Friday, December 7, 2012

A smattering of all things lively

So, it has come to my attention that I have not posted on this blog for about a month.  What a sad and true story.   Enjoy these photos and captions. :)  Newsletter to come soon!

Some of you may have heard about our monkey.  This was our little child for awhile.  She really did seem like a toddler - she craved attention, liked to play, and liked to eat.  One night, she got sick (we're assuming it was a snake bite or something of the likes), and died.  Poor monkey.

This is my "man" Sumfon.... Well, he's not my man, but he likes to call me his woman.  What a charmer. 

Here is a picture of a bunch of my friends at the Catel soccer championship.  Soccer games and funerals are pretty much the only times the entire village gets together.  I'm not really a fan of either (soccer games or funerals), but it's really nice to see the whole community join together for an event.  One thing is always for sure - you can take out a camera and children will flock!
One day, I went out with my friends Mai and Aminata to help them harvest rice.  Tessa (far right) and Erin (the photographer) came out too.  Erin took video of Aminata, Tessa, and I harvesting.  I wish internet was good enough to post it because it is downright hilarious.  It looks like Aminata is harvesting in fast forward, and Tessa and I are harvesting in slow motion.  I guess you'll just have to imagine it.
P.S.  Isn't Guinea Bissau beautiful?

This is the sunrise from my quiet spot on the back veranda. I wish I had good photo-editing skills, so this picture would actually do justice, but alas... I am not able to edit pictures.  This is all natural beauty as captured by my camera.

We had Thanksgiving while I was on my writing hiatus.  All of the YES boys (ahem... men) came back from Kabio, where they are doing their outreach, to help us celebrate Thanksgiving.  We make a very lovely looking group if you ask me.

  Erin and I made pumpkin pie-ish in our solar oven.  It didn't turn out quite like my mom's, but apparently it was quite the rave with the boys.

This is me washing laundry... nothing too exciting. 

My friend Sansan's baby, Samira.  If you happen to get my newsletters, more news will come about Sansan.

This is how women carry around their babies - working, cooking, dancing - you name it.

This is my friend, Loti.  Her mom was featured a few pictures before in the rice fields (Aminata).  I really enjoy hanging out with her, and she just posed so beautifully in this picture... I had to include it.

And thus ends my picture update.  Stay tuned for more news!
Signing out,

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Catching the Rhythms of Life

Recently, I have been struck with the fact that though things seem to have little structure (I.e. you take life as you go, things happen when they happen, things are done however they are done), everything has a rhythm.

There’s a beat to which women pound rice - THUD THUD! THUD THUD! THUD THUD!

There’s a rhythm to harvesting rice - Swish swish swish, tear.  Swish swish swish, tear.  Swish swish swish, tear.

There’s a rhythm for cooling off warga (tea) between 2 cups - Pluuuup. Pluuuup.

Everything has a “normal” sound that I’m becoming accustomed to and comfortable with.

My hands are only learning the rhythms.  They mess up sometimes.  When my hands grind rice with a local women, it sometimes sounds like "THUD!…thudTHUD!…thudTHUD!…thud."  When my hands harvest rice, it sometimes sounds like "Swish…tear.  Swish…tear.  Swish…tear."  When my hands cool off warga, it sometimes sounds like "pluup.  Ow!  I kai! (it fell!)."

BUT, my hands are learning.  They are beginning to have calluses from the big grinding post.  They are beginning to be able to finagle a big handful of rice, and they are beginning to learn the art of skillfully pouring boiling tea from one small glass to the other (without burning myself).

My hands are catching the rhythms of life.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What is life without adventure?

So, yesterday, what started as a morning excursion, ended up as an all day adventure in the bush of Guinea Bissau.  Thank you Jesus for Chacos, a water bottle, and a sense of humor.

A few days ago, my friend Domingus's daughter asked if I would accompany her to school in a nearby village.  I agreed.  All day building relationship with a future friend?  Of course I'll go!  Well, the day came (yesterday), and let me tell you... I did a whole lot more than accompany her to school!

We arrived by car to a neighboring village and started walking.  A little while in, we stopped to visit her sister who is currently living with another family.  "Barraka - i ka moitu lungu" Rosa (Domingus's daughter) told me as we started walking again.  Mbe!  Let me just say that I am glad I had good shoes on.

