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Archive for October, 2009

Halloween Festivities

school halloween

Kara Christian Academy. That's a boy on the far left...Aidan insisted on being a girl for Halloween...and his parents let him.

les toi filles on halloween_S

painting Elijah's face_S

On Friday we did face painting during art class in honor of Halloween. Elijah is a clown.

sarah painted_S

Sarah wanted me to surprise her, so in honor of her red hair and blue eyes, I gave her a spider man spider and a spider web. Lovely, yes?

Things that gave me joy today:

Halloween boxers.

Jacque’s orange bow in her hair (actually it was my ribbon)

The children’s enthusiasm and laughter.

Doing lunges and push ups with Sarah.

Pumpkin pancakes.

Drawing.

Asher Miller using me as a sheild against the attacking Gabe Reeves.

The view from my roof in the morning.

An encouraging note from Andrea Miller. 

Laughter with 2 great friends.

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The Market

The market has several sections. This is the outside portion. They sell all manner of random things here. On the right of this picture you can see bowls with flour, rice, and other grains.

market scape_S

outside market view2_S

Next is one entrance to the inside first floor section. Here also is various grains.
downstairs market_S

This is a friendly Nigerian muslim man who sells fabrics in the market. His fabrics are different looking than the rest of what is sold. This is upstairs in the market. There is a big fabric section with several sellers. Another section has plastic ware and dishes and some kinds of clothes. More clothes are also sold downstairs inside.

Jacque buying fabric_S

The accessories isle. 🙂 (j/k, there’s lots of places with purses and shoes and stuff.)

accessories isle_S

Downstairs inside the market is produce and meet. It is darker so I couldn’t take many pictures, but this particular fruit table was under a sort of sky light break in the ceiling. 
veggies_S

The market was very overwhelming the first several times going, but I enjoy it now.

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Holding Hands

I love walking around- soaking in the surplus of sights, sounds and smells. Ok, so the smells aren’t always a joy to soak in, but overall I enjoy the storm on my senses. Colors, textures, architecture, fabric patters, animal life, vegetation and people going about their daily activities in ways so foreign to me. Navigating the dirt roads with their crevices, cracks and puddles is its’ own kind of little adventure. Smiling at passers-by with a “bonsoir” or “bonjour” almost always yields a rewarding response. Walking is one of my favorite things to do. Usually.

            Today I set off for a walk by myself while the other two girls were out. On exiting my gate, the thought popped into my head: “I wish I could just go on a walk with out being in Africa.” This surprised me a little; I haven’t felt that way at all since being here. I suppose that was one of my first true moments of culture shock. I thought about that while walking to the miniature market on our side of town (see pictures of tables with fish and Jacque buying bananas from earlier  post). I felt a kind of loneliness standing out so obviously from everyone else along the roads. It is not only that I glow, but even if I spoke French or Kabiye, I would not understand the people around me or be understood by them. I struggled the rest of the walk to push these thoughts from my mind.

            Then on the way home something precious happened. A little girl, maybe 5 or 6 years old, ran up to me smiling with arms spread wide open. I said hello in French as she shook my hand. To my surprise, she held on and started walking. She held my hand for the next 3-4 minutes, all the way to my house. I couldn’t really say much to her and she seemed happy enough to walk along in silence. At the house I said, ‘D’accord. Chez moi. Voila. Merci. Orevoir,” which means: “Okay. My house. There it is. Thank you. Good bye.”

            It was as if God sent that little girl to minister to my spirit and give answer to my feelings of loneliness. Who can feel lonely when a smiling child has taken it upon herself to walk you home holding hands? Haha J

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from Nostalgia to Glory

The following is a quote which has recently spoken to my heart and twisted it a little, too:

IF  I look back longingly upon what used to be, and linger among the byways of memory, so that my power to help is weakened, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”

One of the missionaries on the team recently had this quote (from Amy Carmichal’s book “IF”, which I actually have a copy of since a dear friend blessed me with a copy a while ago-thanks Elisabeth!) on her blog. I happened across Becky Reeves blog and was immediately convicted by the strong but sweet voice of the spirit, “This is for you to hear and receive.” I confess I’ve dwelt on homesickness on several occasions lately, mostly in relative to it being fall and the holiday season back in the states. Holidays may be approaching, but it does not FEEL like holiday season, and I have put a lot of stock in feeling festive and cozy in the past. I have depended too much perhaps on family, traditions, and familiarity. But as Becky’s blog post said, I can be so wrapped up in nostalgia that I am not as useful to serve in my present situation. Here is the link to her blog if you’re interested to read it yourself:

http://beckyreeves.wordpress.com/

God is beginning to teach me about many things: grace, humility, leaning on him for strength, listening to him for wisdom, choosing to obey and believe he has equipped me for every good work. As he said to Gideon in Judges 6:14, “Go in the strength you have… Am I not sending you?” He has sent me and he has given me strength in which to obey.

When I do trust him, he opens my eyes to the blessings and beauty around me. My heart is full. Full of desperate need for Jesus, filled with his fullness and glory.

(speaking of glory, you should read Jacque’s blog post about our trip to the Yaka waterfall. I’ve rarely seen so much of God’s power and glory exhibited in nature as on that hike! Here’s her link:     http://lifeafterharding.blogspot.com/   )

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note about internet

A note about internet: 1) I want to hear from people as much as possible. It’s extremely encouraging to have the feeling of separation from the outside world alleviated. 2) Internet is extremely unreliable. On the days that I said I would have internet (look to my schedule post) I may not in reality. That schedule is “best case scenario”. Even when the power is on, the internet may not be working. Or it may be intermittent or slow. The power goes out every other day or so for who knows how long at a time (usually not too too long). So if I’m not super available, that’s why. But don’t let that keep you from emailing/commenting/messaging. I’ll get it eventually and be very excited when I do.

Speaking of falty internet… It keeps going on and off so I’m not going to try to upload the pictures I had intended to post.

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Walk #Deux

shops_SMALLdraped window_SMALLwoman in redmetal siding zoomed_SMALLfish tables mini market_SMALL3 girls yay_SMALLj buying bananas_smallpig sign

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Taking a Walk

I took my camera out finally. These are a few of the first of many more pictures to come, hopefully. I was walking from my house to the Emerson’s house.

Some cute girls on the path. Super friendly. 

3 girls on path SMALL

pharmacy sign

a particularly trashy part of the path. it’s not all like this.
trash

a baby who was scared of me apparently

scared baby

a cool wall. and kids.

cool wall and kids

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