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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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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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

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.

-Christine

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

more than a "good" time in Africa

I have been contemplating today what I'll say when I get home. I know I'm going to have tons of people asking me "How was Africa?" and I want a better response than "good". I want to be able to share how God is changing my heart to better serve others. I want to tell about all that God is doing here, how Jesus' name is becoming famous in Africa. How at church it's overwhelming to realize that the God that lives in my heart also lives in the heart of the Ivorian sitting next to me, even though he speaks a different language and looks different and is culturally different. God knows his heart as well as mine! How awesome is our God! But how do I explain that in a quick conversation? I am thinking about that today because we are coming home soon and "good" just doesn't express it. I want Jesus to be famous because he allowed me to go to Africa and experience Him in a whole new way. I want my explanation of how Africa was to Glorify the Lord. So when I come back, ask me how Africa was, but don't just settle for "good".

- Sarah

See 50 good questions to ask Sarah

-Mike

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Painting in a Parachute

Hello from Africa on Day 4! Well I think today was the hardest we've worked since we got here. We were back at the seminary today painting the dormitory for the students. I'm proud of everyone for putting in so much effort. We are way ahead of schedule! God blessed us today with cloudy skies for most of the day and a great breeze that blew through the hallways and stairwells keeping us relatively cool, well, for Africa.

Actually, that leads me to the title of this post because although I am truly grateful for God bringing the breeze, to my horror, my $3.99 floral print skirt from the Salvation Army, thought it would be fun to see how it could fly in the breeze. It was ridiculous trying to hold my skirt down and at the same time paint with a roller. Fortunately the skirt liked to watch itself puff up rather than reveal anything inappropriate. I won't be wearing it tomorrow! Another favorite part today was meeting students and kids in the hallways. I met a young lady named Nina, who came out and thanked me and introduced herself in English. I introduced myself in French and we had a good laugh. Sadly, though that is all the French I knew and all the English she knew so the conversation ended there. I loved trying and the victory in connecting in the small conversation we had!

After painting we came back and jumped in the pool and I am proud to say that a recouped Gavin now holds the record for holding his breath underwater the longest. 2 minutes 15 seconds! Steven holds a close second and is ruthlessly preparing to take the lead. Good Luck to all the participants.

-Sarah

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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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