Monday, September 11, 2006

ReedNews Update: Sometimes God Says No

The rainy season is still upon us in force, with rain nearly every day and some days (like today) seeing rain all day. We are getting used to it, but we miss the sun. We got over six inches yesterday. Here is the rest of the news:

Item- We buried our dear friend Deacon Reeves Saturday. The service was sad but good. The Reeds were asked to offer a brief tribute, but the highlight was the message given by his son Rev Samuel Reeves of Providence Baptist Church. The message was titled “When God Says ‘No’,” and it was a wise reminder that for the faithful, He always answers prayers—but He answers according His agenda, not ours. Sometimes the word is no. So we need to stop resisting, which goes against much of what we are taught. You know:“Never take 'no' for an answer.” The thing is, His “no” ends up strengthening us and glorifying Him. Even today’s “no” is ultimately and forever transformed into YES.

Item- Obviously, we have returned from Mali. The country and society is noticeably more stable and feels safer than Liberia; it was nice to actually be able to walk at night. We had four days of meetings with the CRWRC West Africa Ministry Team and enjoyed reconnecting with our friends from Senegal, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. I enjoyed another bout of amebic dysentery and Renita and Hannah are still waiting for their intestinal adventures to pass. Er, my grandma Cain used to call it the “trots.”

Item- Back here, work responsibilities are loomin’ large. I am mostly involved in two activities for Mother Patern College—teaching a 3 credit course on human behavior for the social work students and working with the staff of the college and the folks at Calvin and Kuyper Colleges on the exciting but daunting task of developing this nations first professional social work program.

Item- Renita is about to begin her third LEAD class—already about 45 folks have graduated and some are receiving loans to enhance their businesses and employ more Liberians. She is also about to begin her second year of home schooling. Hannah and Noah are getting the best education in their lives.

Item- Around home, the 14 chicks that hatched a month ago are doing fine, although the two roosters are driving us crazy in the morning with their constant crowing. I’d like to eat one of them, but the kids won’t have it so we’ll likely give him away—to another family who will eat him.

Item: Regarding electricity, some of you have asked how we are doing. We still have some solar power during daylight hours, even with the rain. The solar panels are great and always supply enough amperes to run our refrigerator, two dc lights, our dc fans, and on good days, both of our laptops via our small 80watt inverter. We never were able get the big inverter fixed, so our bigger power needs wait until 7:00pm, when we fire up the generator for three hours.

A few photos of the funeral and the last part of our trip to Mali follow.

Sam Reeves preaches his father's funeral. The casket is covered in flowers behind him.

The mourners approach the oceanside grave site.

Sam Reeves says goodbye to his father, as the Deacon's casket slides into its crypt.

On to a few images of Mali. We were there for meetings with WAMT. Here is photographic evidence that we actually met.

The Selingue River from atop the Selingue Dam. Renita and Noah investigating cows, with fishermen in the background.

A close up of a fisherman and fisherboy casting their nets.

Another shot of a fisherman, this looking down from the top of the Selingue Dam.