Monday, April 25, 2011

Impatient These Days

Hi folks,

It’s Monday after Easter. We’re getting used to celebrating holidays here in Liberia, but we have to say that we’d loved to have been worshipping our Great God with friends and family yesterday.

We’re headed into the home stretch before our vacation. In 3 weeks we’re hopping a plane bound for Paris for a couple of weeks of much needed rest thanks to some very generous friends. We’re feeling a little impatient about the next 3 weeks. After 6 months of being stretched in every area we are in desperate need of some space to rest and get perspective.

I hope you read last Wednesday’s post about Kyle’s uber awesome well sighting abilities. It really was a highlight of our time here in Liberia to drive out to the camp and find that the drillers had hit substantial water at one of the sights Kyle selected. I’ve got a couple of videos from the day that I will upload while in France.


No news to report for this coming week. We are working away and the work as usual is “plenty”. God is moving in our hearts and we are trying to sort through the meaning of what He is saying. That in and of it’s self is a full time job. Nonetheless, He is good and has given us much during our time here. Things that right now we are too much in the middle of all of this to see.

We appreciate everyone’s prayers. Please keep them coming!

Weekly Prayer Needs:

Pray for wisdom as we make important decisions for the future.

Pray that we would continue to be healthy (Praise God that we have not had any sicknesses so far!)

Pray that we would be sensitive to the Spirits leading as we minister to those around us.

Pray for us to be energized over the next few weeks and run hard until our break!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Drilling Success!

About a month ago Kyle sighted wells for the refugee camp in Bahn. Yesterday we made  a trip out to see how the drilling was going. Well, we picked the right day to go. We arrived at the camp to find the drillers had hit a major fracture yielding more than the amount that they need! Needless to say Kyle was more than happy with the success! Here are a couple of pics. of Kyle talking to the drillers! Note: the groundwater spewing out!



Monday, April 18, 2011

Time Lapse

You know those videos where they speed up time and show you a 24 hrs. of a bustling city in 30 seconds? That’s kind of what life feels like here. Last week I talked about the lessons we’ve learned in 6 months of being here. I don’t think either of us can believe that we’ve been here 6 months already. It’s a crazy feeling!

Last week was an eventful week! The largest EQUIP supported health facility, Saclepea Comprehensive Health Center, had a staff strike! The strike was against the Ministry of Health not EQUIP, but it still effected us because Saclepea is a large facility (80+ staff, in-patient and out-patient, maternity and isolation wards for TB and Lassa Fever). We had to make sure that critical patients were cared for and transferred if there was a need. At this point the strike is still going on, but is supposed to be suspended for one week while county health officials and the head of the Ministry of Health try to work out the issues.

Thanks so much to those of you who spent time in focused prayer for Ivory Coast. Last week French forces arrested Laurent Gbagbo and turned him over to the forces of the opposing side. I haven’t heard what they decided to do with him, but it didn’t seem to help the overall violence in the country. The bottom line is that this conflict is along tribal lines. That makes it a perfect storm for widespread genocide no matter who is in charge. Please continue to pray.

This week we continue to tackle the beast that is meeting the water and health needs of Nimba County. We pray that we do this with the Gospel on our lips and in our hearts. We also turn our eyes toward the death and resurrection of our Savior- He is after all the reason we are here. We pray that Easter will be alive in your home, but more so in your heart. We pray that we all would experience Easter in the dusty corners of our hearts that need cleaning out (hopefully you won’t find any hand sized spiders like I do here!).

Weekly Prayer Needs:

Pray for our hearts to be focused on the Gospel.

Pray that we would run with endurance this crazy race.

Pray that our marriage would be guarded and guided by God.

Pray for all of the little projects that we are invested in here. Pray that there would be fruit and that we would have wisdom as to how to continue.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What We’ve Learned So Far…

We’re inching up on the half way mark of this journey. I thought it might be good to make a post about the things that we’ve learned thus far.

First, let us revisit why it is we came here in the first place. Well, our first reason was of course our belief in the Gospel and it’s ability to transform hearts, minds and lives. We still firmly believe in this calling for every believer’s life, not just our own. Our second reason was to explore foreign, long term missions as a calling for our life. We have indeed plumbed the depths of this concept during our time here. We are confident in the fact that there are few things more important than carrying the Gospel to the ends of the earth in Word and deed.

