Starting to feel like home
So we have been home in Sierra Leone, Africa for 21 days now. I don’t know how far into life in a foreign country you really are home, or if you ever do. Ty and I were talking in bed, wondering out loud if we will ever feel truly like were home anywhere again. We realize that this country has, for some better and some worse, ruined us. We will never define “need” like we once did. Ignorance can be bliss. But we will also, I pray, appreciate things more than we ever once did.
With that said, we are settling into life well. We have found a routine of sorts in this place that is so maddeningly and amazingly different than anywhere you could ever go in America. The boys finished their first official week of homeschool in Africa. They did great. All of them. Even our youngest who struggles with learning as he has autism and a very small attention span. Sullivan has learned 10 of his letters completely and he knows most of his shapes and all his colors. The big boys are getting history and science this year. They have a lot of work each morning but they appreciate the routine too.
We have also started to do more work around the compound (our yard). We have tons of fruit trees and a couple vegetable plants growing here and cant wait until they produce some edible crops! The yard was super overgrown and unwalkable, but little by little Ty has been making it a nice place for the boys to play!
Outside of our house, we have been blessed with time at the Lifegate Childrens Home. Rick and Paula Miller have poured into those kids in big ways and it shows. Seeing them a couple times a week is our favorite thing to do. Ty has taught them how to play American football and baseball, I have painted with them, and the boys have made wonderful friendships with all the kids. They are a family with each another and their caregivers, and we feel blessed to be let into this family the way we have. To say we love them is an understatement.
We also have been blessed with a cab driver named Allusine. He comes whenever we call and has been very kind and helpful with all our needs. We get to share Jesus’s love with him and while he is Muslim, we know God will grow that relationship and we pray to continue to minister to him in various ways. His family was coming to see him today (its not uncommon for husbands and wives to live separately in this country) and after he returned us home from church, he brought his wife and kids to meet us. We considered this to be a huge honor and he was telling us thank you for the way we help him to provide for his family. We are able to help him because some of you support us and we need you know the impact you’re allowing us to have! Sincerely, thank you!
Today after church, there was a naming ceremony for Musa and Jeriatu’s baby boy. They are the caretakers of the Lifegate orphanage, and they recently had a baby. Babies here don’t always make it past the first couple weeks of life so people are hesitant to share the name they decide upon. This little guy is doing amazing though, and we pray many blessings into his life. His name is Jonathan Turray Junior. Named after Pastor Jonathan, one of the lifegate pastors here in Salone.
I am still working on learning Krio and I know with practice I will improve. Ive been blessed to learn from a lady down at the market named Hawa, and from the ladies in the church and orphanage. They are patient with me as I learn. Paula and her daughter Grace have also been helping me hone this skill. Their family is amazing to ours. Im including a picture of the market outside our compound:
Ty will be helping Rick with some upcoming projects for the ministry. One is putting a sign up on the road down from the orphanage and another is getting toilets placed at the church in Brigitte. Hes excited about getting some things done and being able to help Rick in all the tasks he has to do.
We have started to try to make Christmas happen in our house. Its hard here, being away from family and having it be 90 degrees. We have been blessed to make some friends in the ladies that meet every Thursday here. They are all missionaries here for different villages and callings, but meeting and sharing has been great for the boys and I. They will all be coming this week to make Christmas cookies.
To let you know how rough the wild life is here, every day I scream about seeing giant spiders and having lizards in the house. That’s just not my cup of tea, people. One bug, called a champion bug, crawled acrossed Connor and the secretions left burns on his chest and face. Now that he is all healed up, I am sharing the damage that it left. I am sharing the Before. Hes totally fine now, thank God! The boys now all sleep with mosquito nets on (though that name is deceiving as they’re “Dont touch us while we sleep ANYTHING” nets.)
We ask for prayers as we prepare for another week of life here. Please pray for us to continue to stay as healthy as we have. We have avoided malaria and stomach issues thus far, by Gods grace. We also ask for prayers as we learn the language and try to make relationships with those around us. Those relationships will allow us a chance to share the love of Christ and His redeeming goodness with all we meet. We also pray for more supporters to meet our monthly needs here. We do not yet have enough coming in to pay for our rent but we trust that if we share the need, God will bring the helpers. We love you all and are so thankful for you reading! May God bless you all.