A day in our live...
It is high time to write a post on our website! I have decided to share what a day in our lives can look like:
The day started early, Neline and Niek go to school at 7am. After quiet time and also praying together, we had a zoom meeting with two people from a church in Paris. Through UFM, they asked if we could see if it would be possible to send a group of young people with them next autumn. The church has a great desire to get more concretely involved in mission. Somehow, Togo came to their minds and when a sign-up list was put up in this church last Christmas, 20 people expressed interest! It was an encouraging conversation! For the advancement of the Gospel in Togo, and the help of the Holy Spirit in all that we do, we desperately need congregations who will prayerfully stand behind us!
Right after the interview, I went with our neighbour from over the road to the hospital in Datcha (a Roman Catholic clinic, 5 km south of Atakpamé), where a urologist from Belgium comes to work every year. I know this doctor and luckily found out just in time that he would be in Datcha this week. It took a couple of hours before he had time to see Koffi, but I am very grateful that Koffi could stay and that this doctor will put in a permanent bladder stoma. This will make placing a direct catheter a lot easier in the future. Afterwards, I had to do some quick shopping in town.
At home, meanwhile, we had a visitor. It was a cousin of Alex's with his wife and little daughter. This cousin is a pastor in a Pentecostal church and Alex took the time to speak to him, encourage him and, of course, this cousin was given some good books to read! Visitors in Togo always come unannounced and when people come around lunch or dinner time, they always automatically eat with us!
Also in the course of the day, the 'frigorist' stopped by because our fridge stopped working. Fortunately, Marie was also there, she helps us with the laundry these days (we don't have a washing machine) and helped to empty the fridge.
In between all the business, I try to answer some e-mails and am in conversation with an architect friend from London, who had a look at the new Institute's construction drawings. Alexandre is currently very busy with some kind of course he is going through for Acts29. This is the organisation that aims to support church planting initiatives, of which Alexandre is the national representative. In a fortnight, he has a meeting, with pastors from other West African countries, in Côte d'Ivoire.
When the children get out of school the standard for us is: reading time. Almost every afternoon (it doesn't always work out) I read for about 45 minutes with Neline and Niek. We're always in 3 or 4 Dutch- and French-language books: this afternoon we read in a French docu-roman about 2 children who experienced the release of Nelson Mandela and discussed apartheid, we read a beautiful story from church history book for children, we read a page from a children's book full of short anecdotes from the life of Spurgeon, with appealing spiritual lessons for them, and we read a chapter in a funny Dutch 'ordinary' reading book.
Meanwhile, with melancholic eyes, I look around me to note how, for the umpteenth time in recent weeks, our house is literally turning grey. This year, the Harmattan is abundantly clear. It is a very dry, and cool at night, wind from the north....But the Harmattan winds contain a HUGE amount of desert dust! It's just not possible to keep the house free of dust!
At the end of the afternoon came our 'repetiteur', someone who tutors Neline and Niek weekly. And I cooked dinner in the meantime. It is also the final weeks of the CAN (the africa cup) and Alexandre (who developed a love for football from the earliest age) is eagerly watching the semi-finals. After dinner, Alexandre goes to the Institute and I read from the Bible with Neline and Niek, doing our memory verses too.
When it is time to go to bed around 10.30pm, we hear to our delight, but at the same time with a sigh, that the tap suddenly starts running. In this dry period, it happens with great regularity that we have no water during the day. Water is then given from late in the evening until around 3 a.m.. So before we go to bed, we first fill all our buckets, barrels and bins. After all, you never know when the water will come next.
Finally, after thanking our Heavenly Father for another day full of His care: we could say: Good night!