Monday, March 08, 2010
We have lived here in Senegal before and knew about the culture and what to expect and we also knew about THE WALL! Unfortunately, knowing things only helps to a certain extent when the wall comes at you like a ton of bricks, pardon the pun. This cultural wall tends to hit somewhere between the 6th and 10th month in a culture that is not your own, and yes, you guessed it, we are in our 6th month here. While things have been generally good, and we are making some good strides here with our language, and have our previous language to fall back on when we need to, are making some good friends and have gained some amazing team-mates/friends through our company, THE WALL has hit us still the same.
I will not go into a negative rant at this point, but suffice it to say that between things in the culture, language challenges, working through a few team things, learning to live with a 6yr old and a 4yr old (who are ALWAYS around), Spiritual battles, the heat, missing friends and family back in the States (you will notice I did not say back home - we DO feel like this is home), the heat, electricity issues, dealing with policy changes that are different than expected/during our last term here, the heat, communication issues and a few other things, the wall is here. We are learning to persevere through most of these things, although the heat and power cuts can be difficult at times, the Father is good and has been helping us get through them.
We have longed for a time of refreshing and rest, and life can be tough sometimes here, and that has not been afforded us just yet due to a variety of reasons. We are learning to take some day breaks and are planning a trip to the capital for a week for our anniversary. Part of that time I will try to use as a sort of Spiritual retreat and plan on having a REAL date with my wife and take the kids to the beach a day or two. Please continue to lift us up as we face this wall and find other creative ways to deal with some of these issues.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
On New Year’s Eve we heard that our crates had arrived in country 2 weeks early and we were waiting for them to arrive!! The next week they arrived at our house, but we did not know they were on the way here. We were a little unprepared but we had lots of help from a few friends. We spent the next week trying to get things unpacked and finding a home for everything, which we are STILL trying to do. That next weekend our teammates arrived in country, and then they arrived later that week in town after an adventurous trip down. We took a week off from language to help orient our new team members, and Mariama suffered from a stomach illness but is now feeling much better. She has learned to not drink the water here, and that includes the bath water. This last week found us back in language full force as we prepare for our approaching language evaluations.
That is a short, quick glimpse of our lives this past month. So what is going on in your life??
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Back to my story; While walking through my neighborhood on my way into town today, as usual a child saw me and called out “toubaco” which means white person. Now I know what you are thinking, how rude, there is no way we would just call out something like that in
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Every thing you see here is HAND made. That means NO electrical equipment AT ALL was used. Just hand saws, tape measures, hand planers, it was routed by hand using planers and a piece of sandpaper as well as ALL sanded with a piece of sandpaper and their hands. This is all truly a work of art to watch and to see the final product. An interesting side note is that while I worked at Kirkland's Home in the States, I sold a chair similar to this, but for a LOT more and not near as nice as these.
I sat for over an hour and watched these guys hand measure some wood while looking at a diagram and mark up the long plank to be cut. Then, in order to "clamp" it down, they had a boy sit on one side, near the work table as they started to cut the wood. No big deal you would think, except that they were trying to cut the plank down the middle, lengthwise. The guy cutting it was standing at the end he was cutting and carfully watched every stoke of the hand saw as he pushed it through. I watched another guy, the guy whose shop it is, as he carefully hand planed the edges off of a stool that he was making for us. He did not rush, but rather took his time and payed close attention to every pass of the planer. Only after he was satisfied with the smoothness of the edges did he grab a well worn piece of sandpaper and start to use it, followed by a finer grain of sandpaper to finish it all off. After seeing the attention he paid to the details of a stool, I was even more impressed with the beauty of the furniture that we got. Then of course there was the hand carried delivery they offered as they carried all 4 pieces to our house a block away.
This reminded me of Eph. 2:10 "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." The attention that these guys paid to the things they were making is NOTHING compared to the attention God paid when He created you and me. If He is going to pay that kind of attention to something, you can rest assured that he did not create no junk AND that he has a purpose for you in this life. He gave all of Himself to ransom you and He has not stopped working and perfecting you or me. He has called each one of us to give Him our all and to be used for His glory. Our chairs, while they are beautiful to look at, if that is all we did and never sat in them, they would not live up to their full potential. You are the same way, if you shelve yourself rather than "getting into the game" and never share His love with anyone, than you are not living up to your full potential either. Remember, If you are a Believer and a Follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, than you ARE called to be a minister no matter where you work, what you do, have done or will do.
Be what God has crafted you to be!!
Monday, November 02, 2009
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Stay tuned for more stuff soon!!!!
Friday, November 03, 2006
Our trip to the village part I
Following our trip to a few villages this last weekend, I thought that I would write about our experiences here rather then take up a whole newsletter. I am VERY glad that we asked you to be praying for us, because as it turned out, we would need your prayers more then we ever imagined, especially the first day of our trip.
A little background information on Islam here in
My friend A, whose village we went to first, is not only part of this sect, but his whole village, of @ 1000 people, is a Mouride village. I knew he was, and in spite of that, we have formed a sort of friendship and he has been a big help during our time here to become familiar with the culture of
This was the way that the rest of the visit would go. There were even times that my friend left us alone while he visited briefly with a few friends or his religious teacher. While normally, children will almost fall over themselves to play with William and Mariama; his main playmates the whole time were the chickens and the goats that he chased after. There was one boy who played with him after we pulled out his soccer ball, but that lasted all of about 20 minutes, and then William was seen kicking the ball by himself. When we went to visit A’s friends, we always had to pass by and greet his religious leader, where you could cut the spiritual darkness with a knife. That night, we did not sleep well due to the spiritual activity. Actually, after fighting with sleep for about 5 hours, I asked God to have our prayer warriors praying for us and covering us with prayer, only then did we get any rest that night. So thank you for the coverage and protection.
That next day we arraigned to meet our friends in the next place we were going to a day early. The whole time we were there, both kids were fussy and did not sleep well, not even a good nap. We were only about 2 minutes out of the village before Mariama fell asleep and slept for over and hour, William lasted about 30 minutes before sleeping for about an hour. We later realized that this village is about 1 hour west of the town of
Thank you for your coverage, and if you were one of the ones that God impressed to pray for us on Thursday evening, especially from about 9pm central time on, I would be interested in knowing that. Thank you for your prayers. To see how the rest of our trip went, see part II below.