Tuesday, June 26, 2007


It's cutting season. (When the rains come...everything gets cut, even this palm tree.) Wouldn't you like to have this guy's job?

Each evening walking home from work I see piles of freshly cut branches and bushes. It got me thinking about how our gardeners prune our bushes so they will look better next year.

Wouldn't you know the Bible says something about that:

"He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."--John 15:2

Ah, the life lessons in Africa.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sleep is highly over-rated

How dumb of me to forget that Thursday nights are wedding nights! Let me tell you, at 1.30 this morning I remembered. After the hundredth time rolling over in my bed and cursing the loud apartment shaking music, (I think people are tone deaf, the music was horrible.) the light bulb went off...it's Thursday night, someone’s getting married.

Yeah. Joy. Whoopee.

Lucky for me I wasn't invited, though the music was loud enough, I dreamed I was there. It was beautiful.

So, to those of you getting married this summer, thanks for not playing loud, bad, apartment shaking music. We are all grateful.

I don’t think the bad music was the only problem; mosquitoes have taken over my house.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Power, what power?

Apparently everyone but the Mission Baptiste knew that the power was going to go out today! Our guard, Sisa, told us, "It's a schedule outage." I guess us missionaries should start listening to the radio.

I wonder how I would understand it anyway...

So, while the power is out I can't connect to the server or work on a video (it's on a desktop, no power...no desktop). With work coming to a halt, my supervisor, Mary Beth, and I went on an outing. Apparently our neighbor had made half of her house into an exhibit full of Indonesia products for her friends in Cote d’Ivoire to buy. It was beautiful.

After we took a look at the building that is being worked on next to my office. It is the new office (we need more working space, the region is growing, thank the Lord!). We wanted to visualize colors and all the possibilities this neighbor's house had shown us. (Don't know if it will happen, but we wanted to dream a little.)

I am about to take Mary Beth and her husband, Deron, to the airport for their two week trip to Burkina Faso. Emily left on Monday to go to Senegal. So, that means I am the only Media person in town.

Good thing I have a lot of work to do...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

African transport

So, Emily and I got adventurous last week preparing for her parents arrival. We decided to go to Louis’ house the way she goes back and forth to ours. (Louis is our house helper.) Now, Louis takes three different kinds of transportation to get from her house to ours and three kinds to get back.

The first is a Woro-Woro or a set route taxi. It is about 200cfa or 40 cents to get it at her house and take it to the next mode of transport a bateaubus or a boat taxi for 150cfa about 25-30 cents. This takes us across the lagoon from the other side of the downtown area to our little island.

Then another Woro-Woro (100 cfa, 15 cents) to our neighborhood, where she gets out and walks about 30 minutes to our home, or sometimes a red taxi (more expensive at over a dollar) all they way to the house, works all day then repeats the trip in reverse.

It's a two hour round trip.

Wednesday, we braved the bad weather to go with her. It didn’t start really raining until we got to the other side of downtown. And then it poured. We were soaked by the time we got to her tiny house. The road in front was already bad, but the day before the rain washed it away even more.

We visited with her kids, her sister and her sister’s kids, all who live in a tiny two room apartment. That’s not two bedrooms, it’s just two rooms.

As the rain poured outside we sat crowded together talking about life and God. It was a great time and even though they are so cramped they are all full of joy and happiness. If only we could all be so content in life.

Monday, June 04, 2007

My fight

Do you remember a time where you were intent on studying a subject of God's word? Has the Devil ever tempted you in that area?

Well, for the last week or so, I've worked on a lesson about spiritual warfare. Boy, it's been enlightening.

In it I wrote that, “Satan uses things in our everyday life to gain the upper hand to move us into personal conflict with what God wants for our lives.
Satan uses our personal lives, families and friends, to make us discouraged and to feel defeated.”

Yeah, Satan is a crafty little sucker.

I’ve been discouraged about my lack of French speaking ability for a while now. But, yesterday in our English Bible study they told me my English was bad! I just can’t win!

My friends are moving on in life. They are getting married and starting families. I’m not. I haven’t attended a single one of their weddings. They are starting awesome new jobs and moving to places unknown.

You get the idea. Here I was think I’m doing this great thing, trying to help American churches prepare for the ever present spiritual warfare in West Africa and I couldn’t see Satan was using it on me.

So, today, I am rejoicing!

That my French is SLOWLY improving. I have no problem following a conversation and I’ve become bolder in entering a conversation.

Rejoicing in my friends happy lives. I am so proud of so many of you.

I wish I could have been there…

To see you walk down the isle in your beautiful flowing dress.

Watching you eagerly await the entrance of the most beautiful woman you know.

As a new little one enters your life.

Celebrating your new job.

Packing boxes.

But, since I’m not and haven’t been, know I pray for you daily. I get excited for you and brag about you to my African friends.

I also want to thank my parents. They have made life in Africa so much more enjoyable with e-mails, chats, little packages of American goodies and movies.

Today, you are a witness to the defeat of Satan’s spiritual warfare in my life.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”—James 4:7

This is just a random picture that I like...

It’s a young Wala boy and his brother parading the best donkey in the village in front of the visitors. (Burkina Faso)

The following is a story I wrote for The Baptist Digest. The Baptist newspaper for Kansas-Nebraska.

Village hut becomes evangelism tool