Greetings from your long-lost missionaries!
Contrary to indications, we have not dropped off the face of the planet. Sorry for the crater-like hole/gap in our communications, we went on holiday and all routine went out the window. For some reason it did not fly back in through the window once we returned. Very inconvenient.
Anyway, routine is now peeking its head around the door in an attempt to get back into our lives and I am trying to listen to it. So, here goes with our first update for months . . .
We travelled to Canada (an adventure in itself, involving 5 countries and 3 continents in less than 24 hours) in early July for a proper holiday. Some really good friends of ours, the Barnhoorns, (Canadian missionaries also based in Jos) are on an 18 month stint in Canada and invited us to visit them. In reality (and knowing my husband) we may well have invited ourselves, but they kindly went along with it! They live a couple of hours northwest of Toronto, Ontairo in a small town called Palmerston. The Barnhoorns have 4 kids, from Dan’s age on down. We all managed to squeeze into their house with a certain amount of re-arranging of sleeping arrangements. This included their youngest, Esther, sleeping in the closet in her parent’s room. Thankfully she was delighted with this arrangement and it was more or less the first thing she told me when we got there! I think Dan reckoned the Barnhoorn’s house was pretty close to the perfect place to live with both the library and the open air swimming pool only about 2 minutes walk away (not in quite the same direction in case you are picturing shelves of books underwater).
During our holiday we went on a jaunt (with the Barnhoorns) into Michigan and camped for a few nights near Lake Michigan along with 3 other families that we had met while we were in Nigeria (Munafos, Becks and Winklers for those who are curious). Going to the Lake Michigan beach was a little surreal. Sand dunes, sandy beach, waves breaking on the shore, water as far as the eye can see (and a good deal further) but also fresh water, ducks walking past and no need to worry about the tide coming in. Weird.
Having returned from Michigan and had a one day turn around (mostly taken up with doing laundry), we all headed off again in the opposite direction towards Maine. Having driven for about 13 hours and gotten caught in the edge of what we concluded must have been a hurricane, we finally made it to the “camp”. Apparently, in New England, if you have a cabin by a lake you call it a camp. The camp belongs to the wider family of our SIL Nigeria director’s wife (Crabtrees) and we were able to spend almost a week hanging out with them by the lake. Such a beautiful place and very peaceful, even with 6 adults and 5 kids compressed into it! We actually had a couple more adults for one night as some other friends of ours from Nigeria (Mark and Emily Gaddis) joined us.
All in all we had a fantastic time, busy but refreshing. If any of you are really interested in a blow by blow description of the whole adventure I am working on a rather more detailed version available on request 🙂
We got back to Nigeria with a week and a half to get sorted before Dan’s school resumed. He has now been back for 3 weeks and is settling well into his second year in middle school. He decided to take on an extra class this year which will stretch his organisational skills as it is an independent study class. Thankfully it is Independent Reading which he does anyway, he just has to remember to write down what he has read and hand the sheet in at lunchtime once a week. Taking Independent Reading like this means he can continue with Band, in which he is now playing percussion. I had never realised before quite how penetratingly loud a glockenspiel can be!
Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support! If you can spare a few minutes, please do pray for us now.
–Rejuvenating holiday with great friends in North America
–Smooth start to term for Dan
–Finally getting an update out!
–Having a lot of issues with our servers and internet at the office which has a massive impact on our work
–That Ali will be able to prioritise better both at home and at work!