Wednesday, February 28, 2007

It's All In The House!

Sorry for the delayed post...we've been without internet for a day or so.
Here's some pictures from the unloading process that began at 7 AM Monday morning: Yes, they really carried most of the boxes on their heads like this!

This was the last item...and it was only 7:45!
Lots of work ahead of us.
Our houseworker, Antionette, was just as excited as we were.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

It's Here!!!

The container is just sittin' out in front of our house, waiting to have it's treasures revealed. It's going to be hard to sleep tonight knowing that a big metal Christmas present is waiting for us in the morning...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Container Update

I'm back from Lome' after a meeting with the man who is handling the import of our container. It was a good meeting overall, and I learned that the container is going to be up here in Kara this weekend, probably on Saturday. This means that we can start getting settled in and moving towards a more normal life, and for that we are thankful!

The bad news is that we are going to have to pay alot more money for the container than we originally thought. The contents of our container have a declared value of about $6,500, and as a registered church organization, we are required to pay only a 10% import tax (it's normally 25% for household goods). HOWEVER, the Togolese government very recently passed a law declaring that all 20 foot containers like ours automatically have a value of $30,000, even if it's filled with nothing but toilet paper. Bummer for us! If you do the math, you can see that this new law changes our bill drastically. They made the change because a missions organization, which shall remain nameless, tried to claim that their container was only worth $30,000 and the Lome' Port Authority later found out that it was worth well over $100,000. Needless to say, this did not make them happy. Thanks guys!

So we are going to be very hard pressed to come up with the cash we need to pay the customs agents when they arrive in Kara this weekend, but we will begin praying that God will continue to provide, and we would ask that everyone please pray with us...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Our Container

PRAISE GOD!!! We found out today that our container has arrived in Togo. It will still be several days (maybe weeks) before we can get it out of the port up and up to us in Kara. Join us in praying for that process as it can sometimes be a difficult one. Brett will be driving down to Lome (the capital) to begin that work sometime this next week.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Nestor Revisited

In my previous post about my friend Nestor from the village of Legue Legue, I talked about how I looked forward to spending more time with him. God has provided in the form of bi-weekly teaching trips to Legue with David Reeves, one of our teammates here in Kara.
Nestor's health seems to be declining; he has a leg injury that gives him alot of pain, and he seems to be very low on energy. I took him some ibuprofen for his leg 2 weeks ago, and he was glad to receive it, but I could tell that he is discouraged by his current state of health.
Nestor's wife is a Christian, and she comes to all of the teaching times we have. Today I had David ask her in Kabiye (she doesn't speak French) if Nestor would come to the teaching times if they were closer, and she said yes. For our next visit, I hope to encourage David to move the meeting somewhere closer to Nestor's house since he doesn't have much use of his legs. He has been a nominal Christian since the beginning, but the Spirit tells me that he can be much more if he is shown more love and more attention is given to his problems.
Don't get me wrong; Nestor is a very needy person who can often be manipulative and sneaky in trying to get what he wants, but I just can't help it. My heart is full of compassion for him! I want him to know God in a way that is intimate and more than just a one way, "God what can you do for me and my problems?" relationship.
Please pray for Nestor and the rest of the village of Legue Legue. They are a struggling church, and they need God's Spirit to encourage them and bring them into deeper relationship with the Almighty. They may be hard to love at times, but that just means we need to love them that much more. Love knows no boundaries, no limits, and it does not play favorites. I commit to try and love Nestor and the people of Legue Legue just as God has loved me...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Africa Moment #3

I wonder what the going rate for Jesus is these days...probably out of our price range...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

France to Africa

France to Africa
Uploaded by emersonstogo

Here is a short video of our travels from France to Togo. This is just a brief summary; a full length video would be much more eventful!

Village of Hope

Yesterday we spent the day at the Village of Hope, a Church of Christ organization about an hour outside of Accra, Ghana. It's known mostly as an orphanage, but they also have other thriving ministries, including a K-9 school (soon to be K-12) and a medical clinic. We first met Fred Asare, the director of VOH, in Montgomery last year when he and his wife Faustina were on a fundraising trip. They are wonderful people and perfect for the roles that God has called them to. We also got to finally meet Tommy Drinnen, who we had been just missing crossing paths with for some time now. He is a great guy, and that assessment was only enhanced when he loaned us the first four seasons of "24" on DVD! Caden got to spend some time with the kids in the 2 and 3 year old classes at the school. He jumped right in and started playing blocks with the 2 year olds. They were fascinated by his white skin and smiley face, and a good time was had by all.We look forward to continuing our relationship with the great people at Village of Hope. Having them down near Accra gives us more friends close by, and it makes West Africa feel just a little bit smaller...