Sunday, June 22, 2008

Modeste church photos

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sarah praying at Modeste Church

From left: Christine, Ashley, Gavin, Sarah

From left: David, Sarah, Christine, Kira

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gavin preaching at Modeste

Gavin Johnson and Mike Farho

Gavin did a great job preaching for the folks at the Modeste C&MA Bambara Church. It was a fun service for all of us, with lots of fantastic music and even gifts for each team member. The team is working at raising funds for this Bambara Church. It is exciting to see a church of meager means reaching out and building bridges of love to their Muslim neighbors. The primary ministry they've started is a tiny elementary school.


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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Modeste church worship

Sue Farho leading the team singing in Bamabara

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Building benches at Modeste

David Bebee and John Farho

We just noticed that we don't have any photos here at the blog about the building of the 28 benches. Our goal was 30, but we ran out of wood. One of our boards split down the middle since we bought it. The guys did a great job. The benches came out beautiful.


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Friday, June 6, 2008

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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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Meeting Daniel on the Beach

Our first day at Grand-Bassam we stopped by the beach to see what it was all about after we put our things in our rooms. While I was sitting on a bench a few vendors walked by trying to sell their respective items. I started talking to a few and ended up talking to Daniel and his friend. Daniel is the one on the right of the picture and his friend is on the left. Daniel is a Christian living in Grand-Bassam selling soccer jerseys along the beach to people that are at the local resorts. His friend is a Muslim, but agreed with all that me and Daniel said about the grace of God and what the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ means to us. Overall it was a very interesting conversation and I invited them both to come see the Jesus film, which we were showing the next night in a nearby village, Modeste. The next night Daniel came by to see the Jesus film and brought another friend of his. I encourage you to pray for the Christians in Cote d'Ivoire, that they would stay strong in their faith and be willing to share what they believe with those around them.


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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A legacy in our lives

Thank you all for your prayers and support of the 8:08 Cote d’Ivoire team! The trip went extremely well. Our time was filled with everything from painting at an Alliance seminary to building benches and repairing walls for a village church to teaching English at an orphanage to Evangelism in the city. It was a great trip filled with great ministry. I’m especially thankful for our friends in Abidjan, Mike and Sue Farho. They did an outstanding job arranging the details of the trip and hosting the team. They worked hard to plan out every detail, ensuring that this trip would be a legacy in the lives of the students and the lives of those touched by their ministry in Cote d’Ivoire.

I have many stories to share about the great things the team saw God do and would love to share them with you if you’d like. However, I must say that the most rewarding part of the trip for me was to see 8 extremely gifted, intelligent, mature college students come home with a new passion for missions and God’s heart for the world. I can’t wait to see how God will use them all and their educations from civil engineering to culinary arts to nursing to further His Kingdom in the future!


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Monday, June 2, 2008

reflect on your trip - photos

Hey everyone! Its been a day and a half since our plane touched down at epply airfield and 5 of our team returned. Please keep Christine, Dina, Ashley, and John in your prayers as they return in the next week.

This has been my fourth time returning from a missions trip and it always is the same. You find yourself caught somewhere between a very intense and exciting situation and what you feel is a normal life. This has always been difficult for me as it has for others. It, however, is a key time where you reflect on your trip and draw upon lessons learned, deciding what impact that has on your life here in Omaha. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we all transition back to the states in the next several weeks!

As promised, here are some more links to pictures:

Album 6 - 51 photos of the highway sights, orphanage, and the work at the Modeste C&MA church

Album 7 - 28 photos of Modeste C&MA church, beach and pool at Grand Bassam hotel

Album 8 - 51 photos of the orphanage

Album 9 - 33 photos of orphanage, crocodile farm, Modest church benches and highway sights

Album 10 - 21 photos of ice cream, baptisms, streets, airport

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Finished Modeste Church Pulpit and Walls

John and I went to Modeste today with Pastor Daniel to finish the work there. We also needed to pick up my generator and Daniel's carpenter tools. John and Pastor Daniel worked on the pulpit, while Dramane and I repaired all the rotten parts of the walls. Daniel was grateful for the speed square that Gavin left for him. We worked hard, hot, and non-stop to our late lunch at about 1:30 PM. Then we washed up and ate lunch, rice and cabbage sauce with hot peppers. It was yummy!

Daniel and John are nailing the first side piece to the pulpit.

The finished product. There still may be some varnish or paint work.
Left to right: Pastor Daniel, Dramane, John and Mike Farho
Don't believe the clock on the wall. It was actually 1:30 PM

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dramane, David and Gavin with new benches

We made a quick stop at the Modest C&MA Church this afternoon on our way home to Abidjan from the crocodile farm. The head elder, Dramane, was there and we got this photo of some of the benches that the team made. Dramane, Dave and Gavin are sitting on a new bench. More benches are stacked up behind them.

