Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hopes fullfilled

I’ll admit it, I was weird. What junior high student skips ahead to read what’s coming in the history textbooks? Me.

Pouring through history books I learned to love culture – ancient and modern. That love developed into desire to see and experience the things I read in those outdated, molded pages.

Stories of the trade routes through the Middle East, the West Indies Trading Company that spread culture faster and further than anyone before it, the great dynasties of China, European kingdoms, wars and colonies. The people in my history textbooks made choices that shaped nations and the future.

But what dictated those choices?

I believe it’s our hearts hopes. For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to travel. I told my parents in high school to be ready…the world was waiting and I wasn’t staying in one place too long.

In a way, I think I am fortunate. My strongest desire allows me to fulfill God’s greatest commandments – to tell the world about Jesus.

That’s why I’m in West Africa right now. I wanted to see the world God created, to understand it and help others see God in it.

My heart is content and my hope is continually being fulfilled. But, God placed another desire in me – to show others what they have to offer a world the needs Jesus.

Each missionary I meet tells stories of towns, villages and people that knew something was missing they were just waiting on someone to come tell them.

I hope and desire that what I write moves YOU to search out the world around you for some one with whom you can share the story of Jesus. Start with what He did in your life.

Don’t be let your heart be sick…because if you’re a believer in Jesus, it should hope to see every “nation, tribe and tongue” in heaven.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 (NIV)

Find out how you as an individual, group or church can find the lost in West Africa at

Friday, January 04, 2008

Hanging with Mom and Dad

They arrived and the fun started…not a minute wasted. After a late flight and eight hours of sleep, they had their first African church experience – fit with lively worship music and a great theological sermon.

But, they didn’t understand any of it.

I tried to translate the deep Biblical words spoken in rapped French by the associate pastor. I only got about one sentence out of three, enough to understand the message.

Mom nodded off once, because of the extreme heat. Even the Africans were complaining of the heat…that always make you feel better and not like a wimp. I think Dad really enjoyed the music, clapping and dancing. He got off beat quite a bit and then I would get off beat laughing at him!
All of my friends were excited to see them and that night they made tradition Ivoirian meals for my parents, included a whole fish. Monday was spent greeting and preparing for the holidays. We had the majority of our African friends and workers over for a big meal of rice and sauce. Dad greeted everyone and Mom washed dishes.
They had a habit of waking up early. So, Christmas morning they came and we opened gifts. Thanks to everyone who made this a great holiday! I had some traditional outfits made for Mom and Dad. They looked great. We dressed and went to church. Emily and I sang “The River is Here” with our English Bible study for the church and again the sermon was good, but hard to translate. They even danced the isles. After 2 ½ hours of sweating, we were all ready for a nap.

The whole mission gathered to celebrate the special day and ate really good food.

Thursday we set off for Ghana. The border crossing went smoothly…everyone in good holiday spirits. When we arrived I felt like I was in a West Africa I’d never had been before – a resort! It was great. We enjoyed two great days of a wonderful mix of sightseeing and relaxing.

Slave Castles

Tropical Forest Canopy Walk
The drive home was just as effortless. Back in Abidjan, Mom and Dad helped me make improvements to my apartment and minimize some of the stuff I’ve collected during the last two years and Mom must have washed every dish in my apartment!
Our very last activity was yesterday, Thursday, and we went to great the market ladies. It was huge market, dirty, smelly and crowded. It meant a lot to the women to meet my parents and greet them. Thanks Mom and Dad for all your handshaking, nodding, smiling and cleanin!

A great time was had by all and I was really sad to see them go last night. But as the Africans say, “It is the time.”

Thank you all for your prayers during their travels and our time together. It truly was a great holiday season.