Dear Family and Friends, Feb 28, 2007
Greetings from sunny Burkina Faso! We are in the midst of the dry season here. Burkina has only two seasons; a dry season and a rainy season. We have not had any rain since October 8th and the temperatures are starting to daily climb to 100+ degrees in the afternoons. The evenings are still cooling down though and that makes it much easier to get a good night's rest.
Already this year we have been blessed by two visits from wonderful teams of friends from home. This past week a team of 8 came from Victory Fellowship in St Louis, MO. It was a short visit of only one week but the Lord wondrously arranged our time and allowed us to see and accomplish all that He had pre-arranged for us to do. Every member of the visiting team was impacted by what the Lord is doing here in Yako and our local team was greatly blessed and impacted by the visiting team.
Julie Rondeau has been living and working with us since October, 2006. Julie is a native of France so she was able to jump right into the daily activities of the orphanage and the school. She has been a tremendous help to us. About two weeks ago, Julie suffered two seizures and since then she has suffered severe pain in her back and in her abdomen. She has seen a local doctor whom we trust and he has recommended that Julie return to France for medical care. She was prepared to stay with us for one more month but the Lord is calling her home early. Please pray for safe travels for Julie and also that Jesus and the doctors in Paris will completely heal her.
We have three new children in the orphanage since I last wrote to you. One of them is a little boy of 5 years of age, named Ferdinand. Ferdinand's mother left him in the care of a local Yako woman when he was about 18 months old. The mother has not been heard from since she left. Ferdinand has not been well taken care of and neighbors have testified that the care-taker often sent him out into the streets to beg when he was hungry. He was often seen late at night sleeping at the bus station.
The first thing that we did for Ferdinand was to change his name. He came to us with the name of KooKoo. KooKoo is a meaningless and silly name which many people name their dogs. We did not want him growing up with this name. Ferdinand has settled very easily into our family. He studies and plays everyday with our other pre-schoolers and he is learning his numbers and letters and basic French.
We are in the process of handling five adoptions right now. If all goes well three of our children will be going to France, one will be going to a family in Italy, and one will be going to a local Burkina couple.
Assya is a little girl of 14 months and she has been matched with the family in Italy. Well into the adoption process, Assya's birth certificate was lost. We went to the prefecture in Yako to ask for another copy of the birth certificate to send to the Italien agency in Ouagadougou. When I received the copy I noticed that they had incorrectly indicated that Assya was a boy!
Assya's adoption proceedings are blocked right now because our local office is asking that the original paper be returned before they will make the correction and give us a new one. Please pray for us that the papers for each of these children will pass quickly from official to official, that all papers will be properly signed, and that no papers will be lost.
During the last rainy season our mud-brick house for the chickens fell down and we sold all of our chickens and our goats. For the last month or so we have been working to rebuild two houses and two pens for our animals and this work is nearly finished. We are again going to invest in chickens for their meat and eggs for the orphanage. Instead of goats though, we are going to try raising sheep. We will use the meat for the orphanage and also sell it for profit for the orphanage.
Lynn and the school are doing very well. We have 75 children enrolled in grades 1, 3, and 5. They have fallen into comfortable patterns of study and recess and study and lunch and activity changes are managed by the director blowing a whistle. From the orphanage we hear the children singing, reciting their lessons, laughing and playing, and it is a joy to hear them. Our school did very well on their first round of standardized tests that were given in that we ranked second out of all the primary schools in Yako. We are encouraged, our teachers are encouraged, and our children are encouraged by these test results and we look forward to even better marks on the next test.
I close with some really good news that our online problems in Yako seem to be resolved. The problem was diagnosed as 'noise on the line' which prevented us from connecting and/or keeping the connection. The phone company did respond and they did repair the line and we are thankful for this. We also got some really bad news about 3 weeks ago that the hard drive on our laptop was dieing. But, the team who just left brought us a beautiful new laptop so now we are all desperately trying to catch up with family and friends everywhere.
Blessings to you!
Ruth. . . Mom. . . Grandma