That brings me around to the things we’ve learned over the last 6 months of this journey:

  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the ONLY thing worth living and dying for- not clean water, not good health care, not anything this world can offer.
  • We can live (without killing each other) in 90 degree year round heat, without running or hot water, unidentifiable disgusting smells, and limited electricity.
  • An irreverant older woman (as described in Titus 2) is a woman who you hear before you see as once said by Voddie Bocom – we’ve observed this to be true thanks to our neighbors
  • We love Liberians in all their frustrating, puzzling at times, quirkiness. Speaking Liberian English is one of the most fun gifts of this journey. Although it has taken it’s toll on our once verbose vocabulary. (o.k. maybe not too big of a toll- I did just use verbose in a sentence!)
  • We’re headed back to the U.S. at the end of this with a clearer understanding of the struggle of missionaries all over the globe and have a deep passion to motivate the Body of Christ to take hold of a renewed vision for the work of the Gospel all over the world.
  • We’re unbelievably blessed in America- I don’t mean this in a trite, just got back from a two week mission’s trip, sort of way.  I speak this from the depth of my experiences here and through eyes that have witnessed a woman nearly bleed to death from a complication that would have never happened in America. Eyes that have seen mats on dirt floors where women push out new life and lose their own.
  • “You don’t have to be successful, you just have to be faithful.” We’ve come to know the words of, EQUIP International’s Director Barrie Flitcroft, to be abundantly true as this journey has thrown us more than our fair share of curveballs.
  • We realized that some of the most needy people in the world are not poor Africans living in huts. They are broken people just like you and me trying to run after jobs and worldly success to fill a gaping hole in their souls.
  • We now have gained the ability to dwell alongside of the world’s most frightening creatures- once you’ve found a green mamba in your bathroom a household roach is like child’s play.

I could go on listing for days the way God is teaching our hearts, stretching our sanity and reshaping our lives to reflect more of Him and I think those are lessons worth the journey.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Prayers for Ivory Coast

Quick Update:

Last week went as usual with the exception of Kyle’s Birthday! (just in case you hadn’t heard!) Many of you will be receiving our newsletter this week. Much of the information is pulled from our rantings on our blog, but other pieces are (including a few pics for your fridge!) straight from our heart. Those of you who get our newsletter- read it, enjoy it, and post in on your fridge and remember to pray for us!

In other news…

The refugee situation continues to change and there are differing reports coming out of the Ivory Coast. At one point there were reports of a surrender on the part of the defeated, former president. Then there were reports that Gbagbo has not surrendered and was simply using it as a ploy to re-arm his troops. Meanwhile, thousands continue to flood into the more Southern Counties of Liberia. We’ve been extremely aware of the lack of press that this is making in light of events in Japan, across the Middle-East, Libya and now Nigeria. The situation needs much prayer- the future of the country is unclear, but there is one thing that is clear- many are suffering.

So this week I thought I might call upon everyone that reads this blog to spend a few minutes praying for the situation. I know it’s really easy to read the stories on the BBC or read our blog and say to yourself, “What a sad thing that is happening in the Ivory Coast!” and then go on with the day. I’m saying that to myself just as much to anyone that reads this blog. The fact of the matter is that this is a real matter of prayer for us here. We pray that this week it might be a matter of prayer for you, your small group, your ladies Bible study, men’s prayer breakfast, etc…Lift the people of the Ivory Coast up to our Father this week.

Pray for peace. Pray for mercy. Pray that the violence would end. Pray that through this suffering many might come to know the Father.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. Karrrrllllll

Yes, today marks 30 years of life for Kyle. He’s never been big on Birthdays, but I love them and always try to make a big deal out of his! I’ve shared 7 of those years with him and for that I am so thankful. He’s my best friend, my husband and the only person in whole wide world that I would want to be on this journey with.

I bought him this:


I also made him a video that I will upload for everyone to see when we go on vacation next month! Let’s just say that Liberian’s sing Happy Birthday about 500 different ways.

Leave him some love on his facebook and the blog today.



Tuesday, April 5, 2011

TOMS Ain’t Got Nothin’ on Us

So most people know about TOMS shoes. Ya know, the hipster shoes that are not in reality that cute, but cost a bundle which is justified by the fact that a child in the third world (presumably barefoot) gets an equally ugly pair of shoes whenever you buy yours. Kind of cruel if you ask me.

I’m not bitter. Really, I’m not.

