Friday, March 9, 2012

Letter from Ruth

Hello again! Some of you have already received this letter from Ruth, but I wouldn't want to miss you if you didn't. Praise the Lord for the training He has given the girls. Have a great day.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

African Camping

Some think we are crazy --why would we choose to go off and live without even a hope of electricity or water in the pipes? It was fun. Our destination was a deserted peninsula that separates the ocean from a river. There is an abandoned, stripped hotel there with a sidewalk running parallel to the river --nice for sitting on and setting out meals. It was supposed to be a 3 hour trip.
We left on Sunday after church for Grand Lahou which is on the way to Abidjan --(We needed to go to Abidjan early Monday morning to try to get my visa, sell 2 puppies, pick up Seth from the airport at 11:30 AM and head back to Grand Lahou to meet up with Messers.) We arrived at 9 PM with hungry, tired kids --including us. Things in Africa tend to get worse because of the bad roads and lateness of the hour. There is not 24 hour service for food. About the best you can do fast is French bread --which is very yummy. We got avocado, cucumber, tomato and put that in bread - nice.
Monday we were up at 5 AM to wash the puppies - 3 of them - on to Abidjan. I'll make this short - because of an accident up ahead we didn't get to Abidjan until 9 AM (supposed to be a 2 1/2 hour trip max.) The first couple bought a puppy - on we went for the visa. OH, the MONKEY was with me since we didn't want to leave it in the hotel. The kids stayed in the hotel to sleep a little - it was Dan, Lydia and I. The visa has to wait since it is only good for 3 months. On we went for groceries, (the other people who wanted a puppy wouldn't pick up their phone), picked up Seth who had a great time in Kenya, and back to Grand Lahou.
We were just pulling into GL when Andy called that their car had stopped completely, right on the other side of town --now it was 3:00 PM. On we went to pick up Becky and the kids; the men brought the car in - limping - huge problem - had to be left in GL with a mechanic to find parts in Abidjan and work on it while we were on the camping trip. By the time we were figuring out all this, it was getting late. The older part of the group went ahead to the camping spot ---take them to the dock, get a motor boat to drive up the river to where we wanted to camp - set up camp in the dusk around 5 PM. It gets completely dark by 7 to 7:30.
Meanwhile, I drove our car back to get Andy and the younger part of the group - another load over by 8 PM. We were able to eat sandwiches I had picked up in Abidjan ---all was fine and to bed in our tents we went. Don't forget --2 puppies and a monkey were with us as well. They really were no problem --just added babies along. I think there should be an age limit on camping --5 and up.
We were able to swim in the river every day - float down the river, walk up the beach, ride the canoe ---everyone had a great time. Seth even rigged a swing to swing out over the river.
The main funny story --the first night we weren't well organized. We had a king air mattress (aren't we camping in style?) in our tent. Gideon was on a pillow, then me on the air mattress next to Esther, then Dan and then Rebekah. Now, those two little girls are rollers ---I tell you, we didn't have this thing planned well. During the night I heard Esther go "Ahhhhhh." I told Dan, "Move quick. She is peeing." It was funny and yes she was. We changed the sheets and were fine after that.
The next night a huge storm kicked up. Andy and Becky's tent almost went over ---moored only in the sand. We were up trying to rain-proof the site and praying that it wouldn't hit. It was a big storm - lightning and thunder ---very beautiful. And to think, God is so much more powerful than the storm. He is ALL power!!! lightning and thunder ---very beautiful. And to think, God is so much more powerful than the storm. He is ALL power!!!
Well, God let the storm pass with only a few sprinkles our way.
The rest of the trip was uneventful ---good food and fun. If you want more details or have questions - feel free to ask.
After 3 nights on the beach we went back to the hotel at GL --it even has a pool - $20 a night. We all got washed up and slept WELL.
Andy and Becky's car still wasn't ready on Friday. We stayed with them until 11:30 AM then left to get to our meeting in the village on time. They came later after their car was running. They have more stories about that. Praise the Lord we all made it home safely.
Thanks for all your prayers. This is called - real family time - smile.
Dan and Joan and Co.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Quick news

The girls sent this picture ---as they said, "It wasn't meant to be cute.  We were trying to be warm."  And I don't know how to separate the picture from the "I love you." so there you go.  God is great and takes care of us as always.  Thank you so much for your prayers!!!

Here is what is happening at the moment:  Ruth and Hannah graduate the end of May.  A cheap round-trip ticket came up from here to there for 900 some dollars (a normal ticket is near 2,000 from here - like double to America).  That ticket was a Christmas / New Year special and it was a "decide and buy NOW."  Well, we couldn't decide and buy now and the time went by.  Meanwhile, we got our hopes up and then were a bit disappointed.  I told Ruth and Hannah to pray and if God wanted me to go, He would provide something BETTER.  Nothing had been turning up.
My niece Laurelyn is pregnant and is due in April.  She wants me to come deliver their baby!! Wow.  PRAY a lot for that delivery --her first.   So, they are bringing me to the states, and from the states round-trip to the Philippines is in the 900's again.  
If I had gotten the first ticket I wouldn't have been able to go deliver Laurelyn's baby.  That is not all.
There is a girl who wants to come out for about two months - never traveled overseas before and her father was thinking to accompany her.  Now she is able to try to get her ticket to match mine and come back with me.  That will be nice for both of us.  She sounds like a very nice girl - 18 yo.  Even another thing --she wants to be in the states for June 2 - a graduation, and our ticket won't be until June 6th.  
It is comforting to me to see the hand of God in the details.  I am nervous and praying so much for all my babies that will be here.  It will be good for the older kids to get pushed out of their normal comfort zone for a bit --teach in French, play the piano for church, laundry, cooking, buying groceries to keep up with the menu (I WILL make a menu for them), maybe appreciate Mom a bit?    
So, that is what has been happening around here.  The weeks are full.  Life goes like this - school every day, beach Monday afternoon, Wed. night meetings, Friday to the village to preach and teach, Saturday afternoons - visitation, ladies' class, and everything planned for Sat. afternoon; Sunday 8:30 SS, then Church, then classes - ladies' class, youth class, men's class, membership class.  Normally in the states you could have some of these meetings during the SS hour or during the week.  No one wants to come out at night and they don't show up on time for SS.  After church is the best time to have everyone present.  Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are a bit free --do the shopping, do whatever pops up as an "interruption" during the week, and even practice the piano or guitar if it works out.  We do love life here.
  We so appreciate it and you praying for us.  Please PRAY for all this travel to go smoothly, for the delivery, and for all my family still here at home to be safe and healthy.  Thanks a lot.
Have a great day.
Love in Christ,

PS.  We just got back from our African camping trip ---yes, I know our whole life is camping in Africa.  Our camping TRIP is to go and spend 3 days and nights ON a deserted beach.  Last time we did the trip it was just our family and we slept on air mattresses and blow up pool toys outside with mosquito nets.  This time Messers went with us and we had tents.  It is a very long story that I can't write up right now ---LONG story - Messers' car had troubles and broke down completely;  going with two puppies and a monkey;  Gideon is 2 years old and was teething - hanging on to me like glue;  going to get Seth at the airport ---he had been on a mission trip to Kenya;  huge rain and wind storm in the night --everyone up trying to rain proof the tents - one of which was about to blow over completely.  I'll write the story after a while.  We got home to no water and lots of wet laundry - it might get moldy, that is why none of our clothes from here are fit to bring to the states.  No, I'll lay them out in the sun to at least dry them a bit.