The month of August brought us some much-anticipated visitors! Two of Seth's siblings came to see us (Lydia and Stephen) and brought along the new sister-in-law (Martha)! Lydia stayed with us for around two weeks, then moved to her parent's house in San Pedro, where she will be heading up the preschool/kindergarten division of the Christian school at her dad's church. Stephen and Martha were with us for about a month. It was so much fun to have family with us for a while! I (Paige) enjoyed having other women around and spending time with friends. That doesn't happen too often out here! And Seth enjoyed having his brother around. This was Martha's first trip overseas, and we were so impressed by how she jumped right in and wanted to experience everything she possibly could! She certainly was adventurous! They were also very sweet and helpful while they were here, helping us with a lot of projects around the house. They even repainted our living room and the adjacent hallway! We are thankful for all their hard work, and for the fellowship we got to enjoy.
One new experience for both Seth and Stephen was an overnight fishing trip on the ocean. The Fanti people in our town (a Ghanain tribe) are fishers and will spend all night six nights a week out on the ocean in a glorified canoe fishing. Seth spoke to a local pastor who is Fanti and was able to get permission to join a crew for a night of fishing. Stephen went with him. They left around 8:30 p.m. and spent many cold, seasick hours on the ocean. They returned home a little before 7:00 a.m. with both a deep appreciation for the crews' skill and labor every night... and empty stomachs. :)
On a more serious note, some of you may have seen our post on Facebook about the baby girl that was almost drowned by her mother. For those of you who haven't heard about it, I will share a bit about it here. On September 8th, we received word that a young mother (whom we will call "Nadine") had tried to thrown her seven-month-old daughter (whom we will call Baby A.) into the Sassandra River. Nadine wandered from a village about 30 miles away, stopped at the Sassandra River, and threw this baby into the water. By the grace of God, someone happened to be nearby and quickly rescued Baby A. and called the authorities.
The mother has been under the influence of a cult that is well known in this country. Due to their influence, Nadine became obsessed with a presidential candidate coming into power and was told that if she fasted— no food, nor water— for 14 days, her candidate would come into power. She is only a few days into her fast, but it’s the authorities’ guess that her lack of sustenance and dehydration confused her mind to the point of trying to drown her infant daughter.
We also found out that Nadine disappeared from her home village two years ago, without any word. Her family searched for her, but when their searching had no results, they assumed she was dead.
Nadine is being housed separately from her daughter. Baby A is in a home that takes in children in desperate circumstances as a temporary shelter, and she seems to be in good hands. We took her some new clothes, blankets, soap, and formula yesterday to help with her care. We went back to visit her a few days later and found that she had a brief hospital visit due to malaria, but was making a quick recovery.
Nadine was more difficult. Seth shared the Gospel with her, but she was not at all responsive. She just nodded, gave brief answers— and just wasn't very communicative. We haven't heard any updates on Nadine since our initial visit, other than that she was alive and her father had been contacted. We have not been able to get in touch with the government worker who needs to supervise our visits to Baby A., so we don't have any updates on her yet either. We are hoping to be able to schedule a visit and taker her some more supplies very soon! We would appreciate your prayers for Nadine and her daughter! Above all, we would love to see her come to Christ and be reunited with her baby girl. We know that the Gospel is powerful enough to accomplish it!