Saturday, December 29, 2012

A trip to Church

Last Sunday, we were able to go to the Tsiko church. We don't have a vehicle, so we got to walk! John and the 2 little ones walked there the first Sunday we were here, but Eliza and I were sick and had to stay home. So this was the first time for us all to walk together.

Aiden and John headed to church.

The kids were great and really didn't complain about the heat or the distance.  The Togolese are accustomed to walking everywhere in the hot sun, but we Yovo's (white people) definitely are NOT use to it!!

Aiden sitting with his good friend Kokou who worked with us the last term we were here.        Aiden calls Kokou his "favorite friend".

The Tskio church is a sweet church that was planted here many years ago.  It is well established and led by a Pastor Tgobe.  This Sunday was a special Christmas service where the women of the church brought gifts for the pastor and the church. This is Florence.  It is a little hard to see, but she is bringing a live chicken for a gift!

This is Elizabeth.  She brought a gift of charcoal.

Most all of the women of the church participated and brought gifts of chickens, bananas, tomatoes, rice, charcoal, corn, manioc, pineapples and more!  It was quite the fanfare!

On the walk back home, the "Fan Man" ( a guy on a bicycle with a cooler) was out selling different ice creams.  So we stopped and bought the kids a little orange icee for about 30 cents.  It was a nice treat to help cool them down a little bit.

The walk home was a little tougher since it was closer to noon and much hotter!  We were thankful for the little patches of shade along  one side of the road.

Aiden got a blister on his foot from walking so John wound up carrying him on his shoulders.  Then Eliza followed.  Little Livi with the short legs and prego me brought up the rear!!!  We walked very carefully in a sinlge file line on the very edge of the road.  You don't want to walk in the grass because of snakes, but you also have to be careful to stay out of the way of the cars and motos that fly by you!

Resting in the shade and watching a little family of chickens in the bushes.

Olivia had to show me her dirty feet once we got home.  I couldn't help but think we needed to have a good ole fashioned Free Will Baptist feet washing service!! The verse in Romans also came to mind, "...How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of Peace, and bring glad tidings of good things".

It is always a blessing to visit the Togolese churhces. It makes me think about what Heaven will be like....singing, worshiping!! "Every tribe, every tongue, every people, every land. Singing glory. Singing honor. Singing praises to the Lamb of GOD!"

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

We just got back from visiting the hospital. For days I had wracked my brain trying to think of something to do for the patients for Christmas. I had thought about making cookies, which would have been a nice treat for them, but I wanted to do something that would have a longer impact. A few days ago, the kids and I went to the print shop here on the compound and we found pretty little posters that had Scripture on them and a little book for kids.

I know it doesn't seem like much, but something like a poster will be taken back to their home and put on the walls for all the family to see. They have so little, that something that is pretty and colorful will be cherished. And I couldn't help but think that as they see the poster and read the verses on them, that just maybe a seed would be planted in their heart!!
Olivia giving the posters and a little book to one of the sick kids.

All 3 of the kids were eager to give the posters to the patients.  This poster has all the names of God listed.

This guy was so happy when the kids gave him the posters.  He wanted to have his picture taken with John.

This Muslim man happily took all the posters and a tract from Olivia.  As we walked away I glanced back and saw him immediately reading the tract.  I pray that he finds the real gift of Christmas this year!

As we left the hospital, I kept thinking "I wish we could have done more for the people". But the Lord gently reminded me that we gave the greatest gift anyone can give.....the gift of Him! Our prayer is that now the Lord will grant the increase!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Olivia turns 5!!!!!

Every year at the kids' birthdays I look back at pictures....I am such a sap.  And while this really has nothing to do with missions, I couldn't help but post of few pictures of our sweet Olivia Noelle.  She was born at 3am and weighed 7 pounds 9 ounces and seemed so tiny compared to Eliza's birthweight of 9-13.  She was just perfect.  We hadn't found out if we were having a boy or girl but I was just thrilled to have another girl.  I always wanted to sister growing up and I was so thankful that I had 2 sweet girls that would be best friends!

I was just mesmerized by her!

Eliza and Olivia meet for the first time!  It really was love at first sight.  They have been best friends ever since that first moment.

I have always described Olivia as my "happy baby".  She was always so content and so bubbly!

Her first Christmas.  She was so beautiful!

Playing in the snow with Daddy.  She wasn't too sure about it though!

My little princess at her 1st birthday.  This was the same outfit Eliza wore for her 1st birthday. 

The cutest bumble bee ever!

A trip to the Auquarium

A little brother arrives and Olivia was in love!!