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beautiful africa

Overall the scenery here is amazing. Even though it is pouring outside right now it still looks beautiful out. It's a mixture of green plants and red mud. i feel bad for all the people we saw on our way back to Abidjan walking in the rain. Our time in Grand Bassam was awesome and as i look back on helping in Modeste and at the orphanage i feel a great sense of contentment with how God used us all. Thanks for all your prayers during the whole trip, traveling is pretty rocky and dangerous because of huge potholes so we needed all the prayers we could get.


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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My African Birthday

Let me start out by just saying that my 20th birthday has most likely been one of the best (if not THE best) birthday I have ever had!

Saturday, May 24th, was my 20th birthday and what a birthday indeed. It's not every year that a Nebraskan gets to spend her special day ocean side, on the beach, surrounded by palm trees, all the while being able to serve others with love only given by Holy Spirit himself!

The day started off with an excellent breakfast of pain au chocolat (chocolate filled croissants), fresh pineapple, freshly squeezed orange juice, and fresh mango preserves to top off toasted french bread!

After breakfast the whole team had a group devotion on Acts 4 led by Gavin that was so great! We talked about how we need to continually ask the Holy Spirit to fill us so that we can do and say all that He wants. We are continually growing, but are we growing in ourselves, or in Him?

We then headed off to Modeste where the guys began building benches and all us gals broke out the coloring books and crayons for the children of the village. Many of the children had never even seen a crayon before and so we showed them how to color the pages with the different colored crayons. They were so delighted.

After a while more and more and more kids kept coming and wanting coloring book pages. When they would be done coloring one page they would come and give it to me and in return I would tear out another blank one for them to start on. It was so fun to see them get such a kick out of it!

I was then showed one of the lady's kitchens, which consisted of a metal pot over a coconut leaf fire. Ashley translated to me that the lady had told her that during the rainy season it's very hard to get a fire started since the leaves are hard to get dried. The men will usually go out on the weekends to collect the leaves that have dropped to the ground since it's hard to get them off the tree.

Back at the hotel we had lunch and Mike presented me with a gift from the whole team. The most perfect gift: a silver chain necklace with the shape of Africa. There is a small metal dot that was molded to it where Cote d'Ivoire is. I absolutely love it and will cherish it forever. What a great reminder of my time here.

That evening we went back to the church at Modeste where we showed the Jesus Film in Bambara. Christine wrote a blog about that, so I'll let you read what she has to say about it.

My birthday was absolutely magnificent, and I couldn't ask for anything more.


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Monday, May 26, 2008

God holds off the rain

we were getting ready to headed back to the church in Modeste in the evening when it started down pouring. it wouldn't have been so bad if we weren't planning on showing the Jesus film outside. all of us started praying in our rooms for God's will to be done whether that was to postpone showing the film or stopping the rain so we could go ahead with our plans to show it that night. as we were praying i could hear the rain get softer and softer. it was amazing. God obviously wanted the film to be shown. when we got there they had the screen set up (a white sheet) and benches on both sides for people to sit on. the kids of the village all piled on the benches. they sat so close together it was really cute. A lot of the adults in the village also came and sat more towards the back. Dina had a little boy sit next to her and kept his little hand on her the whole time.

Although it sprinkled a little in the middle of the movie and we had a few technical difficulties all went well. the people's eyes were glued to the screen (especially the children). One of the coolest things was when people would start clapping and cheering at certain parts of the film. Two women in the village accepted Christ and were at church on Sunday. As i looked at the row of boys i was thinking, "what if these boys are the future leaders of the Bombara church?" It was an experience i'll never forget.

The film touched my heart as well. As i was watching i found myself getting mad at the people who were beating up on Jesus and then the verse "then i hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers" came into my head and i remembered that i'm one of those people. Jesus died for me and my sins and i need him just as much as the people in the village of Modeste. I hope the film brings more and more fruit in the village as people talk about it and remember the message it brings.

Right after everything was done it started to rain.

- Christine

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Deserving of more than just two thumbs up.

Our guys are hard at work, even as I write this, to bless the CMA church of Modeste. Saturday was our first day in the village, where the church is, and the beginning of hard core labor. The church is a main meeting place for all different kinds of events, celebrations, services, and the like, and so are in great need for a bunch of benches. Mike, Gavin, Stephen, David, and John began to construct 30 benches for the church on Saturday morning. They hoped to get done, but after constructing about 8 during the morning and afternoon decided it would not be possible to finish until today.

They began with a early start, as i sent them off with the sack lunches I made for them the night before. :) (Peanut butter on Lebanese flat bread, apples, etc.) They said they would rather do that than have to stop and break for lunch!

We are so proud of the hard work they have been doing and the buckets of sweat that have drenched many of their t-shirts. They will be much deserving of a dip in the ocean or ocean water pool this evening! :)

Please pray for their uplifted spirits and that they continue to keep a positive outlook on the reason why they are working so earnestly.