We walked on tiny little paths, jumped over streams of water and through some brush to get to this village - eating wild fruits and snapping leaves along the way.  At one point, I fell off the log that we used to cross an irrigation dike and ended up in nearly waist deep water in the bilania (rice field).

We walked a total of 1 1/2 hours to get to this village.  I set my backpack down, and we started off again to go see her school and visit her sick grandma.  I really couldn't help but think of the Christmas song "Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go."... only there's no snow... just 80 degree weather and high humididty.  We walked for another 45 minutes until we reached the school.  I met all of her friends, jumbai-ed (English-Creolese for "hung out") with her grandma, and returned to her house.

I watched some of the boys of the house slaughter a chicken in my honor.  Later, I enjoyed a snack of chicken intestine and much later, had bianda (rice) with chicken meat.  This was the family's only meal of the day, (and it would have been just plain rice) but because I was there, they went all out and slaughtered a chicken, and bought oil and pepper and garlic for cooking.  I was honored, but felt guilty at the same time, knowing that they over-extended themselves financially to feed me this meal.  After the bianda was finished, they brought out the "extra" chicken meat and insisted that I eat it all by myself.

We spent hours jumbai-ing on the veranda, watching it pour rain.  I was beginning to think that I might have to stay the night, when the rain stopped.  Many people accompanied Rosa and me for about 45 minutes of our journey back.  I fell off the same log into the bilania again.  Everyone laughed and then left Rosa and me to finish our voyage.  It was about 6:45 when I returned to Catel... with tired legs, a full mind, and a happy heart.

Thank you Jesus for the surprise adventure, and for the flexibility to enjoy my adventure.  

Many details of my adventure have been lost to the depths of my head, but here are some pictures that I will share with you all so you can get a sense of where I was.

This is my friend Rosa and me at the beginning of our journey.

One view of the bilania as we were walking.  The path here was like a foot wide.

Some kids walking just ahead of us to go harvest rice.  The path that we were on eventually led us to the thick bush you see ahead.

We are still walking...

On the way to the see the school:  These kids came running when I pulled out my camera.  Maybe you can spot the others far in the background.

And.... They've arrived!  Forget smiling.  They just wanted their picture taken.

Lastly, here is the compound where Rosa lives while she comes to school.  The girl in the picture is Rosa's cousin or niece or somehow related.

And that completes my adventure!  Te lugu!

October 19th - Live, Laugh, Love

Bah!  Some days I'm not sure whether to laugh, cry, or be really angry.  Mostly, I try to laugh at the situation because if I get angry all the time, I would get burned out really quickly (and also be no fun to hang out with).

So yesterday (Oct 18th), I came back from market, and needed to start cooking pumpkin for supper.  A little while into my supper preparation, I heard our neighbor boys fighting outside our house.  This is nothing out of the ordinary, but they had been especially mischievous today, so I decided to go out to see what they were fighting about.  There were three of them there who wanted to take a bath, but they could only find two of our wash basins.  It's fine that they take baths at our house because they don't get baths with soap at their own house.  I am very glad that I was blissfully unaware that this was not their first shower of the day, but their 2nd or 3rd (or 4th)... because of what transpired next.

As I marched outside to discipline whoever was in the wrong, I noticed that they were fighting over my basin.  The basin that, just 20 minutes earlier, held my clothes that I was in the middle of washing.

I must pause my story to tell you that ALL my clothes are in the wash.  ALL of them.  And they've been in the water for 2 days now because of the chor (funeral).  {See previous post.} I have been spending all my time over at my friends' house, caring for their needs, etc, and doing other "household" chores (like, for example, going to market), and trying to keep up with my farm work.  My wash just keeps getting neglected.    Also, I must tell you that I do my laundry on the back veranda where no one can see me (and ask for me to give them every single article of clothing I pull out of the water) AND where the neighbor kids are not allowed to go.

Okay, so if the neighbor boy is in my basin, where are my clothes?  I raced to the back veranda, only to find that my clothes had been dumped.  The clothes that I was so closed to be finished washing... dumped out for me to start the process all over.  Bah!

I went racing out to the front yard where the boys were taking their baths, a stream of Creole flowing out of my mouth.  "What did you think you were doing?"  "In what world is it okay to take someone else's clothes (that they are in the middle of washing) out of the basin and use the basin to bathe yourself?!?"  "You didn't ask me if you could have it - you didn't even ask if you could go on the back veranda for that matter!"  Oh, I could have smacked their bare little bottoms!

