01 August 2006

Excuses, excuses

So, what does one write after not having written for over 3 months? Maybe “Sorry” would be a good place to start. Excuses? You bet, I could start an entirely different blog listing those but I don’t think it would make for very interesting reading.

Since our last entry we have hosted at least three other major groups here at the school, besides the French Military who we continue to provide housing for due to the continuing unrest in the country. Our most recent event was just yesterday with the arrival of 30 young girls from our churches in Bouaké. They came out to greet Angelika and Tiémogo (another lady who along with Angelika has been a counselor to the young women in our church). Greeting can mean saying “hello” or it can be as involved as spending the afternoon and evening together eating and talking and just sort of hanging out. Yesterday the 30 girls were here for one of the latter types of greetings!

This meant feeding them and the Tiémogo gave them and excellent talk on how to depend on God for things such as a husband, work, schooling, etc. Tiémogo has been married for a little more than half a year and during this time she and her husband have not had the joy of living in the same city together. Her husband studies in Abidjan and she has been teaching in Bouaké. Through all of this and the difficulties this causes her and her family she has remained faithful first to God, our fellowship, and to her new husband. She has been an inspiration to these young girls as well as an encouragement to the rest of us who see life from a different perspective.

After Tiémogo shared with the girls her journey as a young woman and how God lead her to her man we took some the girls to the water tower (13 meters high) and had them rappel off the sides. We had a good time and the girls enjoyed getting out there beyond the comfort zones. It is always interesting to see who is willing to try and then what happens when they get up top. Nobody refused to go down the rope once they were on the top! Of course some went down more willingly than others but all went down. I use a safety rope for the descent as you can see from the photos. Our water tower is of course nothing compared to Smith Rocks in Central Oregon but it works. One has the definite notion from that height that a fall would kill you or at least break you up a bit. It is a great teaching tool on trust. Just what does it mean to have faith in God, in someone, or in something? It is a lesson that I am still learning and on some days not so well.

Of course the really big news since I last blogged my way onto the web was the passage of our national football team to the World Cup in Germany. We had a rare opportunity to travel to Germany and attend the Côte d’Ivoire – Holland game in Stuttgart. After flying all night we met up with friends from the US who brought us tickets for the game and we had a great time cheering and meeting other Ivoirian fans there for the game. It was a wild a crazy thing to do but who could miss such an opportunity. As we were tight on time we did not get out of southern Germany to see family in the north but we did get a chance to spend time with Jens and Silke, Angelika’s cousin who is himself a very big football fan. It was a wild few days traveling from venue to venue. One of the great things about this World Cup was that, regardless of the place of the match, there were giant screens setup in fan parks in all of the game cities where you could watch the games alongside hundreds of other fans. Perhaps the wildest party we attended was in Berlin alongside a million other German fans cheering for the Germany-? game. We saw the final matches in Côte d'Ivoire having returned before the end of the first round. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime kinds of experiences. It was great fun to be with friends and doing something like that together.

Hey, hope next time will be sooner than later, but then again, you may not! Tough, this is my blog!


ela said...

Hallo Angelika und Rod,

schön, von euch zu lesen. Ja, die WM hat eine ganz tolle Stimmung gemacht und ein ganz neues National-Bewußtsein in unsere Land gebracht. Noch immer fahren Autos mit Germany-Flaggen! Und es waren viele Nation zu Gast.
Alles Liebe und Gottes Segen für euren Dienst

Ela aus der Gemeinde Gütersloh

Anonymous said...

Hi there Uncle Rod and Angelika!

I was curious as to how you were doing as of late and I tried to find your e-mail, but didn't have it. I then realized that you had a blog, so I thought I'd check that out. Are you doing okay? I heard a blurb in the news that there was a riot by some kids angered about toxins in the water or something. Knowing you guys are in God's safe hands, I wasn't too worried, but I was going to offer to pray for you if there was anything specific you needed prayer for. I need to go back to classes, but I love you both and will be praying for you! God bless you abundantly!

-Isaac Gallaway

Pam in CA said...

Thankful that you finally wrote something new. I stopped looking because it was never an update! Don't you know we old folks appreciate fresh updates?????

You're my last contact to Ivory Coast young man so you'd best be keeping me informed. God bless you for being there!