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Coloring in the village

After we got to the village in Modeste and greeted all the women we spent some time coloring with the children of the village. some of the kids had never even held a crayon before. They sure loved coloring though. they went through an entire coloring book and after they would get done with a page they would bring it back to us and ask for another so we now have tons of pages of colored pictures from the kids. One little girl just sat there with her crayon and blank page, not knowing what to do. She watched as her older sister and the other kids colored. Sarah and I kept talking about whether or not she was going to give it a go and finally after a long time thinking about it she did and once she started with her brown crayon she colored that whole page. She was so adorable.

The village is like what i would expect from an African village. There were clothes hanging all over the place and little shacks made out of palm tree leaves and wood. what these people had was practically nothing. they also had scrawny chickens roaming around and a couple sad looking dogs. Although they don't have much the people are so kind and have a contentment about them. I think the reason I love spending time with the kids is that their spirit is always so uplifting. They're smiling all the time and are more than willing to help. I think it's easiest to communicate with them even though i don't know the Bombara language because they pick up on hand motions and can read our facial expressions. It was fun bonding with them using a bag of crayons and a coloring book.


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Arrival, Children's Laughter, and His Love.

This weekend we arrived at Grand Bassam and it has been so glorious! To start off, our hotel is right on the beach and is so much more than I could ever expect! God's creation is so wonderful! Palm trees everywhere, the roar of the ocean is a dream to fall asleep to, the humidity is thick but I'm used to it by now. It has rained daily, which is to be expected considering it is the rainy season, but it is warm rain and I have enjoyed walking through it.

Saturday night we went to the girls orphanage and they sang us a few welcome songs, yelled out some English words, such as counting from 1-10, and American celebrities. They were exuberant when their teacher told them that we came to teach them English! I wish you could have heard the loud cry of excitement that was released from their mouths at that moment.

After eating dinner with them that night we played games and colored with them beginning to teach some English. I colored with a group of girls and went over colors. Brown and purple were a bit challenging, in regards to pronunciation, but they are eager and kept trying and trying.

I love their smiles. Every time we go there (we've been back a few times since) the same five or so gals immediately spot me out and run to give me the most ginormous hugs and cling to me so that I can barely walk. I don't mind, though. This kind of love and excitement shows a perfect example and reminder of how I should cling to Christ. He comes, with open arms to receive me, and He loves it when I run to greet him and cling to him with no sight of letting go.

The children are teaching me more than I am them, even though they may not realize it. Please pray for them and our ability to reach them with the undying love of Jesus in the next few days we are there.


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Friday, May 23, 2008

and we're off

today we leave for grand bassam. we're going to go and bless a church by building some benches for them and also we get to help out at an orphanage. i'm really excited to meet the people in the village and especially the kids at the orphanage. stephen made a comment yesterday that as attached as we got to the kids at the seminary, who have families, how much more are we going to get attached to the kids at the orphanage.

the farhos have been amazing hosts as we have stayed in their house the last few days. if you have anytime please send them a message or comment thanking them for taking such great care of us. it overwhelms me their love for Jesus and their willingness to serve us. it's no wonder they are doing great things here being so centered on Christ.

please pray for our travels and the hearts of those we will meet in the coming week.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New bench for Modeste Church

Modeste church bench
Draraman and Pastor Daniel making the 1st bench. This bench will be the model for the 29 additional benches that the team will build.

Modeste church bench
How many people can you fit on a 6 foot pew at your church?


Modeste Church from highway

Modeste church
Modeste Church view from the highway between Abidjan and Grand Bassam

I'm here with Pastor Daniel, starting the work on the 30 new church benches. We're making sure the materials are all correct and that the generator can power the circular saw. We're building one model for the team to copy. We'll be back next week with the team, painting, repairing and building benches. Saturday night the 24th, we'll be showing the Jesus Film in Bambara. Then Sunday the 25th, Gavin will preach and we'll celebrate communion.


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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Modeste Church School

The Modeste C&MA Church desires to reach their community with the Gospel. We had a meeting today with the church elders and pastor John.

C&MA Modest Church School
School in background, pastor John on left.

They started this little school for children too poor to go to the government school. If we get enough donations to the CCC team support, we would like to improve this school building with walls and a roof. Let us know if you would like to make a donation to the team support for this school.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Modeste church back door

Modeste village C&MA Church
View from northwest of the Modeste village C&MA Church.

This is one of the "portable chapels" built by C&MA pastor Ralph Herber, nearly 20 years ago. The idea is for the church to put up cement block walls when they later have enough resources. The congregation recently spent all their savings to replace the tin roof. The doors and some of the walls and benches are starting to rot and need to be replaced or repaired.

We would like to replace the walls with brick. But we need permission from the government authorities. This is an area that could eventually become a new housing complex, so we might only be able to repair the facility.


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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Front of the C&MA Modeste village church

Orphanage sign
Pastor John Traore and one of the elders measure the church. We are considering replacing the wood walls with cement block.


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