We had a pretty big year this year. From finishing up our first term overseas (including almost a year in Senegal, W. Africa) to driving literally across and around the U.S., it was a busy year with a lot of transition. The theme was definitely that God is faithful...no matter what.
Ups and downs characterized this year in a major way, with wondering why we had been through so many changes and disappointments with our path to missions. And although our time in Senegal was rocky and challenging at times, it was marked with a distinct sense of PEACE. We felt God's hand in our being there and overall didn't struggle with major cultural shock in a the way many people do when transitioning to life in Africa for the first time.
Another fun trip was a family trip up to Beersheba (farming God's
way...an SIL project in a nearby town)....we avoided the pythons that
live near the lake and met some fun people. We even got to see a pig
escape out of her pen and saw firsthand how to re-capture a pig! Just
today Marianna was asking when we could go back there.
After a while we started to dream about possibilities outside of
Dakar so Daniel spent almost 3 weeks traveling first to the southern
part of the Senegal, then the north.
Daniel with Pastor/teacher Augustine
Later our whole family took a short trip up north, to Richard Toll.
That was a lot of fun and we could definitely see ourselves living up
there someday. We'll see what the future holds!
The next month we made the trip back to the USA for our first furlough. Our travels went smoothly (thanks to a lot of prayer!) and we spent a month adjusting in WA state before starting two months of cross country travels to visit friends, family and partners. It was an exhausting, but worth it, trip.
This fall we starting homeschooling, celebrated my (Rachael's) dad's 60th birthday, attended School Psychology and expositional preaching conferences, Daniel completed a welding course and completed half a dozen home improvement projects (pictures and details to come next post).
Although I am exhausted thinking about this past year, I (and our family) are thankful for the many ways God has provided for us and for the ways difficult things have caused growth and drawn us closer to Him!