Those three little stinkers lounged in their little tubs like naked little kings and laughed at my rampage.  After I was all out of steam, I marched inside the house, shut the door, and had a good laugh myself.

October 17 - truth by our actions

As I listen to the wailing that has started already this morning, my heart is torn and hurting.  They have no hope.  They don't know you.  Death must be a very awful experience if one never knew you.

"Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. " 
1 John 3:18

There's a lot of death here.  Hardly a week goes by when there's not a death in the village.  Sometimes it's an acquaintance; sometimes it hit close to home.

In the last 2 days, there have been 4 deaths.  One of them was my best friend Domingus's younger brother.  Though he had been sick for awhile, it doesn't make it easier on the family.  His wife Augusta is only 18 and together, they have two young daughters who will never know or remember their father (ages 1 1/2 and 1 month).

I sat with the family almost all of the day yesterday.  Domingus and two of her brothers are the only Christian lights in that house.  Their father is a strong, practicing animist, and the mother is a witch doctor.  Despair and heaviness filled the air as I sat there.  The father walked around the house blaming their "angel" (demon) for not helping his son.  Many women showed their despair by doing somersaults in the sand.  Hundreds sf people came - even from far off villages.  Many wailed.  Their wailing continued late into the night and started before the sun was up this morning.

As a Christian, how do I show love by my actions in this?  The family knows me well 0 in the past month, I have spent hours there every day.  I can't wail like they do to "appease the spirits."  Hugs are not always acceptable.  I don't want to say the wrong things or make cultural blunders in a time like this.

I hug Domingus anyways.  I sit with her as she grieves.  I pray for her and with her.

God, may my actions speak love and comfort to her.  May your words be my words, Father, and Your actions be my actions.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What's been going on in Catel?

I have so much to tell you, hence, the two blog posts today.  A quick update on what happened since the last picture blogpost...

I got my hair braided like African women do... but that's not the important part.  I really wanted to show you the woman who's braiding my hair.  She is probably one of my best friends here.  Her name is Mai.  The next picture is of her daughter Mariama.  Sometimes I go out to work in Mai's rice fields with her or go drink warga (concentrated green tea) at her house.  Yes, she is a very dear friend indeed.

The next picture is going to be a plug for a project we have starting here in Catel soon.  There are several men from the village who will running a cashew processing project.  Chad and Sadja were installing the solar panels that will run the shelling machine once it gets here. I was diligently climbing trees to take pictures of the installation and was the “go for” on the ground (Go for this, toss that up on the roof, etc).  If you would like to contribute to the work of the cashew project, you can visit this link for more information 

I wanted to introduce you guys to Lia as well.  She is also on our team here in Catel, but works through the CHE program rather than EMM (the organization that I work for).  She is a very busy lady, and will soon be starting to teach Catel’s preschool.  Go Lia!

I have many little buddies in the village.  These are just a few.  I was sweeping our wrap-around veranda one day and this herd of kids decided to "help" me.  After we were all finished sweeping, I got my ukelele out and we sang some Creole songs.  Though these little ones were a big distraction from the farm work I needed to do that day, I enjoyed having the opportunity to invest in their lives.

We are headed out of the wet season and into the dry season.  This was probably one of the last really hard rains that we will have for a long time, so I needed to take a picture of it and share it with you.  The camera seriously does not do justice to the rain's might and power!

I mentioned in my other post from today that the YES team is here (woot woot!  I have roommates!).  I have been occasionally planning activities for them.  For this activity shown below, I split them into two groups for a scavenger hunt.  They were sent all over the village to find clues, and even had the opportunity to try out their budding Creole skills to get some of them.  What an adventure!

Because the YES team leader Peter (left) knows Creole, and the Gambian, Sang (right) knows his way around the village, I gave them both handicaps for the scavenger hunt (Peter couldn't talk and Sang wore duct-taped glasses as a blind fold).  Andrew and I concocted a final challenge for this team to finish the scavenger hunt.  The blind Sang had to find a verse in the Bible by listening to his teammates sitting across from him (not in the picture) telling him directions according to mute Peter's hand motions.

And finally, the news that I am so very excited about…. I planted my demo plot yesterday!  Yes, I did!  It has lots of good things in it like okra, bell peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes, onions, and carrots.  Later today, I would like to plant lettuce, amaranth, and bajiki (a local green).  I hauled the neighbors cow manure over here for fertilizer and used grasses as mulch.  You can put a farm girl in a remote part of Africa, but let me tell you - she can’t keep her hands out of the dirt!

