Monday, April 11, 2011

Buried with Him in his Death...

Heidi and Kay took a big step this past month! They both chose to obey Jesus' command to be baptized. This identification with Jesus' death and resurrection is especially meaningful around this Easter season. By this they indicated publicly that they were followers of Jesus, something very meaningful here in the country we live. For many believers here a step such as this one is a line in the sand. It could mean alienation from family and their support, especially difficult in a communal culture. Baptism also signifies that the girls would like to make a commitment to follow Jesus closely and continue to grow in their relationship with Him. Pray for our girls as they continue to work out what this looks like in their lives. Pray that they would be sensitive to the Spirit and willing to obey. Pray that they would know strength and joy as they continue to grow in their faith. We are proud of them and the young ladies they are becoming!

The baptism was held in someone's swimming pool. All total there were 11 students baptized.

Pastor Dave, the youth pastor at Sahel Academy led the service.

Many from the community came to watch. We are so thankful for the supportive community here that encourages, loves, and is willing to invest in their lives in so many different ways. Kay's teacher, Miss Miller, prayed for Kay after she was baptized.

Ian prayed for Heidi.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sporatic Photo Journal of Spring Break 2011

We didn't have a lot of things planned for semester break, but we ended up having a fabulous two weeks doing miscellaneous things... Having children big enough to go with the flow and entertain themselves is a gift I am still marveling over! I had to work in the mornings; the office doesn't have semester breaks! One of more of the kids came with me a few times and entertained themselves drawing, using the computer, sampling the coffee break cake and generally talking the ears off my coworkers!

Right at the beginning of break, the girls' after school club had a Mother- Daughter Tea planned. They did a fabulous job decorating the school patio. They helped with the refreshments and ran the program largely by themselves. We enjoyed delicious finger foods, played a game to see how much Mothers and Daughters knew about one another, and decorated hats! This was our table's creation.
That first weekend, we were also able to celebrate Cousin Brynn's birthday! Then we had a teenage addition to the family for a few days as our neighbors were away when their son returned from his senior trip; Tom was thrilled to have a temporary big brother!

We enjoyed lots of small things such as playing with Ziad, our houseworker's youngest. He loves Tom, but wasn't sure about the camera!
Here, he finally decided the camera was ok! A cutie if there ever was one!
The kids played and played on the rope swing.

There were many visits to the pool, and, as usual, we did a lot of reading, preferably in our pajamas!
Oops! I thought you could rotate pictures after they were on the blog...

In the garden, Ian's tomatoes finally got large enough that we could make green tomato relish (the sole purpose for their existence). The kids always enjoy cooking and baking when they have more time. In addition to cakes, cookies and other treats, they made dinner twice: beef stroganoff, noodles, jello, and veggies the first night and chili and cornbread the next. Tom helped too, I just didn't get a picture. He is our #1 cheese and zucchini grater! They are becoming quite competent in the kitchen!

There was a big sewing day planned among some of the ladies the first week, so in preparation, my Mr. Fix-it took apart and fixed both of my sewing machines!! What a champ!

The sewing day was so much fun, we did it all over again the second week of break! Beka worked on a wall hanging with African fabric scraps. Heidi finally finished the top to her quilt she has been working on since last summer. She sewed all the nine-patches by hand then we used the machine to sew them together. Kay worked on some hot pads. Tom enjoyed playing outside with all the kids that had come with their moms. I'll show further pictures of our efforts on another blog.

We also went on a picnic with our neighbors. Tom had a water rocket he received for his birthday that he wanted to try, so they brought their air rocket and we enjoyed chicken and rockets together on the school field.

We went shopping, danced and drew. We had friends over for play dates and dinner, and practiced the piano. We wrote stories, played computer games, and watched movies (I haven't seen The Shaggy Dog in AGES, very fun!)

The grand finale was on Monday, the last day of break. The youth pastor at school had organized a baptismal service and both Heidi and Kay chose to be baptized, professing their faith in Jesus and their intention to follow Him. It was a very special time. We took video clips and we haven't gotten most of the pictures from our friend who took them yet, but you can see Heidi and Kay on the far left. Not your traditional baptismal pool! :) We'll post more pictures when we have them.Those are just some of our break activities. Now bad for a break where we had nothing planned! Now we have just 8 weeks left of school! That is hard to believe!