30 June 2011


Since it took over an hour to load the nine pictures to the blog yesterday, we didn't have time to comment.  Shannan, here are some explanations.

We had the privelege of helping in 3 water well rehabs.  It is much cheaper to repair the wells than drill new ones, so the family we stayed with the past week let us come help.  We visited two villages on Tuesday and we had no idea what to expect.  We arrived at the first village and within 10 minutes everyone from the village was standing around the well, singing praises to God for what was about to happen, and then the well rehab began.  The women sang for 4 hours straight, while the men repaired the well.  One lady convinced me to dance with her and I am pretty sure I looked silly but went with it.

The second village rehab was very similar.  The man who is over community development told us afterwards that he has had people come to repair wells in the past but charged over $9,000 each and so he was thankful for Living Water International who was part of the well repair funding.  He also mentioned that he would be telling all of the other villages that they need to follow Jesus (even though he is not a believer at the moment) because in the past he had only seen Jesus on the cross, but this day he had seen Jesus in us. (I HAD TO HOLD BACK MY TEARS).

The team we stayed with also particpates in a literacy program in the villages because many of the church members cannot read the Word of God.  They also train the leaders individually so they can be equipped to teach and church plant.  The Church among the Dagara people group is growing so fast and there are not enough people that can train these leaders...pray for people to be sent to this group so they can be soundly trained.

We head to the farm in the morning....we will take pictures and hopefully  post in a few weeks. 

20 June 2011

Madame T's Story-June 16

She pulled in on Monday morning at 9:00 am on her moto.  She was beautiful and strong looking, and she was to be our Dioula language tutor for the next week.  She spoke only French and Dioula (and a few English words) but somehow we have made it work.  She never begins our mornings without prayer, and then typically we do our Language Aquisition Plan and go over some basic conversational items.  Today was different, though.  Today, we got to hear this great lady tell her story about her Savior, Isa.
…Madame T grew up in a Muslim family in Cote D’Ivorie.  When she was 10 years old her dad wanted her to attend school in Burkina Faso but her grandmother insisted she stay in the home and help with the chores.  Since she was too old to begin school, her father found a way to make a few tweaks on her birth certificate so she could be a few years younger, and despite her grandmother’s wishes, she was off to live with her older brother in Burkina Faso to attend school. 
    It was when Madame was 12 years old that she said she finally met the “One True God”.  Her life up to this point she had never known the “One True God” but she gave her life to Christ that day when it became clear who Jesus was.  Her family quickly found out that she gave her life to Christ and came to Burkina in an attempt to sway her decision otherwise.  Even at the mere age of 12, Madame T said she finally knew her Savior, Jesus, and no one would ever be able to convince her to go back to her old ways.  Because of this, her family disowned her for many years, at the age of 12, for following Christ.
      She counted the cost and it was worth it.
   Madame T’s mother passed away a few years after this, so a wealthy family in Burkina that had been good friend’s with her parents would have Madame T and her cousin over for dinners and to help her along.  Madame T would tell them the joy she had from Jesus but they had no interest.  So Madame T began to pray they would encounter Jesus.  She would pray for them at their gate before entering; she would pray for them before she ate meals with them; she would pray each time she thought of them.  For nineteen years, she prayed for this family to know Christ.  Not too long ago Madame T got a call.  It was this family letting her know they encountered Jesus and decided to follow him.  The husband, his two wives and all of their children are now following Christ.  Madame T’s persistent prayers were heard!  These people too had to leave everything they knew for the past 60 years so that they would have eternal life in Jesus Christ. A small sacrifice for a God that is worth it.
Madame T went on to marry a pastor and now teaches women here how to cook on solar ovens.  She has also worked on microfinance projects, has helped get low cost meds out to the people that need it, served in clinics, and does just about everything else a servant would do.

At the end of her story, there was nothing better that we could think of doing than praying to our Father in heaven for loved ones and friends who have not experienced the freedom, healing, hope and salvation in Christ that we all have found.  We know God heard the prayers we said, prayers in Dioula, French and English.  Our God is a big God.

Here's just a few pics from the past 2 weeks!

We love you all!

Sleeping man...on the top of a van...that is rapidly moving...on roads that are largely unpaved and filled with holes.

Morning fruit ladies on our street

The wildest animals we've seen to date (besides a pet monkey that we saw just a few hours ago)

13 June 2011


Ephesians 2:8
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ani Wula!  Today we began language learning with Madame ToĆ©. We have language lessons with her for three hours a day and then spend the afternoons on a language route. Most people speak French, however the primary people group that we are working with speak a language known as Dioula.  This morning we literally did not know a single word in Dioula and then this afternoon we were rooming the streets attempting to have conversations with people we encountered.  Please know....I use the word conversation very loosely!  It was exciting to meet new people today: Marguerite, Antwan, Awa, and many others whose names were basically impossible to pronounce with our limited American tongue.