Te lugu (until later)!


Dwelling in the Word

This morning, I led the YES team (a group of young individuals ages 18-20ish) in a devotional.  We dwelt in Psalm 24.  It's quite possibly my favorite Psalm, but it particularly struck me anew this morning, and I had to share it with you.

The earth is the LORD's and everything in it.  The world and all its people belong to Him.
For He laid the earth's foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths.
Who may climb the mountain of the LORD?  
Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, and who do not worship idols and never tell lies.
They will receive the LORD's blessing and have a right relationship with God their Savior.


Open up, ancient gates!  Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter.  
Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty; the LORD, invincible in battle.
Open up, ancient gates!  Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter.
Who is the King of glory? The LORD of Heaven's Armies - He is the King of glory.

God is in control.  Everything belongs to Him.  All the people of the world belong to Him and He longs for them to turn to Him.  In a culture where animism and spiritual warfare is heavy, we know that God has already won the battle.  He is invincible.  He is calling for the ancient gates of animism to break open and for the King of glory to enter in His rightful place.  May it be so!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Some days

Some days, I just don't really want to go outside... It's not safe out there.  In my room, nobody will make fun of my Kiriol, no one can tell me I'm doing my job the wrong way... When I'm in my room, there are no distractions and no one is constantly asking me to give them my stuff.

The thing is, if I stay locked up inside my room, I miss out on my friends' smiles, the laughter of little girls as they run their fingers through my moli (soft) hair, the random and chaotic music jam sessions, the warm sunshine, and the seemingly unending patience of some people as we muddle through a conversation together.

I could stay in my room today... Nah.  I think I'll go out and experience the adventure.

"This is the day that the Lord has made.  I will REJOICE and BE GLAD in it!" (corrections, distractions, embarrassments, and all)

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Thousand Words

I know, I know…  Why have a blog if you don’t update it frequently?  Internet is kind of a tricky thing here, so thanks for being patient with me.  Please excuse the disorganized thoughts of this blog post as I try to catch you up on the last month.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so if I put a ton of pictures [with captions], that will make up for my delinquency, right? :)

 I always wondered how other people “do life” in different countries, so the first few pictures give you the grand tour!

Here is me, sharpening our lawn mower.

This is our well where we get bath water, water for washing plates, etc.  It is conveniently right outside of our house.  We have to take a bike to a well further away to get drinking water.

These are our toilets.  They’re so high-tech that you don’t even have to flush them!

I actually really love taking cold showers, and it’s a good thing too, because we take basin baths every day in the “shower room” that’s attached to our house.

Here is our kitchen where all of us (there are 7 of us now that the YES team has started to arrive) gather for supper.  You can see our refrigerator to the left (just kidding… we don’t have refrigeration… that’s the pantry).

Ah…. This is a very important place… a place of rest.  This is little stool is on our back veranda is my refuge at 6:30 in the morning.  I do my devotions and journal here while I watch the sun rise over the corn.

I think that’s about it for the grand tour.  I’m going to take a commercial break and tell you about a small victory we had the other week.  I made yogurt.  Yes, I did!  With some starter and powdered milk and a sealed container and a water thermos (not normally what you would use in the states, but hey!  It worked, didn't it?).  We were all pretty excited with the results… So much so that I made some more for supper.

Now for some important people introductions.  Every Sunday after church, this is what our veranda looks like - full of our friends.  I love it.  We cook rice and rice sauce and all eat out of the same bowl (or two) like they traditionally would.  It’s often a great time of laughter and fellowship.  Fun fact: if everyone eats out of the same bowl, there are a WHOLE lot less dishes to clean…

Here is one of my language tutors.  Her name is Rana and she is holding her daughter Lukas.  She is a Guinea Bissau native but did some schooling in Gambia.  Between the bits of English she knew, and the Creole I was beginning to pick up, we made lessons work.  I also have another tutor named Gibby, but unfortunately, I have not yet taken a picture of him yet.  His heart for helping me learn Creole is just incredible.  He is married, has lots of kids, works in the fields all day, occasionally preaches at other villages and then spends well over his contracted hour with me (and another missionary here named Chad) teaching us Creole.  Amazing.

