Chameleons and Cake (too much cake!)
June was a good month! Life here is never dull. Seems like theres always a new thing to do and more stuff to keep tabs on. Our family is well. We so appreciate your prayers over us and the way you care about us all. For the last two months, nobody has had any issues with malaria, and we praise God. Ty had it twice since being here, and it was treated quickly. We are able to take preventatives and they are working well. Connor had a few rough patches with infection that started from cuts and bug bites on his legs. Its so hard to stay clean here. We called upon our friends for prayers and got him started on antibiotics. We praise God that he is doing much better now! Connor has been reading a lot of Jules Verne books and playing yahtzee with me (Sarah). So far I win more often. Unless Ty plays. I think he cheats 😉 Finn has been a daddies boy lately and wants to go out and work with him. Wether Ty is working on the cars or the concrete at the church, Finn likes to learn and help. Lately, Sulli has been Mr.Picasso always drawing and coloring lots of pictures.
Ty and Musa have been working hard at the church and expect to get the roofs on the toilet houses in a week. The rains have started and we get some rain most every day. This can make these final stages a little difficult. In August we are expected to get four feet of rain. Since our well went dry last month the rains have been a huge blessing to us, just not the best gift for construction. Once those roofs are on, Ty will be able to get cranking on the orphanage house!
I just taught my last two art classes until September. School will be out during the heavy rains of late July and August. Its like summer break here without the nice weather 🙂 You might think it would be better to be in school when its raining. I had the pleasure of being at one of the schools during a huge rain. All those droplets on a tin roof is deafeningly loud. So now I get it! I have also been busy with the boys and the dog and the house. Someone/thing always needs taught, fed or cleaned. Can I get an Amen? 😉
The kids at the orphanage are also keeping me busy! We celebrated 6 birthdays in June!! So much fun but we are all over cake for a while. Lahai turned 14, Ya Marie turned 9, Martha turned 14, Ishmael turned 12, John turned 11 and Julie turned 7. Have I told you how much I love these kids? Only 312 times? Ok, I love these kids. They are hilarious and fun and sweet. We are excited to bring in the new 5 kiddos and show them the love of Christ. The new kids are now sponsored thanks to your prayers and outpouring! The really cool thing is if you want to come and meet these kids you are helping, we’d happily welcome you. Thats a rare gift that not many other organizations can make a reality. These kids pray over their supporters and are so thankful for their help!
In other news with the kids, we need prayers for Lahai. Boys will be boys, no matter where they live. Lahai was running around and fell on the concrete steps outside the house. The result was 3 fractures in his arm. He’s seeing a doctor and Letty, our nurse, is taking great care of him. Prayers for a complete healing are appreciated. Two of our older girls, Martha and Konnah, are fighting off infections and they would love your prayers as well. I know so many of you come here to find out how to pray and keep tabs, so thank you for that!
On Fathers day Sunday we took Musa and Jeri to the beach to celebrate their anniversary. I got to help teach Jeri to swim and baby JJ warmed up to the water a lot also! Jeri and Musa are a huge asset to the orphanage and great friends to Ty and I as well. Bondu is one of our caregivers and she’s a very special lady. She used to break rocks in a quarry all day. She’s a single mom and had to work hard to keep them all fed. This resulted in her two children, T-boy and Sia, not attending school. Since coming to the home to work, she and her kids have a place to live and the kids are in school. Last Sunday we were able to take Bondu and her kids, as well as our newest girl Ya Marie, to the beach. Now all the caregivers and kids have had the beach trip before the rains come. We loved getting to see the kids play and run, and we really enjoyed watching Bondu hopping in the waves like a little girl. She even wanted us to bury her! God is continually doing a work in her and its amazing to witness!
The older kids at the orphanage, as well as Connor and Finn, and some of the church members, are taking part in a baptism class! They are learning about the biblical significance of baptism and will have the choice to be baptized in August! We are proud and excited for this step in their walk.
We found a chameleon one day on our way home from visiting the kids. Ty jumped out and brought it back with us. So many people here think everything is poisonous, so the bystanders started yelling at Ty to leave it alone. So funny to see their disbelief when he put it in the car. We’re used to being weird to everyone though. We brought it in and admired it a few hours before making him/her (I forgot to ask what its name was. We called it Rango to be gender neutral) at home in our mango trees.
Ramadan just ended here. The muslim community observes this by fasting from food and water from sun up to sun down. We want our guard Foday to follow Christ so we would go out with lots of food each afternoon and offer him a bite if he’d turn to Jesus. IM JUST KIDDING!!! We love Foday lots and we know he would do anything to take care of our family and keep us safe. He’s a huge blessing. We really enjoy seeing him and Connor read the bible and discuss things. We pray for him to know a God who is eternal and ask you to pray for him with us. We have great muslim friends here and we lift them up in prayer often.
This Saturday we will play our last soccer game until after the rains, so long as the weather cooperates. We have loved the friendly competition and the way it allows us to meet people in the communities! We have made great relationships and we get to minister to others. A young lady last time wanted to play but did not have the attire required to play modestly. I was able to trade clothes with her to so she could play, and it also gave me a chance to show her love. I praise God for each instance like this because He is the one orchestrating it all.
Please lift up my friend Hawa. She moved away from our village a couple months ago, and she lost her son a month ago. This is common here but its never not painful. Her son was 2. I feel awful for her pain and would ask that you pray for comfort. Her sister Sarah still lives here and had a baby boy two weeks ago. 1 in every 5 babies dies here so they wont name him til hes around 3 months old. I was able to meet him and share my congratulations. Please pray for his health! (also forgive the photo of me and Hawa. I was looking for something that isnt sold in my village. She was understandably confused)
In other praises we gained 2 more supporters. We continually have new needs come up, so we can not adequately share how much of an answered prayer this is! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. We praise God for how He provides!!
As usual, there is lots of things to lift up in prayer and praise! Thanks for so much more than we can express! We are looking forward to a rainy July, and lots of projects getting completed. May God bless you all!!!