Saturday, January 10, 2009

The last week or so has seen a change of pace around or house. We celebrated New Years Eve with the director of SIM and his family out at the “dunes”. The dunes may be more accurately termed “the dune”, a great mountain of sand that rises from a dry river bed just outside of town. Upon our arrival we discovered we weren’t the only ones to celebrate there—a group of French people had come out bringing their own entertainment, and they had already claimed the highest peak of the dune. Settling into a spot lower down we tossed around a football and had a picnic supper as the sun slowly set. The adults stretched out on a mat to watch the stars slowly come out in all their glory in the clear night sky while the children were busy digging holes in the sand with which to bury one another. In the background, traditional Tamajek music echoed from the over the dune where the French had settled in with a campfire.
On the following Saturday, the SIM annual spiritual life conference began. Once again, SIM has kindly invited us to participate in what could be compared to a Family Camp—except that numbers are much smaller and SIM ministries from across the country give updates and prayer requests. The Sunday was marred by an unexpected happening. An Australian man fell unconscious in the shower before the morning worship service. Fortunately the guest house he was staying in also contained 4 doctors from the various SIM hospitals who quickly came to his aid. Later that afternoon it was announced that a CAT scan at the national hospital revealed a large mass on his brain. He and his family have been evacuated back to Australia for treatment. He has two daughters around Ben and Cole’s ages. He managed to make it for the closing service of the conference which was an encouragement to everyone. The rest of the conference continued very positively without incident. However, we received word yesterday that one of the vehicles heading back to the SIM hospital out east had an accident killing a pedestrian and seriously wounding two passengers, one of whom required surgery due to severe head trauma.
Jennifer has been attending a second conference on expatriate children’s education put on by the school here. Educational professionals from the U.S., England and Korea are putting on workshops for parents and teachers, as well as homeschoolers on how to prepare their children for reentry into the education systems of their home countries.

Despite our other activities we had a profitable time reading the scriptures together with Annie for a couple of hours yesterday. Her cousin wants to know when I’m coming over for tea again.

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