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Archive for December, 2009

Quote of the Day

Every now and again, Our Lord lets us see what we would be like if it were not for Himself; it is a justification of what He said – “Without Me ye can do nothing.”

“But God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” Galatians 6:14

from Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest

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Christmas is a time for home and family and festive traditions. Growing up, I was the girl who specifically insisted that the nativity scene be set up on top of the ancient Velveeta box and stained green cloth as it always has been. Everything had it’s place and way to be done. And by growning up I mean every Christmas until this one. I’m not normally obsessive with details- only with Christmas. Needless to say, things are a little different now.

I don’t have the same decorations I’ve had around me all my life. I’m not with my family as they vacation in a cabin in the Arkansas Ozarks. But I am surrounded by people I love and am coming to see as family away from family. Additionally, festivities are in no way lacking. I think my schedule is the fullest it’s ever been of Christmas related activities between the different family activities and team functions. I am thoroughly enjoying the season. This may be an irony or a contradiction, but I enjoy having a better purpose this year than enhancing my own enjoyment of the holiday. I may not serve and bless the people around me as well as I’d like, but I’m given grace upon grace.

We wrapped up the first semester of teaching on Saturday the 19th with a fun Christmas party for the kids. Now we are enjoying a 2 week break full of Christmassy goodness, and a Safari on the 27th! We’ll camp for two nights and see many African animals if all goes well.

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Rather than tell you every detail of the last couple weeks, I will give description to a few select snapshots.

Snapshot #1: Vacation to Lome. The weekend after Thanksgiving we went to the capitol city of  Togo with the Miller family.  After 5 hours driving south on bumpy dirt roads, we arrived.  We wasted no time in visiting a fantastic iceream parlor (see pictures below). I’ve never appreciated or enjoyed icecream so much, after living three months in a hot place where icecream is not available.

Lome was busy, congested, dirty, full of crazy driving, and offered more modern luxuries that we have access to in Kara. We did a little bit of tourist shopping, ate in some nice-ish restaurants, and went to grocery stores. The missionaries had a few friends in town to visit, and it was nice to meet new people. We had lunch with an employee at the American embassy and his family, and spent some time with two men who used to be missionaries there in southern Togo. Murphy Crowson and Marty Koonce are names I’ve heard since freshman year at Harding, and it was a treat to meet them and hear about their current work in Rwanda. 

This is a view of the busy Lome streets.

Snapshot #2: The balance and back/neck muscles of the women in Togo continue to amaze me. Interesting things that ladies choose to put on top their head: tiny plastic bags, tens of gallons of water, 3 feet wide trays piled high with undergarments, a tub with at least 50 pots towering at least 2/3 a man’s height, a sewing machine, a dead cow head in a bowl, 2×4’s. 

Snapshot #3: Life in the apartment requires different kinds of chores than in America. Sometimes it’s refilling water-bottles from the filter at the sink with infinitesimal water pressure, laying clothes flat on the roof to dry, soaking produce in bleach water, or a more rare case like yesterday. After washing a load of laundry, the spin cycle malfunctioned. I was slopping my clothes out of the machine when a small movement in the water made me jump. After pulling out the last shirt I discovered a wee gecko swimming in my washing machine! Maybe he was getting cleaned up for a job interview. Now he’s Mr. Clean. Watch out, Geico. 

Snapshot #4: Caleb Reeves, age 3, just picked his own nose and then tried to pick Sarah’s. Life can’t be too dull with so many children in my life!

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This is our living room. My mom supplied some decorations, we found some at the market, and a missionary who went on furlough lent us his artificial tree. In this picture, the door on the left goes downstairs to the school house and the door on the right goes out to a very narrow balcony-type thing that wraps around the house.

I’m holding some christmasy crafts I made during art class with the kids.

This is our kitchen table. We had an ironworker make this candlestick holder a while ago, we found the table cloth at the market, and my sister sent me the candles. And the pineapple makes our christmas tropical. It’s really not tropical-feeling right now, it’s actually very dusty and dry due to Harmatan (season of lots of dust and slightly cooler weather blowing south from the Sahara desert.)

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