Friday, March 09, 2007

We have been so blessed over the last 48 hours hosting our dear friend Mark Berryman. I first met Mark when I was a sophomore at Harding University. He coordinated the Africa Internships and taught a class on Africa Missions. I was in his class and I participated in an internship that took me to Eldoret, Kenya that set my heart and feet on a path that would change me forever. Mark coordinated and traveled with our group of interns to Kenya where we worked with a wonderful team of missionaries for 6-8 weeks. This was the summer of 1990. Mark mentioned in conversation yesterday that in the past year he has visited with 34 former interns who have returned to Africa and are presently missionaries on the field. Those are just the ones he has visited with in the past year. There are many more than 34 who became missionaries as a result of those internships.
Randy picked Mark up at the Togo border on Wednesday. They arrived here at lunchtime. We ate our lunch and we literally sat at the table talking until it was time for me to serve our dinner. What a blessing to be in conversation with him. The fellowship has been sweet and the encouragement deep. Our kids have enjoyed Mark's company as well. This morning he was in the front yard playing Hide and Seek with all 4 kids. He and Tori played Tic Tac Toe this morning and Tori was having a blast.
Randy took Mark out to visit some of the Aja Christians yesterday. It was supposed to be a brief visit...but it was not! They left at 2:00pm and didn't get home until 8:00pm! Randy said the Aja leaders had alot of questions for Mark and Mark responded with great counsel and some questions of his own. They were very encouraged to hear that Mark had such an impact on our family coming to Benin, as well as an impact on Murphy and Christine Crowson, too (our former Benin teammates who were instrumental in the start of this church at Ainahoue). Once it sank in that because of Mark, that Murphy and Randy had come to Benin, they fell to their knees thanking God, saying to Mark, "we thank God for your work because it is because of you encouraging Murphy and Randy to come, that our families now know salvation!" Even for Mark, it was a sweet moment to meet some of the believers converted because of the work of his former interns.
They were a little late getting in because they were asked to walk across the village to visit a man in the church who had been discouraged. When they arrived, they again thought it was just a brief visit. Then the man became so excited, broke out the large bottles of fruit cocktail and then shared a special treat with Mark and Randy....hippo meat! Apparently a wild hippo had been shot by a nearby hunter who says the hippo was eating some of his crops when the hippo would come out of the river at night (it is forbidden to kill hippos unless the hippo is a danger to the community) This man Mark and Randy visited had a large truck so he had been called in to haul the dead beast to the butcher. As payment, this man was given some of the hippo meat. This was definitely a first for both Mark and Randy!
On another note.....
Our kids have had a strange virus this week that seems to pass quickly. It started with Jonathan...for 2 days he had a fever between 99 and 101.5 We treated with Tylenol and Motrin. He never showed any other symptoms and seems fine now and has had no fever for 2 days. Yesterday Lael woke up with fever and has no other symptoms. Around lunch yesterday Timo told me he was not feeling good and when I checked he had a fever of 100. I gave him Tylenol and within 30 minutes he was asleep on the couch....he said he was just really tired...and he really looked like he did not feel well...J and L never looked sick. It turned out that Timo was up several times in the night with fever and being sick at his stomach. He seems to be doing better now. So we are watching Timo and since we will be in Cotonou tomorrow...anyone who has any symptoms of any thing will be taken to the doctor!

Today we will be dropping Mark at the Togo border where he will rejoin our missionary friends in Togo. We will then head on to Cotonou where we will be picking up former teammate and great friend Greg Bailey. He will return to Aplahoue with Randy and the kids on Sunday for the week. I fly out Sunday night to join my mother for 2 days in London before heading to Kenya for the Come Before Winter Renewal for Missionary Women. I am so excited!

Keep checking in to hear about Randy's adventures with our 4 sweet kids over the next 2 weeks! I am sure the updates will be fun! These kids are so blessed to have Randy for a Daddy. He will make sure their time is memorable!

2 comments:

CommentRV said...

What a blessing...I still remember your dad and I sitting in Mark's class at a World Missions workshop and being thrilled as he spoke...he made missions sound so "do-able"...so attractive! Remember the huge Africa Map???? We made us one and used it for years with our Africa Prayer Group....great memories of so many kneeling around that map as we prayed...that was several years before you all went!!! What blessed meomories...Mark did not just have great impact on the interns but he helped change the lives of some of their parents too!!!

KJV...see you Monday!!!Blessing to Randy, precious children and GB!!

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