We Remember

This day, Memorial Day, I hope we all will at least take a few minutes to think about the sacrifices made so that we can be free. Men and Women that gave up so much because they believed in what America stands for  of speech, freedom of choice, and the freedom of religion – to worship without the fear of retaliation. I look at the world today and I am so sad for all the veterans, whether they actually fought in a war or enlisted because they believed they could make a difference. I am sad because we have a president that has spit in their faces, a country that doesn’t want our flag that represents the free and the home of the brave. Younger generations don’t even know where those words come from because a few people want to change our history. Take away our freedom of speech, of choice and the freedom to worship our God. To be a Christian is now to be an enemy. This is a country founded on God’s Word even though this world is trying (and apparently doing a pretty good job of it) to convince us that it wasn’t. I’ve been to D.C. and I’ve seen the old buildings of marble and stone that have scripture engraved in them. Now we are expected to give up all of our rights to people who hate us, that want all America has to give but really don’t want to give back to America. It saddens me to think of all of the deaths, all of the suffering and all the families left behind with sacrifices made and younger generations that don’t know, don’t care and have become selfish. The Bible says –

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,  then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

That is the only way we will get through this world, this mess it has become, to accept the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross and change the direction of your life. I’m not sure this country can be turned around but I am sure that when we accept Christ and what He did, there will be healing in our own hearts. There will be eternal life in a world where we are all equal in Christ, where there is no more pain and no more tears. I dream of that day and can’t even comprehend what it will be like. Heaven!

So, today, remember the soldiers and the veterans and their families who sacrifice and have sacrificed so much. And remember the sacrifice that was made so we can live through Jesus Christ our Savior.

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Go

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things” However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.   Romans 14-17

You don’t have to go to another country to have beautiful feet. Your neighbor needs the good news, your co-worker needs the good news and the stranger you meet needs to hear the good news of good things.

The Help

I do not like cooking, I do it for my family. I do it because I get hungry. But I don’t like to do it! Here, I have learned to not only cook but to cook from scratch. But it sometimes is an all day thing. Christian does fix breakfast for himself and Raelee – they usually get up at daylight and although I do too sometimes, for the most part I don’t get up until 7-9ish! But lunch and supper are on me. So, there are ALWAYS dishes to be done. This cooking from scratch thing seems to take many dishes for me! I feel like that’s all I do sometimes is plan to cook, cook, and do dishes! Some days it seems like we just got lunch finished and I get asked whats for dinner. If I am doing something else time gets away and I find it is supper time and I have nothing quick to fix. I am getting ready to do freezer meals and cook a lot of meals and freeze them. We will see how that goes!

Okay, to the point of my venting! Since we got here I have had a girl, Sophia, that does our laundry. That I am so thankful for because laundry by hand and cooking and cleaning would definitely drive me over the edge! Christian hasn’t wanted me to have anyone else in the house because he likes his privacy. Sophia has proven many times her honesty and work ethic. A big bonus is she speaks pretty good English. So I asked her if she would add doing dishes twice a week, that way maybe I can do all the other things I need to do in a day without having to worry about that everyday. Her friend has been sweeping and mopping the church building on Saturdays so I added two days a week to sweep and mop our new home. It is a lot of floor to clean and in the rainy season it really has to be cleaned everyday! It has been a week now and I have to say I am loving it! I have always wanted to say “The help will be here tomorrow” And my family will attest that housework is not my strong suit!

Sophia
Sophia
Becca
Becca

Becca sweeps, mops, generally anything I ask of her and shakes her booty! Apparently she has never cleaned anyone’s home, I have had to teach her that she has to move things to mop. When you have dirt floors and sleep on the floor you don’t naturally know what to do. I have to stop here for a moment – Mom and Robin…I’m sure you will have a good laugh at the thought of me teaching someone how to clean house but I would appreciate it if you keep your comments to yourself! I say all the time I wasn’t born to be domesticated but I try (believe me my Mama also tried to teach me)! Okay, back to Becca and Sophia. Becca usually has the baby on her back but it never stops her from shaking it. She brings her goats over everyday to feed on our grass and the other day we pulled up behind her as she was going to get them and take them home. Christian honked (his favorite thing to do to me) and she never looked back, didn’t stop, just shook it! She speaks no English so I have her come in while Sophia is here and they chatter away. I like it, listening to them carry on and laugh even though I haven’t a clue what they are talking about.

Today they were both here with their children playing on the floor. It doesn’t feel like they are invading our privacy, believe me this building is big enough to not be in the same room with them! I am so thankful that Christian changed his mind (I pretty much didn’t give him an option this time!) and now I have more time to do other things. Namely more time to focus on blog posts and homeschooling Raelee and drink my coffee before it gets cold. (No microwave to heat it back up) Plus, I pray their time with us will be a blessing and we can show them Jesus heart through our life. They are both muslim, Sophia goes to mosque every Friday. Becca I believe is in name only. Her husband came and asked Christian for a Bible but he doesn’t come to the Bible study…yet! So I pray that being in our presence and seeing our life up close and in private that they will want to know more about our faith.

Pray for Becca and Sophia, that they come to know Jesus and that we can help them to grow and walk in the light of Jesus Christ our savior.

 

Just a note…my kitchen is about done. I have a shiny sink that I love, no running water but it is nice to not have plastic buckets that had to be picked up and dumped out. Becca was trying to clean the cement off the walls – I am afraid I am going to have to paint AGAIN. After this, I will have to be paid an enormous amount of money if anyone wants me to paint!

