June/July Prayer Letter
Two years is both short and long. It felt very long as we said goodbye to the national and international Cru staff, students, and friends there. The guard for our housing compound burst into tears when saying goodbye to Aiden. (Ivorian men are expected to not cry) Our hearts were/are torn at the thought of not working/living alongside them anymore. God is working and moving there. Pray with us continually for Cote d’Ivoire. The work is never done. We hope to return often to visit and assist the ministry.
Aiden with his pre-school teachers on his last day of school
Our friends that operate more as family. It was a truly sad moment to say goodbye to the four children of the long-term Cru staff couple.They were Aiden’s buddies and amazing playmates
Our champion traveler sleeping on the plane.
Aiden getting ready to board our first flight
Melissa saying goodbye to Ivorian national staff member, Micheline and her two daughters
As much as it is hard to leave, it is good for our hearts to see the familiarity of the United States. Aiden spent the majority of his life in Africa and is loving learning about American lifestyle. (Grandparent love helps that process) We prepped our home for sale and it is on the market. Pray it sells! We have been actively engaging the in process of “re-entry” as it is called and have hard and good days. Seeing family at Davy’s family reunion and visiting friends has helped. Please pray for us in this transition and as we raise funds.
Picking blackberries at Grandma and Grandpa's house
Aiden's first Andy's visit
Birthday pancakes with sprinkles. Aiden just turned 3 on August 7th
We welcomed our first nephew and cousin (this side of heaven) earlier this month. Davy's brother Ben and his wife Kayla had a healthy baby boy, Emmett. We are totally smitten!
Aiden's first movie theater experience
Visiting the Springfield zoo
How to recap all that happened...?
Summer Mission. A whirlwind adventure where 22 American students show up for one month and blitz your city with the gospel. Protests by Ivorian student groups keeping us on our toes and from visiting key campuses. Yet, one of their leaders accepts Christ and is now super helpful to the ministry there. 50% of the Americans are now interested in our one-year STINT program after what they experienced this summer! Relations with the university deepened as we had a Campus Clean Up day. A fruitful trip three hours north to encourage old leaders and find new ones. Time spent with children at our partner orphanage. Participating with our African brothers and sisters in the Worldwide Day of Evangelism. Or how about the story of Ange at the school INSAAC? He told us “I’ll go share this(gospel) with my friends right away.” Later that afternoon we approached two students who after a couple minutes said, “Ange already shared this with us!” Hallelujah. God is good. 315 gospel shares. 73 prayed to receive Christ. 37 new leaders began training.
Pray for the cultural and life transitions back into United States lifestyle.
Pray our house sells quickly and at a helpful price.
We will participate in beginning of the year planning/ bonding activities with the Lincoln team during the second week of August. Pray for cohesion.
Transition requires raising funding. Pray we find new monthly partners and one-time gifts.
Melissa/Aiden will travel to Oregon in August. Pray for travel and fruitful fund development there.