Friday, June 1, 2018

Camping.....with a newborn

Last weekend we took the family camping.  A team came from Arizona and it had a very special team member on it! J  She and her family lived in the house that we’re currently living in and were my team members for years.  They moved back to the States while we were in the US having Haddie so there was a big hole when we got back to Sierra Leone.  Anyway, she was coming on this team and we wanted to spend time with her as well as see what kind of stuff they were doing in the villages.  I wasn’t sure how it would go, camping with a newborn and one year old, so we decided we’d just take it day by day.

The first couple nights we actually stayed on some property that had bedrooms and running water.  Marie stayed out in a tent with some friends of hers so it was Peter and I with the Littles in the room.  We forgot extra mosquito nets and there weren’t any screens on the windows yet.  Peter volunteered to sleep on the floor without a net since his body was used to the malaria.  J

This was the house that we stayed in. The team gave it a nice coat of paint while they were here.  They even braved the Sierra Leonean scaffolding! 
I did not know that my kids were such crazy sleepers.  Well, I knew that Ben was.  We haven’t had Haddie in our bed very much, but let me tell you that those two are crazy when they go to sleep!  After spending all night trying to keep them from rolling off the bed, I convinced Peter to sleep in the tent the next night.  Now I’ve tried to convince him to do this a many times, but he does not have the same nostalgic memories of sleeping on the ground, cooking food in the fire, etc. that I do.  It was every day life for him and when he had to sleep outside on the ground, it was usually because they were on the run during the war. However, our previous night with essentially no sleep made him desperate enough to try anything. Our kids were still crazy sleepers but at least the mats being on the ground kept us from worrying that they were going to roll off the bed all night.  Also the breeze!! We had to use a blanket at night which was awesome!

The next night we went into a village to camp there.  That evening, one of the women on the team gave a talk to the women of the village.  The men of the village were curious about what these strangers wanted to come say to their women, so they stood up in the back of the meeting with their arms folded across their chests.  However, after the meeting, they were glad with what had transpired and said that we could continue to talk to their women. J

The next day the team arranged a craft time, again with the ladies of the village.  They made little yarn dolls. I got there late and as I walked into the area I heard people calling "Marie, Marie, Marie." It did my heart good to see Marie jumping right in to help with the craft.  Peter and I are passionate about our kids getting to be a part of the ministry that we're involved in and catching the vision for all the things Jesus wants to do here.  It's really fun that Marie's getting old enough to be more than an observer but a participant as well. 

At the end of the craft time, the ladies (and some men of course) were sitting around and one of the team members wanted to share a little bit about what God had laid on her hearts for them.  This developed into an unexpected time of the people in the village just asking a lot of questions.  The people of this village had heard of Jesus before and had believed that He was some kind of prophet, but had never heard about His divinity.  The next night the team showed the Jesus film and it was so neat to hear about some of the responses that they had to various scenes.  Cheering, gasping, etc.  (It was too late for the littles and I to be out so we held down the fort at the campsite).  

Megan has been a Godsend to me.  She came over for a few months just to help me with the little ones.  Could NOT have camped without her! :)

Haddi's "sippy cup" of water in the village......a plastic packet. She took to it like a champ.

Marie and Ben playing in Autie Alice's hammock

Naps were hard to come by but I finally got them both down at the same time!

Camping in the village was hard. When we got home, I was so excited to take a shower in a different place than the toilet and not have to worry about dropping my clean clothes in the dirt.  I never understood why my mom said that she hated the dirt while I know.  Kids make it way worse! :) .

But I was SO glad that we went. It was so fun to see Marie get excited about what was going on and it was a great reminder to me about why we're here.  There are so many people who haven't had a chance to hear about the amazing, amazing grace of God. 

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