Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Back in the USA

We have made it back home safely after a day & a half of travel. We left around 11 am Monday, Cameroon time, to head into Douala for some sightseeing, shopping, & then to the airport. Our flight left @ 11:30 pm. Then we went to Brussels, changed to Continental Airlines and unto Newark/ New York. We left Newark around 3:00pm (EST) Tuesday for our final flight to Grand Rapids. We got in at 5 pm where Don (Sheryl's) husband picked us up. We made it back into Evart around 7pm. We are all very tired and are ready for a hot shower & our own beds:) More details of the trip after we are rested up some. Thanks again for all your prayers for this journey.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The "Mane" Attraction

Half way through VBS some of the children noticed that Haley had beautiful hair and wanted to touch it. They were all gathered around her while she was cutting out some of our crafts. Finally one got brave enough and reached out a little hand to touch it really quick then pulled it back. That gave the next one courage so she reached out and felt her hair as well. In another minute Haley's hair had become the main attraction. The little girls started petting her head and soon one decided she wanted to style it so she started twisting it into a bun. Haley was a good sport about having her "bubble" invaded, although she said she might wear it up tomorrow. It made for some great pictures and a lot of smiles.


Today was the beginning of VBS. What an experience! I have been a part or even headed up other VBS' but I as well as Sheryl and Haley have never felt so unprepared, which is never a good feeling. Some of that came from the fact that they do things completely different here. This is how it went....We were scheduled to begin at 9:00a.m. but it rained very hard all night and into the day that it took longer for the children to get here so they began showing up around 9:20 a.m. and we had enough to get started around 10:00 a.m. Once we were ready to start something else happened to cause a delay so we had one of the teachers start them on singing while that got sorted out. Around 10:30 a.m. we had the Bible story acted out but a drama team (the story of Jonah) then Haley's puppet team put on a show. Next we sent them off to their classrooms where their teachers retold them the story according to their age group then they did coloring and a craft. This was followed by lunch in the classrooms then game time. It was still raining so we brought down big balloons(thank you mom ;)) for them to play games with until they popped :). We ended with assembly and Emanuel doing a recap of what we had learned that day, which was Be Obedient. Then they all headed for the playground or home. Oh, let me mention that the children kept trickling in all day and we ended with over 175 children. Tomorrow we are to expect that number to grow considerably. We will know what to expect at least and really the class teachers have them for most of the time so it is more on them than us. We just have to have the drama, puppets, and crafts ready.
The children are getting used to us more now and only about 3 called us white man today-big improvement.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Our Reward Day

After the Seminar Mrs. Chamberlin said we had earned a day of fun so we all climbed into the van with Joshua or Nascar (as we have dubbed him after seeing how he can maneuver on these streets) as our driver. We toured around seeing the different places the Chamberlin’s have lived, toured the fishing village and other then stopping at The Hot Spot for lunch. That was amazing! It is a restaurant that has gazebos on the cliffs, overlooking the ocean. It was both breathtaking and relaxing. We had fish and chips (barracuda with a good sauce and fries). We met up with a family we had met on the plane on the way here and had a nice talk. We found out it was a very valuable contact to make because her Uncle in head of the Cameroonian Embassy in Washington. She gave us her number and email and told us all to keep in touch and let her know if we have any problem with visas again. After that we ended the day with going to Semi Beach. I clean stretch on beach by a hotel. It was laid out very nicely with lots of things for kids and adult like a play ground, Basketball and tennis courts, as well as a beach volleyball court. The water and sand attracted us though. The sand is finer than ours and all black. It is from the volcano. We waded in the water and felt the salt water in any little cut or scrape but oh, it felt good and later just to sit and listen to it roll in was so relaxing. It was a nice rewardJ . The day has a bit of a damper on it though because Mrs.Chamberlin has developed a bad cough and sinus problem that has gone straight to her chest. She is really not feeling well and we ask you all to pray for her. She went straight to bed when we returned with some good medication and ginger tea. Pray that God will let her body and mind rest tonight so she can have a quick recovery.

Kamikaze Lizards

Last night as we all sat around relaxing after the teacher’s seminar. I (Dana) was sitting quietly minding my own business when something came flying down right by my leg and went SPLAT. I looked over at Drew, thinking he had thrown something at me, then down at the floor to discover, much to my surprise, a poor little lizard that had lost its hold on the ceiling and come hurtling to the ground barely missing my leg. It must have taken it a few moments for it to regain its senses because only when I looked down did it shoot off towards the safety under the desk causing me to let out a surprised SQUEEL followed by the only normal reaction of jerking my feet off the floor causing a chain reaction from Mrs. Chamberlin.
After the surprise was gone and we knew it was just a lizard we relaxed and I was even able to feel sorry for the little guy. That was a long fall! This might not have been the case if it had fallen on my head. Can anyone say panic attack.
Speaking of reasons to get a bit freaked out, Haley was laying in bed last night when suddenly she had the sense of no longer being alone. This revelation came when she felt something run across her legs under the sheets. Eyes popped open and she slowly moved her feet about but feeling no intruders remaining she quietly closed her eyes again and slept a peaceful sleep. How cool is she?!

The Teachers Seminar Day 2 & 3

The three day Teacher’s Seminar has come to a close. We all took part and are thanking God for the help He gave both to us and our listeners. We spoke to a room filled with 23 teachers both young and older, more experienced ones (that can rattle you J). On the second day we started out with Sheryl giving them back their gifts test and they were all very interested in that, some were very encouraged to have their gifts revealed to them a little more. She also gave the lesson on learning disabilities, which received amazing interest and discussions. Haley also gave her testimony to them which impressed them very much with her openness and attitude. Drew gave a board evangelism message about ‘the game of life’ which received many positive responses and gratitude for showing it to them. Dana gave sessions on writing compositions, dealing with staff children, and the balance of discipline,
The last day Sherly gave a session, by request, on how to model our teaching after Jesus. Dana gave a story telling and writing, than Drew joined her to give one on dealing with grief and abuse when it comes to your school. That was a time for open brokenness that was very moving and enlightening to many. We ended shortly after lunch with a final word from Dana on the power of affirmation and self examination. They all filled out comment sheets before leaving which touched us deeply and let us know that God had given us the messages that needed to be heard. Again and Always – God is Good!