  • Burkina Faso has recieved rain for the past 3 days
  • Team worship yesterday with the CMF team was encouraging
Prayer Requests:
  • Health and peace for the Burkinabe
  • Continued patience and perseverance in language learning
  • For us to comprehend the "big picture" of what CMF is working at in Burkina

We tried to upload more pictures, but we are having an extremely slow internet connection so hopefully more will come!

Thanks for your prayers and support!

08 June 2011


It's 9:30 pm in Ouaga (pronounced Waga, which is short for Ouagadougou), Burkina Faso and we have arrived safe and sound.  We had a relatively uneventful path of travel from Indianapolis and are living in a guest that is owned by a missions organization.  We will be here until at least Friday.  It was completely surreal as we were landing at the airport and knowing that we were about to land in a country that is so distant and far away from everything we grew up knowing.  We were given strict directions to follow from the second we landed in Ouaga until we met the missionaries and it went seamlessly as we went through customs and security.  

Today we spent the majority of the day running errands (going to the embassy, market, and getting acquainted with the area).  We also took a sieste to help us catch up on some much needed rest after the 24 hours of travel!

Thanks for all the prayers as we traveled, but we continue to ask you to pray as we try to learn a little bit of language and culture.

We will try to upload more pics as the days go by!!!
Indianapolis Pre-Departure

First Sights of the Sahara

Inside our shower for the next week!

4 bunks complete with mosquito nets

1 of the few pictures that we took out in public

A big tree

03 June 2011

If you have your Bibles...And I hope you do.

Psalm 26:4
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may be in the house of the Lord all of the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.

We have completed our first full day of training and are getting more and more excited to leave for Burkina Faso with every minute.  We are staying at the Benedict Inn that is run by the Sisters of St. Benedict.  They serve us breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day and will be praying for us all summer. Such great ladies! Here's where we are staying for the next couple of days.
We have met our teammate, Alexa along with the 33 other interns that are going to SE Asia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, Spain, and Ukraine.  We have been able to hear the countless stories of how Jesus has changed the lives of the interns who literally have flown in from across the United States.    

Meet Alexa...I can already tell this girl is going to be awesome to be with for the next couple of months.  She has a great story, so I can't wait to get to know her better. 

Today we had sessions covering a variety of material including learning about CMF International (our sending organization), took personality tests, did some group building activities, and learned more about working as a team. Tomorrow we will be going to a ropes course, so we will be heading out early. 

Sidenote for those who "know" David Platt: We met a girl from the Church of Brook Hills, and I am pretty sure we could chat with her all night if time allowed.  If you have not heard of him or the church, we would highly recommend you listen to some of his Biblical teaching.  He is an extremely anointed teacher.

02 June 2011

Prayer Requests

Our apartment is now completely empty, besides myself and the computer! So before we leave we wanted to post some specific ways you could pray for us as we head down to Indy today and leave on Monday.

Traveling-timeliness of flights and all those arrangements that need to happen; that even when we are exhausted that we would still be patient and kind to each other and those around us (Alexa will be traveling with us too)

Marriage-that our marriage would remain strong during this big change in our lives and that we would continue to love each other as Christ loves us

Please pray for the Hoch's, Gordon's, and Houser's as they are opening their homes to us and teaching us about the ministry they are doing. Also, that we would be gracious and pleasant house guests, as I am sure it can be stressful on all to have people living together for extended periods of time.  Please also pray for the agricultural and church planting ministries they are doing, that they would see fruit from their labor, in all ways.

Health-that God would strengthen our bodies as we eat new foods and are exposed to new surroundings

Pray that the Church would grow and would be an extension of God's love to the people in Burkina Faso.

Pray that we would know God more deeply than ever before and that we are able to learn from those around us as well as teach those around us. 

Pray that everything we do would be a reflection of our Savior, Jesus, here in the States and overseas.  That we would love in ways we didn't know were possible. That we would love just as Jesus calls us to:
      "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" John 13:34-35

Lastly, pray for those at my work who have taken on all of my duties so I can be a part of this.  There will be very busy times, so pray that the work can get done as quickly as possible in order to minimize the burden.  I can't express how grateful I am that they are giving me this opportunity to pursue one of my dreams. MutualBank and the management there are outstanding!!