Sunday, June 22, 2008

Modeste church photos






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Friday, June 20, 2008

Kira with orphan girls


Kira singing with the girls


Singing was one of the best methods we used to teach English to the girls. They loved all the sons, from Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes to Jesus Loves Me. I'm just day dreaming what it will be like next time I drive out to visit the children at the orphanage. I hope they don't knock me over with hugs!

-Mike

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Team at Grand Bassam restaurant


From left: Stephen, Dina, Kira, Sarah, David, Joshua, Ashley, Gavin, John, Christine.

Everyone is playing cards while we wait for our food. This was our last supper in Grand Bassam. We ate at The Quai restaurant. The food and desserts were great. The owner of our hotel arrived and treated us to our soft drinks. Normally, we only drank bottled water. It was hard for some not to get their Diet Cokes for two weeks. We had to suffer a little bit any way.

-Mike

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kira tug-o-war


Kira is playing tug-o-war without a rope. They were having a lot of fun and having a good workout too.

It makes me wonder how the girls are doing today, two weeks after the team has gone home. Are they bored, lonely, having great dreams about the team or still having a lot of fun with each other? Probably a combination of all of the above. Most Ivorian orphanages only function during the school year. Nearly everyone has aunts or uncles that can take care of them, but attending school could be impossible. So the children only live at the orphanage during school months. When school is over, they return to live with family.

-Mike

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Lunch at orphanage


The team and Joshua at the lunch table

The talented cooks made us AFC, African Fried Chicken with rice and attieke, a fermented product made from grated manioc root. It looks similar to couscous.

-Mike

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Friday, June 6, 2008

Kira's photos

Kira posted a lot of fun photos for us to enjoy. The links below will take you to her photo albums at Facebook.com. She did a great job organizing them by category. Hope you will enjoy them as much as we do!

Africa un 39 photos of our flights, Bateau Bus, Boulay Island beach, and the Abobo Abidjan CMA Church
Location: Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, Africa

Africa deux 59 photos from the Alliance West African Theological Seminary
Location: Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, Africa

Africa trois 38 photos of days at the girls orphanage
Location: Grand Bassam, Cote d'Ivoire

Africa quatre 42 photos at the Modeste Village/Assoyam Hotel
Location: Grand Bassam, Cote d'Ivoire, Africa

Africa cinq 30 photos of last day at the orphanage
Location: Grand Bassam, Cote d'Ivoire

Africa six 22 photos at the crocodile farm!
Location: Assini, Cote d'Ivoire, Africa

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Team photo at Modeste CMA Church

The team is singing a song in Bambara for the congregation. They also sang a song in English.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Favorite photos of Gavin

Just posted 12 favorite photos of Gavin at Facebook.

May 2008 - 808 college mission team ministry from Christ Community Church

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Goodbye Team!


All but John are at the Abidjan airport for their departure to France and USA. We waited until all their bags were checked and they were off to the boarding area to leave the airport. They had problems again with getting their seats. By the grace of God they got through eventually. The plane should take off for Paris in about 10 minutes. Their arrival is about 6 AM Paris time. Those who continue on to USA Saturday will be on flight DL0043. It will depart around 11:45 AM for Cincinnati, OH. Then on to Omaha on flight DL5157 for arrival at about 6 PM. The team would be thrilled to have you there at Eppley Airfield to meet them.
-Mike

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Teaching at the Orphanage

So far it's been great here in Grand Bassam, the weather has been fairly cooperative, mostly raining at night, and the sound of the ocean at night is unlike anything I've ever heard. It's amazing to remember that it's God's creation!

Yesterday, Sunday, after going to church and eating lunch, we went to the girls orphanage and got to teach them english. We were given objects in a bag like toy plates, spoons, or just simple objects and then we'd tell them what each thing was. Once after telling them, we'd say an object and they would have to point to it and you'd keep doing it until they got each object's name right. Once they understood those objects, you would add another and mix up the order and go over it again. We also got to teach something every kid learns- head, shoulders, knees, and toes! It think they really enjoyed it although the pronunciation wasn't perfect. There was also cartoons in english to watch or play games or coloring books, but the neat thing was they really wanted to learn english. I would point to a game and they'd point to the bag of objects!

It was so much fun to teach these girls english and some songs, they really have connected with us. If you go anywhere there, they are always latched on to you, holding your hands, and it's so crazy to know how fast they've grown onto us! Everyone, really, has bonded so well with them and everything they've learned has really sunk in; it's even weird that sometimes they will surprise you with what english they know! I just hope that we're people that have made such a big impact on their lives that we won't be forgotten. The relationships God is building in us with these girls is definitely something we'll all have a part of us for years to come.

Thanks again for your prayers, it's been such a blessing to be in this position and experience everything we have already!

For all His worth,
-Kira

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oh What A Sweaty Day!

Today we put a second coat on the stairwells of the apartment building at the Seminary and touched up some on the main halls. One building down, and another to do, which we got mostly done, and there wasn't as much either. Again, we had lunch at the Livingstons, which is so nice of them to have us over to replenish us before going back out to work. It was after lunch that we started on the main building and then that it was also the hottest. Yesterday, not so bad because the hallways are open at the apartments, the main building was more closed off. The kids at the seminary are always great and so anxious to get their picture taken and see how it turned out; I even let them take pictures of each other until they would fight over it and that's where it was time to take it back.

