Dear family and friends,
Hello from Côte d'Ivoire!
The rainy season is upon us, and that means blessedly cool temperatures and cooler breezes. It is heavenly! It seems like we're getting significantly less rain than we did this time last year, but it is still a refreshing change from the relentless tropical heat. The girls love to play in the rain and have had several opportunities to do so in recent weeks! In fact, one day we all got caught in the pouring rain, so we decided we might as well enjoy it since we were already soaked through. We made some fun family memories that day!
The month of June was a whirlwind of construction activity. We were expecting visitors at the beginning of July, so we were scrambling to try to get the upstairs finished so that we could move upstairs and free up our guest apartment downstairs. We had a lot of tiling done, both downstairs and upstairs, and a lot of painting done upstairs. Our ceiling in the upper level was also handmade and installed. Unfortunately, it wasn't ready in time, but we squished into my library so that the guests could have the guest apartment and the schoolroom (which also has a spare bed in it).
Our visitors arrived the first week of July and were with us for a week. Seth was going to drive to Abidjan to pick them up from the airport, stay overnight in the city, and then drive back down the next day. Things did not go according to plan, however. The morning he left, it began to rain very hard. and since we were missing an overhang on one window, the rain ran down the outside wall and in through the window, even with the window closed. (They don't seal the way American windows do.) So, long story short, our house was FLOODED. The water made a circle through the house, hitting almost every room downstairs. It was impossible to stop it from coming in, so the best I could hope for was to slow it down with lots of towels. After the rain slowed/stopped, I began the long, hard task of cleaning everything up. I used every towel I had available, plus some clothing. Soaking and wringing, and repeat. I ended up wringing out enough water to fill an approximately four-gallon bucket by the time I was done. I had called Seth while it was raining and he decided to come home and help me. He was already two hours away, but he got back in time to help me finish moving some toys/furniture and finish drying the water up.
We are so grateful to Bob Mach, a missionary in Abidjan, for coming to our visitors' rescue! His son picked them up from the airport, and they saw them to their hotel. The next morning our visitors boarded a bus and headed to Sassandra. The next day began a three-day seminar on music, which was hosted by Seth and taught by our visitors. The seminar was open to anyone, so pastors from all over the country came to attend. A couple of churches in the area also participated. Seth tinks that everything went very well and believes the teaching and preaching were very valuable. It was well-received, and we're thankful we had the opportunity to host it.
We also celebrated our sweet Eden's birthday on the 4th of July! It was her golden birthday, and she turned four years old. We enjoyed a small "party" that evening with some yummy cake and a few presents we'd been saving. We are thankful for our girl, and that God in His mercy allowed her to see another year!