One orientation down, one to go!
I'm sitting here on the verandah of our guest house flat, typing away on the computer. The last two days have been a bit warm;( this afternoon 89.5 F with high humidity) but there is a cool breeze wafting through where I sit at the moment. Two very small and very blue birds with bright red dots where a human face would have a cheek have been hopping around right by me. There are many beautiful birds and foliage here and I am stopping to appreciate and enjoy them whenever possible.
Our first orientation finished very well, with most of the participants going off the their village assignments on Friday, the last two on Saturday. This team interacted throughout orientation in a very relaxed and comfortable manner, as if they have known each other and lived together for some time. We didn't have any participants who were struggling to engage in the culture, which is a real praise. I saw progress/answered prayer in my desire to be a more gentle and patient leader...and that is encouraging. But I would ask you to continue to pray about that for us, because although we have a mostly mature team... there are a couple immature participants which can be a bit of a challenge!
On Saturday John and I accompanied our "African daughter" Rita Mogre, her fiance and their two friends out to her father and mother's villages to inform and seek permission from family elders for their upcoming marriage. Rita, James and Rita's girl friend traveled up from Accra on Thursday for this event. James' friend, John and I joined them here in Tamale; we drove in 2 separate cars for about 4 hours to Tonga (her fathers village), then spent two and a half hours going around Tonga and a couple of other villages and various housing compounds to greet relatives and exchange gifts. Around 1:30 pm we began the drive back to Tamale, culminating with dinner at her mothers home. Now things are "official"; it's only left for the Church wedding ceremony in Accra on August 26th. We felt so blessed to be able to be a part of this special day with Rita and James.....their friends and John & I had cameras and took so many pictures that Rita called us the paparazzi!
Sooooo.....we rested well on Sunday, and now we are awaiting the arrival of Roma, Katia, Eunice and Edmond this evening. Our Russian couples flight was scheduled to arrive last night at 10 pm....but instead arrived at 3 am this morning, and had to report for the bus to Tamale at 5:30 am. So you can imagine how exhausted they must be! Please keep them in your prayers...we have to condense their orientation into two days in order to give them three weeks out in their project assignment, which is craziness in itself, let alone adding in the language issues we will have. So your prayers are much needed and appreciated!
Also, John and I plan to travel back to Accra for our Azuza Pacific University courses on Saturday July 1st, so we would appreciate your prayers as we travel. We may not write again until after we arrive in Accra.
Thanks so much for your prayers! Shevawn