Sweet Sisters

A trip to the Iowa Zoo

Olivia LOVES to cheez it for the camera!

I know everyone says the girls look just alike, but I really don't see it!  To me, they look nothing alike!

Playing in the field of flowers!

My 3 little firecrackers!

Fall- 2010

At the Wayne County Fair.  Olivia loved all the rides.  She wasn't scared of anything!!!


My brave girls on a roller coaster!  Livi sure does love to laugh!

Adventureland in Iowa

A trip to the splash pad!

My prayer is that these 2 will always be as close as they are right now.

This is so Livi's personality!  Full of life!!

1st day of K-4....growing up way too fast for this mommy!

So excited to be having another baby in the family!
Olivia today at her little party.  Before we left the States, she said she wanted a "Zebra Party with pink cupcakes".  So I brought stuff in our suitcases so she could have a special day.   I was a little worried she be disappointed since it is so different than parties in the past, but she seemed to be happy with everything.  She kept saying, "Mommy, this is a big party!!"  It made my heart happy to know it has been a special day for her.

My sweet Birthday Girl!  Hard to believe she is 5!
I try not to talk about the fire too much, but as I looked back at years of pictures I just had to thank the Lord again for saving the computer that had all our pictures on it!  So thankful to be able to look back at all these priceless moments!  God is so good! 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Jingle Bells and Lizard Tails

Just a couple days after we arrived, we decorated for Christmas with the few things we were able to bring over in our suitcases.

Since our container shipment was delayed, I knew we would not have an actual Christmas tree. So thanks to Pinterest, I was able to get a little something together the night before we left the States. It's not the real deal, but I think the kids have enjoyed playing with it.

We had lots of fun decorating the felt tree, listening to Christmas music and sweating to death!!

I was able to bring our stockings that a good friend made for us last year right after the fire.  The walls are cement so it's not easy to hang things.....but these hooks were already in the wall in just the right place for our 5 stockings!!! The Lord had them in just the right spot!

The kids have really enjoyed the countdown calendar that one of their grandmas made for them.  Each day has had just a little something(like a Squinky toy, chapstick, little balls, or nail polish) in it.  They have looked forward to it every morning!

And of course,  our Elf on the Shelf, "Elfie" made his grand appearance!  The kids were just amazed that he found us all the way in Togo! 

And in the midst of decorating and singing carols, a rather large lizard decided he wanted in on all the holiday fun!  Now we have lots of lizards in the house.  They take some getting use to, but they are actually good at eating bugs in the house!! However, I have 3 rules regarding lizards.  #1  The lizard must be what I call an "indoor lizard" as opposed to what I call an "outside lizard".....and believe me, there IS a difference. #2 The number of lizards in the house can not exceed the number of people in the house.  And #3  The lizard must be less than 6 inches long.  Now, we were under our people to lizard ratio, but this guy was an "outside lizard" and was definitely over 6 inches long.  So John and Olivia took a quick break from decorating in order to chase the lizard outside!!

Each night as we put the kids to bed and read them a few of the books we brought with us about the real meaning of Christmas, I thank the Lord for this time of year.  Even though it is not a "traditional" Christmas season, we are thankful for the reminders of what this season is really about. The decorations are simple, but they are all a good reminder of the wonderful Christmas season!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mobile Medical Clinic- A Day in the Village

Yesterday, John was able to travel to a small village nearly 2 hours away from the hospital to help with a Medical Medical Clinic. This is an outreach of the hospital where they go into village with a van, a few supplies and a team of Togolese who are eager to share the Gospel.

Here is one of the Togolese pastors(sitting in the front ) presenting the Gospel to some of the people who are waiting to be seen for medical care.  It's not your typical waiting room, but at least there is some shade from the intense sun.

Some of the village kids came out to see what was going on!


After John would see the patients, he would write a prescription for whatever meds they needed.

This is the area that was set up to pass out meds.....I guess you could call it the pharmacy!  It was a little building with mud walls and a mud floor.

Some of the meds that the team brought with them to give out.

One of the sweet little on-lookers...he didn't want to get too close!

I just love these little faces!!  If we don't go into their village and tell them about Jesus,  who will??

Unfortunately, this was the last planned Mobile Medical Clinic. The funds for this outreach have run out. We are praying that the Lord will provide so that we can continue to go out in to these villages to share the compassion of Christ. Some of the villages wouldn't allow a group to come in soley to share the Gospel, but we are welcomed into these villages because we also offer medical care. Please pray that the Lord would provide so that we can continue to use healthcare as a tool to go into these villages and share the Gospel!

My family

My family