Every night I fall asleep to a grand symphony of bats and bugs rehearsing mating calls outside my window. Ironically, it reminds me of Minnesota summer nights and the crickets of the rural Midwest. Except louder...way louder.
The past month could be called: Orientation - Phase One. This period includes things like French class, culture seminars, church visits, and African health workshops. Thankfully, each day is blessedly divided by meal times and snacks, welcome relief to our info-saturated minds.
I love learning this new language and soaking in Ivorian culture, but my favorite times are the bookends: early morning and just before bed. I wake up early to knead the warm dough for our evening "repas", and in the evening I debrief the day with my roommate, Christina, or simply read a book from the campus library. I love these things. They are quiet, sweet and peaceful.
I enjoy the loud of Africa too - moto rides through town, the sweet sour smell of le legume marche, whirring sounds of sewing machines in the pagne marche, drums, singing...It's our baptism into our new African home.
I am thankful for this opportunity to see Jesus and His church at work in a place so different from my own - most beautiful part of cross-cultural ministry is seeing how incredibly big is our God. Worshipping Jesus with African friends nourishes my spirit.
Friends, I think of you often and I am praying for you - if you have anything you want me to pray for, please let me know.
Will you pray for my friend and pastor, S.M.? He was born with a painful hip problem that requires surgery, now that he is older. It is expensive and potentially unsafe to have this procedure performed in Côte d'Ivoire and our team is looking for someone outside the country who would be willing to perform it pro bono. If you have any ideas, let me know!
Next Month: Our German-American team will finish our language classes and culture seminars and prepare to move into our Ivorian homes in Northern Côte d'Ivoire. Yesterday, I learned that I will be living with a family in Korhogo (as seen above) - a large town with many artisans and a few local churches. There will be opportunities to connect with believers and minister creatively. Korhogo is also home to IBB, the northern Ivorian seminary and a Christian radio station - an amazing ministry that is able to share the Gospel with those who wouldn't step foot inside church.