Here’s the point, we’ve told you about the boys that live in the leprosy/TB community and make carvings, baskets and other crafts. Well, we have a system with them that we help them out with small money once a month in exchange for some of the best pieces that they can make. Last month we gave them their “contracts” and their small money. They know that technically they aren’t supposed to ask for any more money until the next month, but there is always some reason they find to come and ask for some more. We’re used to this so it was no surprise when Elijah came to us and said (with pouty, sad eyes), “Someone stole my school shoes from my house and I need money for school shoes”. Kyle looked at his feet and said that he was wearing shoes so he didn’t see the problem. The problem was that they were slippers (otherwise known as flip flops in America) and not proper school shoes. Kyle then proceeded to inquire about where the other money went. Elijah had used it to pay his rent for the next year. Great, in theory, but in reality when you live in a place where people steal shoes from your house you should probably put some aside “just in case” something crazy happens- because crazy things do happen here! So there Kyle was denying money to Elijah for shoes- man, how anti-hipster of him.

Fast forward two weeks- the boys bring their monthly supply of carvings, baskets and the wild card-that could be anything- craft (we’ve got a lot of gifts for ya’ll when we get back- and not all of you will like them!) and Kyle went to meet them out by the gate. They always try to sell us additional items and when Elijah (Mr. I don’t have any school shoes cuz someone stole them out of my house) pulled out his most recent creation Mr. Kyle couldn’t wait to rush back to the house and dig out the needed money to make a purchase. Kyle comes back in the house where I am making dinner with a ridiculous grin on his face and announces that he has found his Birthday present (April 6th in case you are wondering- the big 3-0 for him!) and that I should go buy it for him. We dug up the money and I sent Kyle back out to buy it for fear that I would get roped into buying something else.

I’ve learned that Kyle’s taste is well…how do I put this delicately…interesting.

It came as no surprise when he came back through the gate carrying this:



Yes folks, a duck/basket- dasket if you will- constructed out of palm. It’s actually quite amazing. Our friends here thought it was pretty awesome and we all agreed that it was kind of like something you would find in Ten Thousand Villages. So there it is folks. We got a dasket and Elijah got his new shoes. Kind of brings a tear to your eye.

Really though, TOMS are ugly, overpriced shoes. I’m gonna have to check on Elijah’s purchase and make sure they are decent, durable, sensible looking shoes- and I draw the line when he starts asking us to buy him girl’s jeans. Please don’t leave comments defending TOMS. I’ve linked to their website about a million times so that should be enough to prove that we’re not trying to steal business from TOMS.

Although we will take orders for daskets.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Short Week

We had a short one last week because we stole a couple of days of rest at the beginning of the week- but somehow when you have a short week it always ends up being crazier in the end. You have to cram 5 days into 3 days! We’ve come to expect this and we are hanging on here in Liberia with each passing week and standing in awe of God’s ability to sustain through even the most unexpected of situations. It doesn’t take being a missionary in the middle of nowhere Liberia to experience God’s grace and sustaining love in our lives. I hope that you’re experiencing that right where you are.

Staff meeting, spiders, new faces, lots of laughter, even more headaches and a few bumpy car rides, Liberian English ruining our vocabulary…that just about sums up the week.

This week Kyle heads back out to New Yourpea to finish a few things on the water system that he installed a couple of weeks ago. Plus, someone (and it isn’t me!) has a Birthday this week. He doesn’t really want to talk about it, but personally I do, because he’s a great man and 30 is not something to cry over- not that he’s been crying over it just misting a little bit- and I think that 30 is going to be the best decade yet for us! I’m not going to mention that I have a couple of years left in my 20s…that makes him feel bad. phhhhttttt…Leave him some Birthday love on the blog this Wednesday and read tomorrow’s post to find out about his Birthday present.

Weekly Prayer Needs:

Pray for us as we travel this week

Pray for rest and endurance to continue this race.

Pray for our marriage as we struggle to carve out time for one another here.

Pray for those that we serve and serve with to see and hear the Gospel clearly.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Franklin Graham Festival

I wanted to share this link for those who are interested. I know may of you are involved with the yearly Operation Christmas Child project through your churches so I thought you might enjoy reading about this recent event. Samaritan’s Purse (who has a very active work in Liberia) hosted a month long Festival of Life all over the country during the month of March.

Franklin Graham visited along with another evangelist, R.V. Brown, from the U. S. They travelled to many rural areas to do crusades (including Ganta!) and capped the month off with a 3 day long crusade in Monrovia. Along the way Franklin Graham attended the dedication of the newly rebuilt African Bible College. From what we’ve heard the event was a great success and God was honored through this event! Check it out!

Read more about this great event and how God is using it in Liberia!

Samaritan’s Purse/ Festival of Life 2011

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