New Friends

….”Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other
in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD is witness between you and me …    1 Samuel 40:22

As we were looking at all the farmers crops we seemed to have an entourage at every place. It always starts with one kid and before we are done there is a whole group with us! And they love to watch me take pictures, they will stand right up on me to see the screen. When I show them pictures of themselves they get so excited and laugh and point out each one. We met some parents of the farmers, I didn’t think one lady was going to let me go. She held on to my hand for so long and wouldn’t let me stand to greet her husband. One peanut farmer (Moses) introduced us to his parents. The father has a house and a few feet away his mother has her house. This usually means the father has more than one wife and there were other houses right together so I assume one or more were the other wives. It’s crazy enough to think that women have to share their husbands but right next door to the other women! Yea, glad I wasn’t born here!

Here are pictures of the people I took along the way.

Farmers

You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Psalm 128:2

Monday we went to check out some of the farmers crops. A few had asked us to come but we surprised a couple. I think that just knowing we might show up helps to keep them working hard. We went to look at some of the bean growers, two maize, and two or three peanut farmers. Everything looks so good, we are so very thankful for the rains that have been steady and the prayers that have been sent up for the success of this project. I am thrilled at how happy the farmers were that we came to see and just proud of all the work most have put in. Taking care of even one acre by yourself takes a lot of time and work. We have a lot of women that are participating and the ones we visited had such clean and cared for land. There was one farmer that hadn’t spent enough time in his working, his beans looked good but there was a lot of weeds. There is our supervisors, then the farmers have elected their own supervisors along with a Chairman of the Beans, Rice…! They are big on ceremony and heiarchy! But, it is not in any of their favor that this one has gone unnoticed. They were all very quick at getting on to him and all pulling weeds and I would bet that he gets a lot more supervised. I do think that this opportunity means so much to the farmers that the majority are working hard at getting the best they can. Our supervisor (who is in most pictures – she never misses a photo opportunity!) kept saying “This is Mandate’s money out here”. At first I thought she was saying that all of it was the money we will get back, but I realized that she and others keep that in mind – that they were given this chance and need to make the most of it to show their gratefulness.

Raelee was done after the second farmer, I was done after the fifth! I think we visited eight or nine over the course of four and a half hours. Every farmer wanted us to walk around the entire acre or two acres and a few of them we had to walk a couple of acres before getting to theirs! We had no idea it would be that long and we didn’t take water with us. Big mistake! But Daddy carried her on his back, Jenifer carried her on her back and we made it through. Raelee and I raced each other to the water when we got home!

Hopefully we will go to see some of the rice crops in the next couple days. The harvest should be the middle of June/first of July, from what we saw the some of the peanuts are close to being ready. Peanuts are G-nuts, beans are beanies, corn is maize or duma when it is on the stalk then another name after it is picked and then it is ground to a flour which is called posho. Soon we will go back to see the beanies turned red, they say the fields will really be beautiful then. I am excited to see all that has been accomplished and look forward to harvest.

Speaking of harvest – right now the avocados are ripening, mangoes following right behind and it’s the best time if you ask me! I love the mangoes and have gotten pretty good at making quacamole so I am happy. We have our own trees but people keep bringing us avocados everyday. Why don’t they bring us mangoes everyday?!

Thank you for the prayers and don’t stop now, we’re not quite there yet!

 

Ladies Of WMU…Get The Kleenex!

Sunday School went very well, though Ms Betty wasn’t there to corral the children we did alright. I knew she was valuable and needed but I really felt it when she wasn’t there. The children are continuing to grow in knowledge of the Bible but also what it means in everyday life and I am so thankful for them. I always love it at the end when they are talking and singing but when they start getting rowdy and loud it’s time for me to find something I have to do in the house!

The children are holding up their Thank You letters and below is the video for all you ladies of Good Hope Baptist Church that put your love, time and prayers into the dolls! You will be getting them in July and I know you will treasure them.

(Low resolution)

(High resolution)

Raelee’s Day

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
     Ecclesiates 4:9-10

The above picture is Raelee and her best friend Zula. He is four and the sweetest boy! I would take him in if his mama got tired of him! He is the little brother of our day guard Sharifu and he is around quite often, especially if there is food around. He is very quiet and speaks little English but I always know that Raelee is into something she shouldn’t be when he starts calling “Mama Raelee, Mama Raelee”! He doesn’t seem to mind being bossed around – most days anyway and they play very well together.

Below is Raelee taking the stray baby back home next door. The mama often comes for water at the well and leaves him over here where he stands and screams. So, we take him back home, sometimes having to walk practically in her house to get her to take him back. She is young, I know that doesn’t excuse it,and I really don’t know how many she has to take care of but I do know this kid screams night and day.

The other two pictures are the progress I have made on her bedroom wall. I now have requests for painting other peoples houses! (Houses they haven’t built yet!) And don’t worry Mike or Donny – there was no sharpies used and it is all watercolors that wash off pretty easily or painted over. No red used at all! I thought maybe that would get me out of the polka dotted wall but apparently not. She came to see it and said it was awesome and in the next breath “But where’s my polka dots!” We’ll see.

Christian is working today on the bathroom and kitchen and I hope all the concrete work will be done in the next couple days. I can’t do much of anything when they are tracking concrete through the house. I am just thankful that this time they aren’t actually mixing the concrete in the middle of the floor. We thought this past weekend we would move in but there were delays that couldn’t be helped so hopefully this weekend! Seems like we have been working on it forever but it will all be worth it when we get in it.