from a Funny and hot Dakar. Sorry for not being in touch sooner but things have been hectic since we got here. We are thankful for all your prayers and support and are happy to say that we are now in our own house! We are so thankful to Gary and Sharon Howell (Canadian friends who were missionaries in Congo when we were there) for allowing us to stay with them over the past 2 months. None of us was anticipating us being there so long but they have virtually let us take over their apartment with suitcases lining the hallway, toys everywhere and then Daniel crying through the night as well ... we are so grateful to them for helping us in this first couple of months. Finding a house isn’t straightforward in Senegal but we are thankful to have got a place only 5 mins walk from school with space out the back for the kids to play and a roof terrace. It is a lovely house, but as with most houses in Africa, the build itself, design, electrics and plumbing all take a bit of getting used to. Our house is only 4 houses down from Kevin and Debbie Williamson. Robert and Kevin used to go to school together as kids in the south of Senegal so it is nice to be near friends and they have been a great help to us over the past couple of months as well.
Our time so far has primarily been taken up with house hunting and then weeks of chasing workmen to get stuff done at the house which is tiring and frustrating. We have also been getting all the paperwork necessary for our residency cards and hope to have these in the next few weeks.
Robert has just got back from South Africa where he attended the Ambassadors AGM and was able to meet the 3 new members welcomed onto the local board. Thank God for safe travels and positive meetings. Our work in South Africa is essentially in the process of re-launching the work with a new vision and strategy and an important part of the process was adding new board members who can help oversee the work. Pray for unity as we move forward.
One thing that we are always very aware of here in Senegal is the need for people to hear about and come to know Jesus. I know the reality at home is similar, but when surrounded by the vastness of a city like Dakar knowing that so few know and follow Jesus and will be lost to an eternity without Christ does make you feel like every encounter matters. Without the language (primarily Wolof), it is hard to really engage and share with people, but please pray with us for those that we meet and connect with. Pray that God would open their eyes to know and understand their need of His forgiveness. Pray especially for Mamadou and Malik who are friends we have made here.
The kids have settled really well at school and love their classes and teachers. It is a long day for them starting at 8am and going through to 3:15pm but they are doing well and enjoying themselves. The downside of going to an American school is that they are beginning to pick up the accent and lingo ... Mom instead of Mum, trash instead of rubbish, etc!! But it’s great that they are loving it so much.
Up to now we have been attending the International church here in Dakar. It is an English speaking church and the kids have enjoyed Sunday school and making friends there. It has been good for us to meet and get to know quite a few others who are serving here in Senegal. We also met some NI folk and have since got together for an Ulster fry (hosted by Chris Trimble from Lisburn and his American wife Kelly). Chris had recently been down to Gambia where you can buy some UK supplies like bacon, baked beans etc and Colin & Debbie Mills brought some home- made potato bread and we had a great time together. Once things settle down we would like to get out and about to visit some of the Senegalese churches. One of the pastors we used to work with when we brought our tours out to the south of Senegal is now up north here so it will be nice to see him again and connect with some of the WEC churches.