Tuesday, December 27, 2005

... and a Happy New Year

Many of you know that last week was a tough one for the Reeds, but tough for the ones who made it tough—the infamous Liberian rogues. Three times on two nights they attempted to break into our house and car respectively, and managed to badly damage five window screens and then break out the passenger side window of our car. On the 21st, they slashed our window screens while we were sleeping, reached in with a stick and pulled some flashlight batteries into grab range. On the 23rd, we were awakened at 2:45am by a phone call from our neighbor who heard a loud noise. I went out to find our car’s passenger door smashed with a cement block and my spare tire messed with, but nothing missing. I went inside and waited a half hour in the dark, and sure enough, the guy came back to the scene of the crime. He got into the car, and opened the glove box as I came to the door. He heard me and bolted, jumped over our newly erected security wall, and was gone. Renita and I were at first rattled, but after going through a range of emotions, we let go what we never had anyway—guaranteed security. A lot of damage and drama for about twenty dollars worth of batteries.

Since then we spend a very nice Christmas day with several missionary families who have been here for years. They report this kind of activity is common, especially around the holidays, and during times of political transition, both of which are happening now. They also had some tips for us, some we will implement immediately. We felt much better after our time together. All in all, we are doing quite well, although finding a replacement car window in Monrovia might take a while.

In a few days we will have our “Happy Birthday Jesus” party with about 30 kids and a dear friend from the US, Julie DeGraw. We’ll have games and prizes, and tell the Christmas story, and everyone will make a gift to give to Jesus.

Soon also, we will usher in another year, and this one will be past. 2005 was one for the books, and we are happy to see it drift into memory. During the coming year, we hope some of our efforts here will begin to show some fruit, and we hope new relationships just now beginning will blossom. It is lonely here sometimes, so far from home, so friends that know something of what we are experiencing here will be very nice. To those of you supporting us with well wishes, prayers, money and gifts, thanks so much for all you do.

Our bedroom window with slashed screens. They only got some batteries laying on the desk.

The Pathfinder sans passenger window.

On a more pleasant note, we have some pics taken by the kids. Hannah snapped this one of Noah and Survivor Jr, Rachel, Majua and Odele.

Victoria having an ecstatic cardboard box moment while sister Apple looks on. Noah took this one.

Victoria took this shot of Renita savoring a cup of coffee.

A nice shot of Majua next to a large palm butter mashing bowl. This and the next picture is Hannah's handiwork

Apple and Unca Ba share a moment. Note the little arm around the big man's back. I think she was going for my ear.