I also had to include this picture.  These are our neighbor boys Eva and Benson.  This picture happens to be right in front of our front porch.  Usually these two are quite the troublemakers, but the day the picture was taken, they were being irresistibly cute.  Pardon the bare bums.

And that, my friends, concludes my first real blog post from here.  Thank you to everyone who has sent me emails about their life at home.  I enjoy reading them even though I’m often unable to respond.

With love,


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Boa Tarde from Catel!

My parents had no way of knowing what populations of people I'd be working with when they named me "Adrianne."  I absolutely LOVE my name, but it doesn't seem to be very trans-lingual.  I have since decided to be called "Adriana" (a name that's much more easily pronounced in the Portuguese Creole tongue), though  I have also answered to "Blanco" and "Catel" within this last week. There aren't very many white people (blancos) in this area. If you see a white person, they are very likely either a French nuns or they are one of the 5 of us that live in Catel.  Sometimes, I feel like they might as well call me "fresh meat."  I'm the greatest new thing since the last new white people that came, and children shout my name constantly as I walk down the path.  I'm the white person who doesn't know Creole yet, who can't weed rice fields correctly, and who doesn't know how to buy things with this strange money.

I've been here I week now, it's probably time to introduce you to my surroundings.  I flew from D.C. to Dakar and then took a ferry from Dakar to Ziguinchor.  There are 8 bunks per room in the ferry - it apparently doesn't matter if you are male or female - enjoy your ride (It just so happened that I was the only girl in a room with 7 guys)!

Because of the slow internet, that's the only picture I can post for now.  Sorry to disappoint.  My room, pictures of the scenery and my friends will come later.  I promise.

I would be remiss though if I signed off before telling you a "funny thing of my week."  The first night here, I prepared to take a shower.  We have an outdoor "room" with a bolt lock that you can take a bucket shower in.  As I was bolting the door, the handle part of the lock came off.  I was successfully bolted inside the shower room.

I decided to go on with my shower and figure out how to get out of the room later.  Later came (as it always does), and I still didn't know how I was going to get out of that stinkin' shower room.  I eventually had to call for someone to hand me a wrench, so I could finagle the bolt part out of the latch.  The experience was sufficiently embarrassing, but we all had a good laugh.

I intended to be somewhat regular with my posts, but as it turns out, my internet access is limited.  I will probably only be able to post once a month, but keep checking back!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Zoe!

This post doesn't have anything to do with West Africa really, but I've been thinking about it today and decided to tell you the story of a little girl who still has my heart.

(yes, that is a tiny human all snuggled next to the doll - isn't she precious?)

In 2008, I spent a summer in Uganda.  I certainly had no idea what surprises awaited me. Four years ago to the day, a miracle baby was born.  Every baby is a miracle of course, but this one is particularly special to me.

This little treasure was unwanted and abandoned by her birth mother.  She had a rough beginning (which began in a pit latrine), but she was rescued by neighbors and taken to the hospital.  A week later, she was brought to the organization I was working for.  I was immediately drawn to her, and took her under my wing.  Zoe went wherever I went, and it was a tough task to leave her when my time in Uganda was up; my heart was bonded.  "Zoe" means life.  What a fitting name for one who fought for her own life in the beginning and then who later gave life to others through her cute little smiles!

Zoe has since gone to live with her grandmother several villages away.  I'm so glad that she has relatives who care for her!  I still pray for this little one often, and hope that one day, she too will know the grace and love of Jesus.

So... to my dear, sweet Zoe - Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Filling in a few of the details

It is high time for a blog update, wouldn't you think?

I have spent these last three weeks at training in Pennsylvania, and have two more weeks before I'm finished.  I am very much looking forward to my August 13th departure for Guinea Bissau, and yet I know that there is lots to do before that day gets here!  As time goes on, it gets to be more real-feeling for me.  Soon, I will actually be meeting the people of Catel, whom my heart has grown to love and for whom I've been praying.

These are some of the beautiful ladies I've been sharing life with during training!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

God's continued blessings

Much has happened since the last blog post - finals, graduation, graduation speech, the trek back to PA, reuniting with friends and supporters, meetings, and lots and lots of sorting and packing!

 I am so very thankful for my Missionary Support Team (MST) who have made many transitioning things more easy for me.  They are such an awesomely cohesive team - clearly God-orchestrated!

