Hi. You may know that we're in Bamako for July and part of August. Another mission was about to close their guest house, and Worldventure made an offer to run it. We have a couple who are coming out to help. But in the meantime we are all taking our turns to help out.
We're healthy and adjusting well to Africa again.
Lisa had a neat opportunity to participate in the womens' camp. This one was more widespread than the ones we normally send the women to in Sikasso. This one was country wide, and was held here in Bamako. Our Kadiolo ladies were very excited about coming. I don't think any of them had been to Bamako before. Anyway, the conference was held in the big soccer stadium. The ladies had seen it on tv, but were now camping there for the week. Lisa was able to go there and take part in the opening day with our ladies. But as the custom often is, she was ushered way way up front to the front row, because she was the missionary. This was a bit uncomfortable for her, but then she realised she'd be able to hear so much better. And she did.
The ladies are all wearing the uniform cloth they had bought for the conference. A few of them, Lisa included weren't able to get the cloth because so many ladies, even those not attending, bought it. So she stood out a bit more than usual.
But the ladies had a great week, and really enjoyed hearing the word of God to them.
These are our ladies from Kadiolo. I was able to help them when they arrived on the bus. I had gone to the station to meet them. But the bus driver brought them there instead of taking them to the stadium. They would have had to walk more than 2 miles. But because I was there, the bus station director, (of his own accord) had the bus driver load them all up and take them to the stadium.
I rode with them, and made sure they got to the right spot.
Lisa and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary! So many hotels are being bought up in Bamako by Lybia. (Mr. Quaddaffi is investing heavily in Mali.) So somehow the USA brought in a Radisson Hotel. It was like stepping off the streets of Bamako into New York or Chicago. So nice. The kids came for the afternoon and we all swam in their beautiful pool. Then the kids went back to the guest house, and we had a nice night together.
So now we're back in the guesthouse, things are going well. A lot of people are coming and going. One lady came in sick from a village situation, and was recovering for about a week, and is now going back. One family from Timbuktu had to delay going back because of Al-Queda fighting the Malian soldiers in that region. So they are staying until the 19th, deciding if it calms down enough for them to trek back up there.
I've(Tom)been making friends on the streets nearby. One group of guys I've visited a few times asked, "Do you know the white guy Daoda?"I said no. They said he lived in our guest house, but is gone now. He worked in Guinea. I said, "oh, is he tall and blond? His name is Nathan". "Yes that was his toubab (white guy) name." they said. So I'm making contacts with guys who have connected with Nathan Kendall a few weeks/months ago. Life is funny. (Nathan and his family were here earlier in the year taking their turn at the guest house as well.
Anyway, Keep praying for us, for health, for a positive witness.
We are enjoying this time with our kids before we lose two of them while they go to school.
Tom & Lisa Seward