Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Love One Another...?

We have been quite busy these past couple of weeks...lots of ministry work, preparations for Easter...meetings upon meetings with various leaders...and all the hours of preparation for the wedding reception for our friend, Laurence, and her new husband, Ben!

This past Monday, the 24th, we had the joy of standing beside our dear friends before the county officials as their witnesses. It was alot of fun to watch their excitement for each other! They looked great too...all new outfits! Then later that day, we hosted a reception in their honor at our house!

Oh I wish we had our laptop and you could see all the pictures...we will post them as soon as we get the laptop back from repairs in the States. Lots of fun! We transformed our house into the best looking banquet hall this side of the ocean!!! Candles and twinkling lights were the main decor. We had a house full of their Aja friends and our teammates, the Prices, were a big help with serving the food and drinks as well as helping us with our kids! The reception was in full swing and demanded every bit of our attention right around 6:30p until well after 9p! For any of your other parents, is that not your busiest time of the day, too?? Thanks to our SDAWA for your help!! I got to share with them some words of encouragement and counsel. I usually do this in Aja...with lots of errors...but this time I did it in French...AND with a video camera staring right at me (we helped them hire this videographer to help them have a great memory of this day). I was so nervous. I was so flustered that toward the end, I was wanting to work in some line about having them display their love for us by asking them to hug or kiss or something...they hugged at the civil ceremony in the morning and I wanted every one to see that...but I did not have that phrase well translated nor written in my notes...I got so flustered with the video guy literally two feet from...all my mind could begin to think of was saying something that, IN FRENCH, would have come out something like:

Yikes!!!!! Thank goodness I DID NOT say that....just one of those POTENTIAL language blunders!!!!!

In spite of my errors, it was a fun night and all their African friends had a blast. There was a moment when our friend, Ega, launched into about 30 minutes of Aja praise songs and the whole place erupted in dancing ... uh, except for us Americans! It was so much fun to see their joy!
It will be a few weeks late, but we will post some pictures of the day!

On another note: Daddy Boot Camp arrives in about 2 weeks to the day....the other day, Timo said: "DADDY, WHAT WE GONNA DO AT DADDY POOP PAN?"

Love that guy! Have a great day...Happy Birthday to our niece, Garyn, on Saturday!!


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Happy Easter everyone!

Happy Easter everyone! We enjoyed a full day today already, hosting our monthly leadership meeting. Had an extra special spirit about it because of the weekend,s celebration of the Resurrection!! Also we had the privilege of hosting 4 men from the Christian Church of Benin, an organization with whom we have begun to have some contact answer to prayer!!! We are of the same mind and spirit and that unity was evident today!

Tomorrow, it will be a big gathering of all the 7 churches for what is sure to be a big celebration!

We were able to get our laptop to the States with the help of another visiting American missionary; Some special guests are coming our way in a few weeks from our home church, and they are going to bring it back to us...hopefully fully repaired!!

Also when KC and BP arrive, it is also the occasion of the annual Daddy Boot Camp! Kelly and her 2 girlfriends from RHCC will get to have a 3 day girl:s get-away...thus DBC planning is in the works....all 4 kids!! Pray for the Camp Director!!!

Gotta run...may the Lord continue to advance his Kingdom in this world, announcing hope to the world...the hope ushered into this world of darkness by the Resurrection of the Light and Life of our Savior, Jesus Christ!!


Friday, April 14, 2006

Blog Thoughts

We no longer have our computer with us. We had tried everything we knew to do on this side and made the decison to send it back to the States to be repaired. We were prepared to spend a lot of money to send it back but were praying earnestly for another solution. God answered that prayer through the missionary community in Benin. A missionary with the Assembly of God churches said that he would be willing to carry it back with him to America as he was returning there this past week. We are so thankful for this provision. It will be repaired and returned to us during the first of May.

The month of May is one we are eagerly anticipating. Our computer will return with two of my dearest girl friends who are coming for one week to visit. Kelly Christian and Beth Plemons are coming to see our family and our daily lives here in Benin. Just seeing their faces on this side of the ocean will be an overwhelming gift of encouragement. We are looking so forward to their visit! Then at the end of May, my cousin and dear friend Tim Chapman will be coming for a week. Growing up Tim and I were inseparable friends and we remain close to this day. This will be a very special visit! God is good and his kindness to our family is demonstrated through these friends' desire to make this journey!

On this blog, in times past you have seen pictures of my dear Aja friend Laurance. She is in my home 4 days a week and is a tremendous help with my children. She has worked in my home throughout our 7 years in Benin and as you can imagine we have a very close friendship. When I think about our family returning to the States next year permanantly, I know that this relationship is the one that I will miss the most. Randy went with her fiancee this past Wednesday night to speak with Laurance's father. Ben (her fiancee) had several gifts that he took her father which were well received. Ben was nervous and the father made sure the conversation was a challanging one. Randy enjoyed the evening and watching the exchange of conversation between these two men who share great love for Laurance, and recognize the value of this precious woman. Once this evening was over, plans could be made and we are wasting no time! She and I are having a very fun time right now planning her wedding. The wedding date has been set for April 24th! On this Monday morning they will be married before the Justice of the Peace with Randy and I as their witnesses. We will then return to our house for a ceremony with Randy officiating in front of a few family members and friends. We will then be having a party to celebrate!

