Monday, January 24, 2011

The Journey Continues...

So I am back in Bouake. Beckie’s CT scan that everything is fine, so her parents were more ok with her staying and not being medically evacuated which I was happy about. But be praying for her, she is still in a whole lot of pain and is still experiencing some vertigo. A whole lot of rest is in order, and as Americans that is a difficult thing to do.

I had a great time in Bamako, pictures to come! :) We stayed at the SIL (Wycliffe) guesthouse in Bamako and we were on the 5th floor!! It was a sweet view of the city and the Niger River, especially at night with the city lights. I realized I kind of miss cities :)

At any rate things are kind of heating up down in Abidjan just because it has been quiet for so long and nothing is happening, I think people are starting to stir up something. Here in Bouake they are having strikes right now. When people strike here, it means don't leave you house and there is no school. I am safe here on campus and things in town are opening up again today. We are leaving for Korhogo tomorrow to begin our orientation up there. We will stay on the Bible school campus in the guesthouse for week to get acclimated to where the market is and such and then a week from this Monday with will have a time to meet our new families!!! We are going to invite them to come for a three day introduction time. We will explain more about Journey Corps to them and hopefully just start to get to know them.

I am excited because I found out yesterday that Devin and Chazz are going to be living with the family that I stayed with here in Bouake, the Bambas. I am super happy for them because they are such a great little family and I think they will really enjoy it! None of the Korhogo families have been decided but it is most likely that the area I am going to be living in has small houses so I probably will be living alone but Alyssa and CJ will live in the same "neighborhood" or cartier as me. Oh and we are all getting bikes!! I am super excited but it will be a challenge to ride in a panya, they are quite
restricting. It is the fabric here that you just wrap around you waste like you would a towel after showering. Not the most secure thing seemingly, but it holds quite well! :)

It is hard to believe the day has come when we leave our little home here on the school campus. It will be so strange, but in a way this is the day we have all been waiting for. Be praying for our families, you know how challenging it will be for them to have Americans living in their homes :) We're a bit wild. Not quite house trained the Ivorian way. So I am about to say au revoir to shorts and pants and hello to panyas and skirts! :) Wish me luck!

Love you and miss you. Praying for you to experience God's love and plan for your lives clearly this day and for you to have the courage to do what He says. Been learning a lot about obeying God's word. That is mentioned a lot by Jesus and throughout the Old Testament so I think it is pretty important. Feeling more burdened to share him with people here, pray for my language learning, and that my life will shine bright when I can't think of the words to tell about my Savior.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived, what God has
prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2: 9

In His Hands,
Heidi Paige <3

Monday, January 17, 2011

Greetings from Bamako, Mali!

