Praise the Lord with us! Through your generosity, the Africa trip and funding deficit needs we wrote you about in November were both met! We are overflowing with gratitude toward you all and the Lord in this.
Thirty four of us boarded a plane headed for Abidjan. It is hard to express how much joy was experienced as we entered back into the Ivorian culture after 3 1/2 years of being away. From my (Davy’s) perspective as the organizer, the trip was about as ideal as one could hope. Would it have been nice if Noah hadn’t been up till 2a.m. everyday because he never adjusted to the new time zone? Obviously. Haha. But our team bonded with each other and the Ivorian staff and students and we saw God move.
We went on campus three days to share the gospel with students in the English/Spanish Departments. Clara (a UNL student) and I talked with Emmanuelle, a young woman who knew God’s story more clearly than I think I’ve ever heard a student articulate, and after speaking was eager to join with the Cru group at her campus to take the gospel to other students. Several members of our team got to see students place their faith in Christ for the first time and have told me about those students reaching out to them afterward to share they celebrated Christmas in a whole new way!
One day we split into two groups to head to an orphanage and to take Filters of Hope into a poor community. The orphanage group had a great time singing, coloring, and caring for the kids. My group got to see several people indicate decisions for Christ as we showed them the dirty water from their current well and how the filter created clean water, in a similar image to how God promises to cleanse us from all unrighteousness when we come to Him.
One afternoon we hosted a training forum for current and upcoming leaders. Around 32 Ivorians attended: some being students we had met earlier in the week. We played games, we sang, we prayed, and we encouraged them to be bold in their faith as they took the gospel of Jesus Christ to their various campuses.
All in all, a wonderful trip. Too short in many ways and we look forward to returning this summer as we lead another group for a longer period of time. Please pray for the students we encountered and the Cru students and staff.
Here are some photos from our trip:
Navigating international travel with three small children was well worth it, of course, but also so exhausting. The boys did a great job and we're so thankful they got to have this experience.
Here are a few pictures from our time doing ministry.
Something wonderful about this trip was getting to see so many dear friends. We got to see our dear Ivorian friends as well as our American friends who we served with a few years ago, the Hauquitz family and Chrissy. Also a few of our former interns came on the trip too. It was so fun to experience Ivory Coast together again!
Here are a few snapshots of what life looks like in Ivory Coast.
Some of the food we ate while we were there. So delicious!
No trip to Ivory Coast would be complete without some singing!
Our kids had a blast and can't wait to return this summer as we lead a team of students there on mission.
The crew that came with us from Nebraska. From L to R: Sadie and Clara (UNL students), me and Davy, Adam (our pastor), and Allen (fellow Cru staff).
Praise God for a wonderful Cru family!
We hope you enjoyed a peek into our time in Ivory Coast. Thank you so much for making it possible through your prayers and giving!