Yesterday we went to the market and were able to find beautiful material for her a wedding dress. I also found something fun for Randy and myself. Randy and I have to have a new outfit made of course! :)

More details to come... Kelly

Monday, April 10, 2006

Smiles from our funny kids....

We are still experiencing computer problems and it has been frustrating to say the least. For many months now we have enjoyed easy internet access and email capability. This way of communication has dramatically affected us in a wonderful way. We have felt connected to our friends and family on a daily basis. What a blessing and now, what an adjustment to be with out this capability. We are prayerful about what to do and would appreciate your prayers that the Lord would direct our steps in regards to this situation.

We do have 4 wonderful kids who provide us with endless Tori and Timothy both said things that I think are quotable! :)

Earlier today Tori was watching the Visual Bible, the book of Matthew on TV. I was sitting in the room with her, however, I was rather engrossed in a new book. I looked up from time to time at the TV but would rather quickly return to my new Karen Kingsbury/Gary Smalley Redemption is really really good! After several attempts on Tori's part, (I guess) she finally said Mom! Look at me! Do you love that book more than me and the words of Jesus? You are not listening to either one of us! Smiling and uh, a bit convicted...I put the book down (for a few minutes) and tuned in.

Later in the day Timothy was sitting down and "reading the wod of God." He had a little blue Bible in his hands and wanted Randy and I to see that he was reading it. I said Timothy, what are you reading about? He said, "Well this page is about bull riding and this one is about roping cows!"


Friday, April 07, 2006

In The Middle of It

Well, we're not back up at 100% yet, but we have some limited access to email, and with the help of our teammates, we are able to get on the internet at their house a few times a week.

I was at one of my leadership training meeting last night with Yaovi (yah-o-vee). We had a good meeting of about 3 hours long...studying in a hot and muggy mud hut by the light of a kerosene lantern. The squeals of young kids, cries of a million babies, the annoying sounds of goats (sorry goats), and the constant interruption of the curious chickens wanting to come in and find out what we were doing. That was our study environment. Rather humorous as we were working through some leadership training materials we got from of the lessons talks about creating an ideal study environment conducive to maximum learning...things like: "a well lit room", "cool and comfortable temperature", "silent", and "free from distractions." These are luxuries of Western education and study habits! When you live your life, like Yaovi, in the middle of the active African village, "privacy" is virtually an unheard of concept. Aja people have their own needs for private time, but it is different than ours. They also I think have developed a remarkable ability to block out alot of those "distractions" and just concentrate better than me.

As I was driving home about 11p last night, I was scanning my short wave radio in my truck...sometimes late at night we can pick up the BBC or Voice of America stations on the radio...most of the time the stations are all in French, African dialects, or some other language. I was pleasantly surprised when the scanner stopped on an English speaking voice. Sounded familiar to me, but I could never place the voice and in the short time I listened never heard the man's name identified. Apparently some Christian musician and song writer (at least he talked at length about "God's faithfulness" during his live conversation). I was struck by a thought he shared.

He talked about his marriage of almost 30 years and how, because he and his wife married young, they encountered lots of problems (communication related). He also related a number of generic mentions of traumatic moments with their children and a number of other trials in his life. He then introduced a song called "The Promise." The song, written by this man to his wife, reflects not only his personal commitment to his bride, but also the covenant faithfulness of our God.

I was intrigued by one line that led off the said something like:"Here we are in the middle of what we know is just the middle"

The play-on-words heightens our awareness of the reality that when we walk through life with the promise of a faithful God and a faithful spouse, we can truly rejoice when we have trials (God's Word tells us that, right?!)....because we know that in reality, the crisis at the moment will pass and the faithfulness of God will present us new opportunities for praise and blessing...perhaps not in our timing, but we know it is a reality. Even in death, we know that if we are in Christ, we will live again! So truly, in the middle of ANY time of trial, persecution, hardship, depression, or hard time, we can thank God for His faithful presence and His promise...because we are truly just in the middle of it! If the goodness and mercy of God follows us all the days of my life, I can know that in a moment of testing, I am in the middle of it!

Hope that encourages your day. It gave me a new thought.

Our God is faithful!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Computer problems in Benin - please pray!

NOTE: Today, I spoke with Randy & Kelly and they informed me that they are having computer problems. Apparently their modem went out so they are unable to connect to the Internet to update this blog or send email.

Please be in prayer that they can purchase a modem soon (which they are in the process of trying to do) that will allow them to get back online. Also keep them in prayer because they have had trouble with electricity and water recently which adds to the frustration level.

Beyond that, they are all doing well health wise. They look forward to being back online soon.

For the Vaughns in Benin,

Donny Vaughn

p.s. Phone calls to them would be very encouraging right now. If you need phone information for them, please email me directly @