So a lot has happened since the last time I wrote. You can guess from the title that I am in Bamako, the capital of Mali. On Saturday morning I was woken up at 7 by Angelika. She had come to my room to tell me that Beckie (our French teacher and my best friend here) needed to go to the hospital so I was to pack my bag and be ready to leave in fifteen minutes. Let the adventure begin. Being half asleep I almost forgot my passport, which ended up being an important item. Beckie was hit by a rolling Land Cruiser two Thursday s ago and is still suffering from headaches and vertigo so they decided she needed to go up north to see the WorldVenture doctor (Jen). Rod dropped Beckie and I off at Hopital Baptiste in Ferke about three hours later. We stayed there in a guesthouse til this morning when we left for Bamako. It was a ten hour drive with mostly the same, after a while, boring scenery but I never thought I would leave Cote d’Ivoire this year so I am definitely not complaining. Another WolrdVenture missionary and Dr. Jen drove us, and Beckie and I are very grateful since we have no idea what we are doing!
It has been fun hanging out with Beckie so much. It is incredible to me how life here is so unpredictable. Bamako is a huge city and the Niger River is huge also! It is crazy how nice the roads are here and there are even traffic lights! If there isn’t a light there is a police man (I haven’t seen one of those since I’ve been here) directing traffic. There are tons of motorcycles but they have their own shoulder on the road separate from the cars. We are staying in an SIL (Wycliffe) guesthouse on the fifth floor. I haven’t been this high since my flight. Bamako has similar city sounds to those I have heard before; cars, people yelling, music, and the call to prayer. I have actually never experience d the call to prayer before arriving in West Africa but it is something that has become a part of each day. It is interesting what becomes common place. Especially things that are normal until you go somewhere else and realize how strange they are. For example, working gas stations. In Cote d’Ivoire there are tons of abandoned gas stations. Another thing is speed limit signs, those don’t really exist in Bouake and they definitely would not be followed if there were.
I am not sure when I will be back in Bouake. Hopefully, tomorrow after Beckie has her CAT scan they will be able to say whether she can come back to Bouake or if she needs further medical help here in Mali or back in the States. Be praying for her, she also only had fifteen minutes to pack up her life in Cote d’Ivoire and she may not get to go back. Be praying also for me, a week from tomorrow I will hopefully be moving up to Korhogo in the Northern part of Cote d’Ivoire to live in a family and get plugged into church ministry up there. I am super excited to get involved in the community and understand the culture more but it will be hard to split up and leave Bouake. The other Journeyers have become my family and I will miss them. Also, it is hard to be gone for the last week together since I am in Mali.
God is amazing. I see His hands working so clearly in my life. He is changing me in a lot of ways. Some of the ways are uncomfortable, but I know that he is molding me into someone he can better use for His glory. My prayer is to be in sync with the Holy Spirit and open to the work and relationships He has for me here.
With Love,
Heidi Paige <3

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It is hard to believe that 2010 is over. I think that this idea crosses cultural barriers. I have talked to both Ivoirians and French people and they say the same thing. 2010 flew by. I hope you are praying for Cote d’Ivoire. Things are looking pretty hairy down in Abidjan. I am thankful to be far enough north not to see the effects of this power struggle but almost 200 people have died since the elections and my heart hurts for this nation. I am not afraid for my own well being here but I am afraid for the well being of Cote d’Ivoire. If Gbago doesn’t step down there will most likely be a war. They have been warring for ten years. It is time for peace.

Over the time between Christmas and New Years I was able to travel even farther north to see missionaries and their work up in Ferke and Korhogo. On Monday we headed to the bus station at 8am only to wait two hours for our bus to actually depart [African time (:]. Not five minutes after we left we were stopped at a rebel outpost. No one was completely sure what we were supposed to do. Some said we needed to get off the bus and some were emphatic about staying on. We ended up getting off and going through the rebel post on foot after having our IDs checked. One woman was highly upset by the inconvenience of having to leave the bus. She yelled at the rebels in Jula. I was a bit worried that she would get hurt [She was in her 60s probably] but she would not calm down. This was a wake up call to the fact that people are sick and tired of the way this country is being run. There are few real laws enforced and no code of conduct when going through a rebel post. Most of the time it seems that they just want to feel powerful and it is a waste of time. A three hour drive took 6 hours so plus the two hours of waiting for the bus, it was a LONG day.

My vacation was overall super fun. It was just us 9 girls. We had the opportunity to stay at the Bible school in Korhogo and visit the translation in Ferke, the WorldVenture Hospital in Ferke and the WorldVenture Dispensary in Torhogo. We also played lots of games [I solved the mystery in Clue!] and rested! There is a mountain in Korhogo [If you can call it that]. We hiked up it Thursday morning [about half and hour to the peak (:]. It was gorgeous and God is amazing. French is coming along little by little. Hopefully at the end of this month I will return to Korhogo to live and help out with different ministries for two months.

New Years Eve we had an epic pig roast with a ten foot bonfire! It was a great celebration and time of worship and dancing of course! I love the people that God has placed here with me. Today [New Years Day] we played soccer on an indoor court for two hours, til it got dark. This week we will be learning about the Church history of Cote d’Ivoire. The president of the Bible School is coming down to teach us this week. I am really excited to learn more about the church because my passion is in church planting!

I love getting emails from you even though I can’t always respond because of the internet. So send me an update on your life!

Praying for peace <3