometimes they will slice and eat the orange, but not often. Well, I think that is a waste, so I start peeling away. The kid’s too, don’t get the concept of just sucking the juice out (probably because it is something they would be told not to do at home). The pastor comes over like a minute after we get our oranges to collect the remainders. I tell him I am not done. He looks at me peeling my orange and gives me the strangest look. He asks “Is something wrong?” I said no. He stares a bit longer and walks away.

When we get home, Frank and Cecilia went to rest. We stayed in the sitting room. No naps today, it is WAY too hot. After their naps, they come out, and we had a really good time talking for several hours. We talked about the challenges the churches face.

We also talked about the not so nice part of Ghana that everyone wants to ignore. The Upper Volta Region. The Muslim area. Curfew is at 4pm, and the region goes into police control until 6am. This is to control the violence. (Wait, I thought Islam was a peaceful religion?). Cecilia tells us it will make you cry. The people are sad, dirty, and very poor. She tells us that there is hardly any Jesus up there.

Frank also tells us that there are many villages within the bush that he believes may be unreached or have little gospel.

There are so many needs here. So much Jesus revelation and love needed. We must get back here soon.

Finally, time for showers and bed. As I am getting ready for bed, and writing an email, Maudi turns to me and says, Mom, when we move here, I am going to miss all of my friends. I said, well, aren’t you going to miss your African friends when we go home? She thinks for a minute. Then she says, “Well, if Coby has an extra suitcase, he and Quedru could come home with us. They can visit us in Portland, and then when we move, we will bring them home!” She was so proud of her idea.

Day 31, Sunday.

Today did not start out well. We got read for church, and out goes the power. No fan. It is really hot. And it does not turn back on. We are sweating, and getting cranky.

Breakfast was a first. We had ‘spaghetti’ (noodles with a red hot sauce, peas, green beans, and fish) and a custard type thing that tasted like they forgot the sugar. The kids thought it was so cool that we were eating spaghetti for breakfast. Maudi kept telling me she couldn’t wait to tell Nana.

We head to church, hot, sweaty and cranky. Church doesn’t have power either. That doesn’t really matter to them. They worship wholeheartedly, putting our bad attitudes to shame. It was by far, the best service we have to date. The Holy Spirit was there, and the people were open and responsive.

I spoke on fear, and one of the verses was Josh 1:9. Daughter was very brave, and came up and sang with mommy the be strong and courageous song. The people LOVED it. We were very proud of her. That did something in her little spirit, because since that time, she has been participating in service: clapping (way off beat), singing, raising her hands and praying. She is developing more and more each day into quite the little missionary, but more importantly than that, she is beginning to on her own, develop a relationship with Jesus. That is more important to us than anything she ever does or doesn’t do.

After church, we went back to the inferno house, ate rice with spinage and fish casserole, and got on the road. It was a long, but peaceful ride back. We were all happy to have some wind blowing in our faces once again.

Day 32, Monday

Today was a rest day. We didn’t do anything. We were all so tired. We just laid around, played soccer with the kids, and rested.

Jody scored a major victory for us. During breakfast, he told frank how much we love Aquia’s fried chicken. He told frank that he’d be happy if we had it the rest of the time. I think Frank got the hint that we were tired of fish. This statement, along with the barely touch sardines, tomatoes, and onions that were served with breakfast, I think made our point. WE HATE FISH. We didn’t before, but we do now.

We have not had fish for dinner since that time. Praise be to God.

Still no running water. It has been nearly a week. They are fixing the pump. I am pretty sure it is a few hour job, but that isn’t really relevant around here, so in the mean time, we are fetching our own water from either Frank’s or the well.

Day 33, Tuesday

Today was a Son victory day. We spent the day at home, Jody prepared for tonight. We were going to be speaking at a church we were supposed to go to during our first week.

Anyway, at dinner we had fried chicken (God bless chicken) and Jalapa rice. Jalapa rice is sort of like Mexican rice. They didn’t put as many peppers in it as they normally would, since we are a bunch of wimps, so it was really good. Son ate FOUR servings. FOUR!!! Oh, it was so nice to see him eat. Daughter liked it, too, and ate three helpings.

Service was really good. Jody spoke on talents, and how God has a plan for each of us and called all of us to use our talents for him. He talked about how God can call you and anoint you to be anything, not just a pastor. This, too, is a new concept.

Day 33 Wednesday
This evening was my most favorite we have had so far in Africa. I will always remember it.

The day itself was uneventful. We were supposed to go to the church for a meeting with
George, but Frank forgot us. I don’t know why he didn’t just turn around and come back, but he didn’t.

After dinner, a storm rolled in. It was quite a big one. We pulled out the chairs, and watched the thunder and lightning. Soon the downpour came. We could feel the mist from the porch.

Jody tells Daughter, you can go play in it if you like. She thought that was such a neat idea. So, we all head out. Within seconds we are soaked. There is a heavy downfall from the roof, and we ran in and out of it, like a heavy sprinkler. Daughter was laughing and giggling. She loved it. Son did not. He clinged to me and screamed. Jody and I really enjoyed it too. It was fun and felt really nice. How often in life to you get to play in the rain in Africa? It was one of those few moments in life of pure bliss and joy. God is so good. His little gifts to us are so amazing.

After a few minutes, the kids are starting to get cold! So we go into the bathroom and wring out all of our closes, get cleaned up, and together, sat down and watched some bugs bunny. I love the life God has blessed us with.