Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sweet Moments

There are so many things I love about living in Burkina and being able to do the things we do. I can count about 30 things that made me smile just this week!

Yesterday we were able to meet with 2 of the widows in our sponsorship program. They had received letters from their sponsor so we came to read these letters to them. These ladies were so thankful to hear stories from their friend across the world. They listened intently and had really great reactions to the news that we shared. It meant so much that someone took the time to write to them.

Each shared a little about themselves so that we could let the sponsor know how they were doing. One suffers from chronic headaches and the others eye sight is failing, but they really had no complaints and said their health was good and just wanted to give blessings to their sponsor and her family, saying thank you again and again!


For me, I just enjoyed sitting with them, seeing their reactions and facial expressions and hearing them speak and laugh. It's the relationships that you build that are such a special blessing here!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

With Sadness and Remembrance

This past week we learned of the death of one of our volunteers, one of our friends.

Outside the clinic in Kabo
Dr. Roger Styles came to Burkina Faso last January with a team of ten people from West Pines Community Church in South Florida.

This was a diverse team with vastly different experience and gifts to bring and use on the mission field. Roger took part in all that we presented him with enthusiasm, but it was at a huge, pediatric medical clinic where he shined.

This clinic was held in a small church, in a small village where thousand of people came because they knew we would be there. Hundreds of children were treated, mostly for simple illnesses or infections that would have been left untreated had we not shown up. It is the untreated infections that can become serious and even lead to death in many cases.

Roger was able to slip right into the role of health provider, working alongside a team that consisted of three American nurses and two Burkinabe nurses and a few volunteers to grab medicines and keep waiting children occupied. I believe this was a tremendously successful, life changing afternoon for all of the volunteers as well as the families who received help.

Roger will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. He will be remembered in what he gave of himself. We know that he certainly left his mark in Burkina Faso and we are so glad that we got to know him.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

God Let's You Know He is With You

We are getting to the end of our stay in the states. We have had a wonderful time seeing friends and family and sharing the wonderful things God is doing in our lives and ministry in West Africa.

In coming to the states we have had some amazing things happen. Things that allowed us to see that God is with us every step of the way and that He wants us to trust that he has all areas of our life covered.

If you read one of my previous posts, you know that I (Amy) had surgery. I know that I was blessed to be able to take care of this while I am here, but it was also very cool that I was able to share with doctors, nurses, hospital administration even, our mission and how we got there. I gave bracelets our orphanage girls made to the pre-admitting department and on the day of my surgery they came to check on me and told us how they had been sharing our story. In talking with my surgeon, it turns out that he has done medical missions in Uganda.

Recently we brought our daughter Delaney up to St. Louis where she will be living with her aunt and uncle and finishing her senior year. This is our baby, so you can imagine how we feel about leaving her here in the states while we return to Africa. She will be attending a public high school for the first time in her life, so she too was a little anxious. When we arrived to a residency meeting to establish that she would be living in St. Louis we met with the Superintendent for the school district. Actually, he was leaving to another town and the new Superintendent met with us as well. Also in attendance was their secretary. When we told them why Delaney would be staying with her aunt and uncle the Superintendent's face lit up. He first stated that we were in safe company so that he could speak freely. He told us of his many missions trips. Turns out he as well as his replacement and the secretary are all Christians! They were very encouraging to Delaney and she was feeling more at ease. As we were leaving the current Superintendent asked me if you could give me a hug! Wow, thank you God!

We walked next door to the school to pick up a packet of forms for Delaney to finish her registration. The woman we needed to see was out for the day, but there was another woman who said she would try to help us. She said that she was just there for the day and that she used to work at this school so she thought she could find the paperwork. In talking she asked where we were from and we told her we were missionaries working at an orphanage in Africa. she said that her sister visited an orphanage in Africa. In Burkina Faso. In Yako. At Sheltering Wings! She called her sister up on the phone and I spoke with her. She visited a few years ago and would like to return. she asked about one of our boys who is still living with us. AGAIN, thank you God!
We went up to Illinois and had some family reunions and Mike spoke at a church in a small suburb. They had two services and in between Mike felt God leading him to talk to a guy who was up on stage singing and dancing with the children who had just finished a week of vacation Bible School. He had an elephant hair bracelet with him and felt like he was supposed to give it to this guy. To make a long story short. It turns out that this guy graduated from the same small private school in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida two years before Mike. Mike played sports with the guy back in school. Interesting!
Finally, this past Sunday we had no speaking engagements so we decided to visit our home church. Upon arrival a family that we know brought a couple over to us that was visiting. They said that they were from Africa and they wanted to introduce us to them. The couple said they were from Ghana. We told them we were living in Burkina Faso and the woman says that she was born in Burkina Faso. We were shocked and excited. We asked her where in Burkina and she told us Yako. Yako? Wow, that is where we are from. I spoke to her in Moore, the local language from our region and she was speaking back to me. She had such a smile on her face as I imagine that I also had. How cool that We were able to meet these people and have this experience!
We have a week before we board our plane and we are very excited to be returning to our home, family & friends in Burkina. I wouldn’t be surprised if God showed himself to us again during the rest of our stay. I will be watching for Him!