Travel & Learning Moments

An update from Tawnya Jackson: 

Last week we made a trip to Abidjan. The trip from Tanda to Abidjan is about 4.5-5 hours, the first hour and a half is a rough, rough road.  We had Moses, one of our Ivorian friends, ride the bus to Tanda so he could make the trip with us.  We arrived in Abidjan without incident and proceeded to grocery shop. That is a fun experience. We have learned to read the prices really closely. Last month, we bought 2 kilos (almost 4.5lbs) of cheddar cheese only to realize after we got to the house that it cost us almost $46!! Crazy! We have found that we can get almost everything here that we bought in America, with the exception of refried beans, Miracle Whip, ranch dressing (or any salad dressing that we like), grape jelly, bacon, breakfast sausage, Dr. Pepper, and peanut butter. 

We spent the next day with our Ivorian friend Somé guiding us through the crazy Abidjan traffic to a few different stores where we could find air conditioners and ceiling fans for the new house. We even had lunch at Burger King! This is another lesson we have learned, eating out in Abidjan is expensive! The next time, Jeff and I have agreed that since I do all the cooking in Tanda, he will cook in Abidjan to give me a break. We’ll see how that works.

On our 3rd day, we went to the Abidjan Mall. It’s very similar to the malls in America. Aubry and I got pedicures for my birthday and Jeff scoped out some other items and prices we needed. It was a fairly relaxing day. I didn’t know how much I would need that relaxing day.

The next day we loaded up (and we were loaded front to back, top to bottom) and headed back to Tanda. We got about 40 minutes into our trip when an Ivorian policeman standing on the side of the road commanded us to pull over and stop. He first wanted to see our car papers. Then he wanted to see Jeff’s drivers license. We both have an international drivers license from AAA. Then, he wanted Jeff’s passport and to know how long we have been in Cote d’Ivoire. When Moses told them we had been here for 3 months, the policeman became very difficult to deal with. He told Moses to get out of the car, so Moses he told Jeff to give him 2000 CFA (about $4) for a bribe, which is generally the reason they stop you anyway. That just made the officer more angry. He came back to the car and told Jeff he wanted 10,000 CFA ($18.50) and he’d better get an Ivorian license because the international one wasn’t good enough since we are living here. That will be on the agenda for the next trip. 

Overall, everything is going well. God is using Jeff in so many ways! He was invited to preach at another church a few Sundays ago. This church was literally 4km (2.5 miles) from Ghana. He shared the same message that he did at a previous church and this time, there were English speaking people in the congregation. Aubry and I didn’t go but Jeff had a car full of men from Tanda with him. The pastor there, Kevin, talked to Jeff after church about building a new church. The one they are currently in is just bamboo sticks and leaves for a roof. Jeff said the church attendance was only about 15 people. The pastor told him that if he could build a nice church he thinks it would grow but until they have money to build, they will continue to try to keep the church going. This has been on my heart a lot since he told me. It breaks my heart. Please be in prayer that they can raise the funds to build a permanent building. There are so many people wanting to reach the unreached here! I know God will sustain the needs of these small churches. It doesn’t have to be a building, they need people to be the church! 

We haven’t said it in a while but want you all to know that we love you, we miss you, and we appreciate your prayers and support!

Ryne Isaac