I was worried that this summer would be a real challenge for the kids. Summer is usually a fun time full of camps, VBS, friends, swimming, you know. In some ways, it has been a struggle and it has definitely been different. But all in all, it has still been a fun time and a break from our normal routine. I think we would all agree that our favorite week this summer was definitely the week that we had our prayer retreat. Our family, along with all of the other folks who work in our country met together for a week of prayer, Bible study, business meetings, and good old fashioned fellowship. It was such a blessing and I came back encouraged and re-charged.
To make the week even more special, we had a volunteer team come from Alabama who led Aviation Wonder VBS with the kids. That was such a treat because they had really been mourning the loss of VBS. I can not say enough about how wonderful this team was. They spoiled our kids with goodies and attention that they will remember for a very long time. Best of all, they loved on them so lavishly that the kids are still talking about how much they love them.
Here are some of the highlights of our week!
Here is Lily wearing her aviator goggles. She had a great time at VBS!
Here are the two ladies who were on the volunteer team. We love you so much Ms. Laura and Ms. Robin. Hurry back!
One night, we had a talent show that was tons of fun. Here is a photo of Ryan acting completely crazy. He and two other men danced for us at the expense of our laughter.
The kids wrote, practiced, and presented a commercial for Ancestry.com. They did it all of their own initiative and it was very creative. They even remembered to bring costumes from home for all of the different ancestors. Front and center here we have a civil war ancestor and hiding behind Lily is Isaac dressed as an Indian. They managed to include all of the kids, from the oldest to the youngest.
One day we took a little drive to see a waterfall. It was definitely a Nigerian sort of sightseeing experience from the safety standards to the toilets, but it was worthwhile.
One fun part about the week is that we had this sweet lady joining us. She served 54 years with our agency in Nigeria. Then, she returned to Nigeria to live out the remainder of her days. She is a precious, precious soul and Lizzy really liked her. You can't see it, but the dress she is wearing under that jacket was 60 years old. She told us it was the first piece of clothing given to her when she arrived in Nigeria and it was still in great shape. Amazing!
This picture really speaks about one of the things that I most loved about the week, which was getting to be together. Sometimes I worry that my kids aren't getting everything they need here. I especially mourn the relationships that they're missing from the States, and they are a great loss. Yet, God has provided so many wonderful people to invest in them here. Here is Abe and his "cousin" J walking with their "Uncle" P. They are so blessed by all of their mission family here and I couldn't ask for better role models for them. This man whose hand Abe is grasping is such an inspiration to our family. He is passionate about the people group he serves and he is driven to do whatever it takes to insure that they have the opportunity to hear the gospel. He arrived on the field just one week before us and yet there is so much that we learn from him each time we are together. We are so fortunate to have so many iron sharpening iron relationships here.
We are very thankful for all of the churches in the States who give so generously so that our family, and others like us, can have the opportunity to rest and learn from one another. Thank you very much for your obedience to see the Great Commission fulfilled and for your generosity!