have now been in our house for nearly two weeks. We praise God for
all He has done, and for our own four walls, though things have
been rough as well, with so much yet to be done, and some power
problems. The work has stopped now since no money has come in to
continue finishing the house. We still need $22,500
to get everything done, and the solar power system isn't paid off
last two weeks in review:
Time to star
packing up house. While much stuff had been in boxes already, it
was time to empty the little storage room on the roof. The easiest
way to get the furniture down was directly, as you can see on the
picture; they are handing down a couch. After some time, the garden
was quite full with all kinds of furniture.
started driving it to the property - with the help of our neighbors,
they piled it on.
had laid the tiles in one half of the house, and the electricity
was up and running. However, there weren't any plugs in the house
yet, so no way to plug any appliances in.
We didn't actually
move much yesterday, but today Seybou went back and forth quite
a few times, and I myself went the last time. We had to repair the
car twice, and had one accident as a motorbike bumped into us from
We kept packing
up the house (left picture) and transporting stuff over, putting
everything on the tiles on the side of the house where they were
done (right picture).
They laid the
tiles in the kitchen today (picture), and kept working on the tiles
on the right side of the house.
Kossi put in
a few plugs today, so we could plug in the sound system for our
service. Power lasted exactly the two hours of the service, then
the battery bank was empty.
Big moving day.
We counted about 13 times going back and forth between property
and old house, in between taking kids to school and picking them
up. It was a LONG day.
was left was packed up, and put into the garden to be loaded onto
the car. The rooms were emptying out more and more. Incredible how
much trash was revealed in the kids' room, after the four bunk beds
had moved out!
The very last
thing - because most difficult - was my waterbed. It's hard to get
the water out without a pump. Emmanuel came over to help (he did
so last time I moved three and a half years ago). Together with
Paul they did a great job. I'm gonna my waterbed, since there is
no room for it in our new house. Many missionaries have waterbeds
in Mali because of the intense heat - the water is so much cooler
than a mattress.
At 10:30 pm
we finally brought the last load over to the house. Only few things
were left at the old place. I was exhausted and dirty. But there
was no electricity, since there were some problems with our solar
power system. So I stepped into the unfinished house that was filled
with our stuff lying all over, trying to find my way into a little
room that had enough space for a mattress. I put one on the floor,
put a board in front of my door and window, so I could let my cat
out of her box, and lay down to sleep. I was hot, dirty, surrounded
by mosquitoes and uncomfortable. I couldn't help but think back
to my very first night in Mali four and a half years ago, when I
lay in the elementary school like that.
First day at
home. I called the missionary who had installed the solar power,
but he didn't know why the generator didn't give us the electricity
we need. Stepping out of the house, I noticed that they had dropped
a lot of our stuff OUTSIDE, rather than inside, since they couldn't
find any more room to put stuff.
Fanta and Elisabeth
were cooking in the shade next to the house - surrounded by furniture
and tiles, with little Sarata and Hama playing in the dirt.
It was time
to move our stuff into the house. Where to start? There was already
so much inside the house, that it was an overwhelming job. I just
started with one item and went from there. Unfortunately we couldn't
move stuff into two rooms where they had only just finished laying
the tiles. It was a long, tiring day. At one point I went to the
old house with Seybou to take a shower and check my emails.
In the afternoon,
the internet provider finally showed up to make the installation.
They were pessimistic that it would work that far out, but it was
a miracle that it did work. Praise God! The signal that is received
via antennae was strong.
Two car repairs
again. Some guys were working on the sceptic tank, and some on laying
tiles on the kitchen (left) and bathroom walls (right).
I kept arranging
my stuff all over the house, which is a huge job.
Tiles in the
kitchen made much progress, and the doorposts put in. All workers
left early for an important soccer match on TV.
days in our house. We keep cleaning everything, and it seems to
just stay dirty. They finished the tiles in the kitchen on the other
side of the room, and laid the tiles in my shower. In the evening
I started unpacking my kitchen stuff and putting it in its place
as much as possible.
The first few
pictures of my office (left) and my living room (right).
connected the pipes in the house to the sceptic tank today.
This is the
Malian toilet in a corner of our property - a hole in the ground
behind the wall. To take a shower, you simply take a bucket of water
with you. I can't wait to have my bathroom done!
After a few
days with a beginning cold (virus), I'm finally hit full force.
Service without me. Interpersonal challenges also abound. Start
of our three weeks of praise and fasting.
Sick and unproductive.
Our carpenter puts in all the doors - but they don't have handles
or locks. That's expensive and we have no money left.
runs every day from early morning till late at night to give us
enough power, until our more powerful batteries come out of customs.
That costs us over $40 a day. Plus the noise is deafening.
No worker shows
generator is down, and 30 hours without electricity start. We get
the generator repaired, but for some reason the electricity is not
accepted by our power system.
My shower is
installed, but they forget parts of the toilet, so it's postponed
Toilet and sink
are installed in my bathroom. Not quite straight, but it's working,
who installed our solar power system came in the afternoon and simply
changed a setting, and power was restored. He said our batteries
should come out of customs tomorrow (which is today), and if they
do, he'll install them Saturday. But nothing is certain in Mali!
What we need
is windows (to keep bugs and mosquitoes and dust out), but they
are very expensive. Our doors need handles. The kitchen needs a
tab, and the pipes there aren't connected yet. Our tab is outside
the house. The bathroon on the kids' side of the house needs to
for the remaining money to come in, so the house can be finished.
In fact, I've already gone into debt to have some stuff done. Our
trust is in Him.
pray whether God would have you invest into His kingdom in Mali,
and help us get our house done.
Tonight we go
to the bus station again to feed street children
and invite them to our Saturday program. Tomorrow will be our first
program on our property. We will have to go back and forth between
house and bus station a few times to bring them.
we started 3 weeks of praise and fasting. Every
day we gather in the morning and evening to praise God. Last night
we had a great meeting (more details on the BLOG).
pastor Enoch has come to visit, and he's telling us all
the great things going on in the villages. Their calling for us
to come again is getting more and more insistent. I told him we'll
come in March.
- We're picking up school again on Tuesday. Issa has finally finished
his thesis and gotten his diploma. I've asked him to come by so
we can talk to see whether he could come back to be our kids'
Pregnancy - Fanta's (our cook) baby is due middle/end
of May. Please pray it will be a healthy baby (her firstborn is
handicapped), and pray everything turns out fine. Her due date
is coinciding with a missions team that's coming from the US.
- Both my workers - Paul (19) and Firmin (21) - recently told
me they have girlfriends. Please pray for protection and wisdom
and God's will to be done in their lives.
in April - I'm spending the month of April in Austria.
If you'd like me to share or preach in your church, please contact
me now. Details of my itinerary on the left and on my CALENDAR