House Search & Lisa's Ladies Retreat
I, (Lisa) just returned from a weekend retreat for missionary ladies in Bamako. It was great fun to renew friendships from Cote d’Ivoire, and to meet new colleagues in this country. We didn’t get much sleep, as sometimes we gabbed until 2:00 a.m., but the breakout sessions were very relevant to my life and spiritual issues, as was the theme of “Boundless Worship”. It was also fun to swim in a pool and sleep in air-conditioning.
The team from Houston, Texas, was praying fervently for their loved ones back home being hit by Hurricane Rita. They chose not to worry about what might be happening, leaving the fate of their families in God’s hands and moving ahead with the ministry He had called them to in West Africa. One of the women was a licensed hairdresser, so she gave free haircuts and highlighting. Another was a finger- and toe-nail artist, so she gave nail art designs. I had my toes done in watermelon slices; bright pink and green with black “seeds”. The food and snacks were great, too. All in all a very enjoyable weekend!
While I was away, Tom had a meeting with the landlord of a newly-constructed house we were interested in buying, but the owner had not reduced his asking price, so we feel that that house is out of the question. In the meantime, 2 pieces of land came to Tom’s attention, that are close to the church and radio station, and also close to the electrical and phone lines. We could build a house on them and still be at half the price of the other house. The other possibility is an older house that would need a fair bit of work, but already has the walls and buildings up, even though they’d need some renovation. It’s a distance from the electrical lines, but it appears that the neighbor already had lines buried to his house that we could branch off of. We’re going to talk to the landlord this week to see if he’ll sell, and for how much.
This photo is the back building of the house we're talking about...
Today, the complete radio drama team came to our house for a formal welcome to Kadiolo. We went around and shared our names and jobs and talked a little about our dreams for the youth work here. Over the last few days, Tom has met with Freddie to discuss programs and ideas for this next year. Freddie is very open to Tom’s desire to start small group “families” or cell groups. In the next few weeks, the church ministries will be starting up for the year, so that will be exciting and busy.
The politics in Cote d’Ivoire seem to be heating up as the five-year term of the current president will expire the end of October. People here are concerned and watchful; please pray for our friends and colleagues there as they live day by day with the tension, and the people are tired of this conflict. I am prompted to consider ways we might prepare for ministry among refugees if that should happen here.
Last Thursday was the Mali Independence day. Each year, there is a big parade with representative “marching” groups from all over the country. This year it was in Sikasso, a city bigger than Kadiolo, about an hour away. Tom and the kids, along with a couple of guys from our church, went and watched some of the parade. Meanwhile, I was in Bamako, which was unbelievably calm, because everyone was in their house or the neighbors’ watching the parade in Sikasso on television.
Here are some crowd pictures Tom took while there. If you cant see the parade from where you are standing, maybe you should stand on a bus, or a wall or a house!