Health, Holidays, and Home
This post is written by one of our Solace missionaries, Tawnya Jackson.
Churches are continuing to request Jeff to come and preach. About a month ago he preached in a village and visited with a family after church. They fed him lunch and asked him to pray over a young man that is living with them. He wasn’t making good choices and was just having a hard time. Jeff put his hand on the young man’s shoulder while he prayed and felt him sobbing. After the prayer, one of the translators told Jeff that the young man said that as soon as Jeff placed his hand on him that he felt something different. He said he will leave his old ways behind. I was in awe. We thought we were coming to Africa to help raise orphans, but God has much bigger plans.
All three of us (Jeff, Tawnya, and Aubry) have battled malaria since my last blog. I got it first on what was supposed to be our last night in Abidjan on our last trip. It forced us to stay an extra day because I literally slept all night and day. Travel was difficult and I finally felt better after 6 days. Then it was Jeff's turn. He wasn’t nearly as sick as I was, thank God. He was only down 2 days. And now, Aubry has been sick all this week. We went to church on Sunday (Jeff was preaching) and I had to get the keys from him so I could bring her home. She finally feels better today. Malaria is not for the weak. It is a real challenge we face living here.
Holidays Away from Home
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite “family” holiday. I love the food but more than that, the fellowship with family and friends. It was a really emotional day for me. We did get a little screen time with our son who was in Wichita with his fiance’s family. Even though we knew this was coming, it has still been very difficult. All of my (Tawnya) side of the family, kids, siblings, mom, nieces and their significant others will be getting together Saturday for their celebration of thankfulness. But we will also be having one here! We have invited Diane, who teaches English at the school and French to us, Denver, who is here from America with 1040i, and our Ivorian friends Moses, Denis, and Kouame. Our menu is baked chicken, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet carrots, deviled eggs, dinner rolls, cherry pie, and apple pie. It won’t quite be the same, but we are embracing our new family here and making new traditions.
On Tuesday, Nov. 28 we will be leaving Tanda for the last time as a family of 3. Aubry is getting excited to go back to America where she can go to school and church. We will spend a few days, while in Abidjan, shopping for appliances for the Solace Family Homes. That is exciting! Our plane will leave Abidjan Saturday, Dec 2 at 11:25pm. After a full day of traveling we will be in Tulsa on Sunday at 5:25pm. I ask that you all please keep us all in your prayers again as we go through the emotional distress that is coming with leaving Aubry.
As always, we love you all and are so thankful that you are on this journey with us.