Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Retreat!

Campfire On Monday, we set off on a trip to our YWAM base in Koutiala, Mali – about a 6 hour drive from our home in Bamako.  We are attending a YWAM staff retreat.  We chose to ride on our YWAM bus with a lot of fellow staff members rather than drive our own car.  Even 6 years after our accident, Julie is still a little apprehensive about making the drive to Koutiala.

So far the retreat has been very beneficial.  The past few months have been difficult for us.  The retreat is allowing us to view our ministry from many new angles and helping to lift us up mentally and spiritually.  Our retreat runs all week and comes to a close with a New Year’s Eve celebration.

Last night was a special treat as we sat around a campfire as the founders of YWAM Mali shared the history of our mission which began in Mali in 1984.  It was interesting to hear how many of the ministries in Mali started.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Joyeux Noël

Christmas 2009 Merry Christmas from West Africa!  The temperature topped out today at 100° so we’re a long way from the blistery cold many of you are experiencing this time of year.  But it’s Christmas none-the-less.  We attended church last night at our friend Pastor Christophe’s church in Sabalibougou.  We left shortly after midnight.  Finances are a little tight this year, so we didn’t have Christmas clothes made.  Today, we spent the day celebrating as a family.  Julie prepared a wonderful Christmas dinner including pork roast, homemade stuffing, and a pumpkin pie made from scratch.  We also enjoyed unwrapping many gifts – some we found for each other in Mali and many sent by family and friends in the States.  We felt overwhelmed by generosity.

It has once again been a long time since we’ve updated our blog.  Our many apologies.  John is still not feeling well and is continuing to battle tiredness and fatigue.  He has also begun losing weight again.  As an added “bonus”, his hair is beginning to fall out as a result of the medication he’s taking.  These are all symptoms relating to his thyroid condition.  He and the doctor are working on finding the right dosage of medication for his treatment.  Unfortunately, it’s pretty much a matter of trial and error to reach the right point.  Hopefully John’s energy and vitality will return soon.