Thursday, January 20, 2011
It's never easy living away from home for an extended time. While there have been many great blessings for our family here in Burkina Faso, it has not been easy as well. When we first came for a visit, by no means did we plan to stay this long, but then again it's hard to predict that both candidates will assume they are president (because having two presidents for one country works so well). The Burkina visas we acquired for Stephanie and the kids were good for two months. This coming Monday, the two months come to an end. New Burkina visas bought here in-country would cost over $1,800 and only be good for six months. Our truck also has to get its Ivorian vehicle inspection re-authorized (available only in Ivory Coast) by February 1st.
So we have been praying hard and asking lots of well-informed people (CMF staff, other missionaries and our Ivorian friends) about the various options we have before us. While it is clear that we cannot go to Abidjan, life in Abengourou has changed little and remains a peaceful corner of Ivory Coast. In terms of safety and living conditions, the current situation seems to be similar to the situation in 2004 when Ivory Coast went through a serious time of instability. In 2004, we were able to stay and continue working in Abengourou with little difficulty. Given the current circumstances, our team has decided to head back home to Abengourou and continue serving the people and ministry God has called us to.
God continues to bless and move forward the ministries of the Association of Christian Churches in Ivory Coast, the PIM clinic, the CHE program and the outreach to Djoula-speaking Muslims. We believe God is leading us back to Abengourou to continue working with our great national friends and partners, serving together as a source of light and hope during difficult times. It's not a decision we have taken lightly, but one that gives us peace.
So please be in prayer for our family and our team-mate Christina Skelton this next week. We will be leaving Burkina Faso next Monday morning and traveling through western Ghana. We plan to spend the night in Sunyani, Ghana and then cross the border into Ivory Coast Tuesday morning, arriving in Abengourou sometime in the early afternoon, Lord willing. Pray for safety on the roads, easy and quick border crossings and sane parents at the end of our long journey. Also continue to pray that God would bring peace to Ivory Coast so that the Good News of Jesus Christ might be spread unhindered and the people of Ivory Coast experience true and lasting peace. Thanks so much for your prayers, they are felt.