Another praise is that I am fully financially supported!  Any additional monies that come in will be used to fund my future years in Guinea Bissau.  If, for whatever reason, I am unable to pursue a longer term, the money will go to the Weaverland Mennonite Church (my home church) Discipleship Ministries fund to be used for other missionaries needing financial support.

I will be having one last fundraiser before training starts in mid-June.  Get ready for "The Village Experience" - an evening of food, fun and friends.  There will be a silent auction at 5, a Guinean dinner (by suggested donation), a presentation to learn more about what I'll be doing in Guinea Bissau, and kids activities.  Hope to see you there!

Thank you to my friend Julia for the awesome invite design!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The end of some things, the beginning of others

Firstly,  I thought it important to address the situation in Guinea Bissau since so many of you have been asking me about it.  A few weeks ago, there was a coup that upset the government of Guinea Bissau.  I have been in good communication with my team there, and village life in Catel is very unaffected by what's going on in the capital.  Plans have not changed for me - I will continue to pursue my plans for departure in August.  If you are looking for more information or updates about what is happening in Guinea Bissau, I would recommend searching for "Guinea Bissau" on Al Jazeera ( or BBC's website (

The school year is finally coming to a close for me.  It has been a rather difficult last two weeks wrapping up classes when I would much rather be raising support or talking to you all about Guinea Bissau.  In fact, even as I write this blogpost I have a paper waiting for me.  I'm kind of hoping it writes itself. :)  I will be taking finals all next week and graduate on May 12th.  I will arrive in Lancaster County, PA sometime on Monday, May 14th.

The third order of business for this post is to update you on fundraisers.  We had a very successful, high energy fundraiser at my church here in Indiana on Sunday.  There was rather large turnout and I was very excited to have some of my international friends there as well.

We also ate a very yummy African lunch (thank you to all who helped to prepare it)!

I then shared about God's journey that brought me to the place in my life that I am moving to Guinea Bissau.  I will be in Indiana for a few more weeks and then it's off to Pennsylvania!  I would love to meet up with you one-on-one to tell you more about my journey if you'd like - just let me know!

Fundraisers remaining:
April 30 and May 1 - Eat supper at Yoder's from 4-8, present the coupon (found on my facebook page), and Yoder's will donate 15% of your bill to my fundraising efforts in Guinea Bissau

June 10 - The Village Experience at Weaverland Mennonite Church: silent auction, ethic food, and activities for kids!  Tickets to come.

I have felt so very blessed along this journey.  Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me and is behind me in this adventure that God has me on.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Just the Beginning

So, chances are that if you are reading this blog, you already know the purpose it serves and the story of God's work behind it. That being said, I thought I would start things off by asking you to join with me in this incredible adventure God has me on.  Join the team!

For those of you who aren't as familiar with how my life is about to change, I have included my prayer letter, which has just recently been sent out.  It explains a little bit of my heart behind the move to Guinea Bissau and also identifies what needs to happen before that.  If you would like to receive a hard copy of it, just let me know!  Thanks for reading!  Welcome aboard!

To my dear friends and family,

My heart is bursting with joy, excitement, and anticipation as I write this letter to you!  God has done a huge work in my life in leading me to where I am today, a graduating senior of Purdue University.  The growth I have experienced while here at Purdue is invaluable and has contributed in the decision I have made to do a year-long missions internship with Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) after graduating in May.

I will be joining two teammates, Andrew Stutzman and Beryl Forrester in a village called Catel in the small country in West Africa called Guinea Bissau.  While I’m there, I will be using my International Agronomy degree to help develop the agriculture there, as well as helping to develop a women’s ministry.

Habakkuk 2:14 says, “For as the waters fill the sea, the earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of the LORD.”  I am very excited that God has called me into the work that He is already doing in West Africa, that every tribe, tongue, and nation would confess His holy name.  I would ask that you pray to see if God is calling you into partnering in this outreach as well.  There is an opportunity on the page enclosed to note if you would like to support me spiritually through prayer, relationally by receiving the newsletters, or financially by pledging money towards the just over $19,000 that I must raise.

As you are praying about ways that you can be involved, pray too for the ministry there.  Pray that the Holy Spirit would go ahead of me and working in people’s hearts in Guinea Bissau.  Pray also for church leadership, that God would raise up strong spiritual leaders amongst the natives to grow the church. And pray too for the women there that I would be ministering to, that they would be open and receptive to a new relationship.  I thank you ahead of time.

Your fellow laborer in Christ,