Tonight we took a walk after dinner for some ice cream that Mike has been looking forward to probably since we arrived. It was well worth the walk! On the way there (and back for that matter) we came across something you wouldn't think would be on the street or crossing the road- it was a crab! Yes, you heard that right. It scared Dina and I think it was scared all of us too.

So far it's been great here and everyone is so kind and welcoming and I feel blessed to interact with the people. Everywhere you go you give a wave and "bonjour" and every time you see them you get closer to becoming friends.

For now,

-Kira

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Home from Ile Boulay

We had a great time on our bateau bus ride and stay at the Boulay Island beach. I was so proud of the team's great interaction with the Ivorians. They played a lot with the kids.
-Mike

The amazing journey continued today here in the Ivory Coast. Getting a look at the city in the light this morning really put us into a bit of culture shock. The kids at the beach were really fun to interact with.
-david

Today was a great day relaxing at the beach and taking in some sun, while trying not to get burned, although we all got a little too much sun. We also got to interact with some kids while also enjoying our first African meal. Delicious!
-Kira

Today was a fascinating extension of my stay in West Africa. After being so long in Koutiala, Abidjan seemed like New York City, Paris and Bamako all rolled into one. I was wondering where all of the donkey and push carts went! :) So far Cote d'Ivoire has been pretty much the exact opposite of Mali but I had a blast kickin it under the scorching Saharan sun with the team and some hungry clams. Lunch was regular West African fare - chicken, fried bananas and frites - my favorite!! I'm super excited to interact with some Ivorians over the next couple of weeks and discovering how they compare to Malians.
-Ashley

Most of us haven't had a problem with jetlag. My parents got us going this morning so we got on the sleep schedule for this time zone in no time. We just finished some singing getting ready for tomorrow at church and now we are just hanging out passing computers around. Thank you all for your e-mails. We love to hear what is going on in your lives. Keep up the praying.
-John

the kids in abidjan are soo cute! i loved writing in the sand with them and playing ping pong with some of them . although i couldn't really talk much to them i think i made some friends. even when we got done with our boat trip and got back to our cars a bunch of kids were outside and ran up to us and started shaking our hands and LOVED stephen! the Farho's have been more than hospitable, they're amazing. it's also super helpful having john with us to answer all of our questions about how to say things in French. please keep praying for more interactions with people and for the Farhos to be blessed after being such a blessing to us.
-Christine

Well, I rocked a sweet headache today from a lack of diet coke, malaria meds, and too much sun and humidity. However it was nothing that ibuprofen and a quick nap couldn't fix. Today's tour was great to get to know this great city. Kind of in sensory overload trying to take it all in but it's going to be a blast! I think that God has some amazing things planned for us so I can't wait to experience more.
-Sarah

Mike and Sue knew just what we needed today -- a day to rest after 41 hours in airports and on planes. The beach was great, the food was even better. There's nothing like seeing a chicken clucking one hour and on your plate the next hour. That's fresh chicken! Tomorrow we go to a Bambara church and the preacher is... me, I guess. They found out a pastor from the states was going to be there, so they asked if I would fill the pulpit. So, here goes nothing. I'll have a translator who will translate into both French and Bambara. We appreciate your prayers as our ministry projects begin this week.
-Gavin

As the last one to update (Stephen went to bed early) I'm having a hard time finding something new to tell you. Today was a great day! It was so nice to just relax and get acquainted with the bright African sun. Our venture, beginning out of Omaha was a rocky one for me as I forgot my yellow card with proof of immunizations that I would need to enter Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast). It was 5:00am and our plane was leaving at 5:45. I had to call my dad and ask him to find it and rush it to the airport. (We live about 30 minutes away.) He brought it just in time for it Sarah and I (the last two of our team waiting to get on the plane) to run through the terminal, the check point, and the lady at our gate yelling, "Johnson! Miller! Run faster! Your plane is leaving!" We got on just in time and off we went. After a 6 hour layover in Atlanta and a 9 hour flight to Paris another adventure took way. When we went to get our boarding passes to Abidjan after arriving in Paris they couldn't find us in their system. After many calls to Nebraska (where it was around 1:30am in Omaha) we figured it all out and 7.5 hours later we were off to Abidjan. It was interesting to drive through the crazy streets of Abidjan where there were no street rules. I was very glad I was not the driver. Last nights rest was amazing and today was a great day to unwind after a long trip. Thank you for all of your prayers and continued support. We greatly appreciate it! I can't wait to see all that God does through this adventure.
-Dina

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Team Photo at Omaha Airport

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Monday, May 5, 2008

Team photo

Mike, Sue, Joshua camel ride clothes
From left to right:
Gavin Johnson, John Farho, Stephen Matychuk, David Bebee,
Kira Marino, Sarah Johnson, Christine Gerhart, Dina Miller.
Ashley Schmidt wasn't present for the photo.

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