You probably know the feeling–it’s great to get away, and it’s even better to get home!  We are glad to be home after a good week in Kara.  All of our team joined the Kabiye team for a belated Thanksgiving feast on Monday.  This wasn’t a good year for African turkeys, so we made do with chicken (which everyone knows tastes better, anyway).  Of course we had to carry on that great Thanksgiving tradition of bursting the turkey piñata–one for kids and one for adults.


Tuesday through Thursday were filled with our third somewhat-annual sports camp.  Kids played and dads coached through three days of soccer, baseball, American football, and basketball. Jeremy developed a new love for basketball.  The sports context provided many opportunities to teach lessons for life.  It was a great reminder that our kids are our first mission field and a good opportunity to help them develop spiritually as well as physically.  My involvement was quite limited on the third day as I was hit by a twenty-four stomach virus (affectionately labeled “The Big D”) that was running through the missionaries up there.


Saturday we spent a day shopping and swimming in Lomé.  While the guys were at the pool, Maureen made a trip to the Grand Marché where she found some clothing bargains and bought cloth to do some sewing.  This morning we worshiped with the Kpeyidzi church and encouraged them with the same message that we had been presenting to the children that week–"Run in such a way as to get the prize!" (1 Cor. 9:24)  They encouraged us by their numerical and spiritual growth.  Some of you may remember an earlier post about this church and Papa Roger.  He was still there and just as joyful as ever.  Alfred and Marcellin, the two young men who served as leaders there, have grown a lot.  It doesn’t seem too long ago that leaders from other churches were telling them off for their laziness.  Today they were well prepared (they didn’t know we were coming) and Alfred’s lesson was very good.  It’s been quite a while since we’ve been out there.  These two younger leaders are being mentored by elders from nearby congregations.  A long time ago, Greg Newton told me that the missionary’s strategic absence can help new Christians grow more than their continual presence.  Guess he was right.  A humbling, but strangely comforting, thought!