Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Operation: TERAKA

I love my life (John 17:3)!

Glancing around during our tour of the local hospital, I remarked to the medical director that it seemed rather busy for a weekend. “Yes, it is very busy; right after this I have to go do a c-section which we normally don’t do on Saturdays.” Hope rising up within me, I queried, “May we watch?!” “Sure,” he replied! After changing into the scrubs provided (yup, high waters for the tall girl!), Heather and I entered the operating room with great excitement and expectation (although perhaps we were not quite as expectant as the mother – ha ha ha!). We were not disappointed. The doctor prayed before starting the operation and a beautiful 5lb girl entered this world with no difficulties. As her mom continued to get stitched up, Heather and I held the baby within minutes of her teraka (birth). Heather even got to introduce the baby girl to her daddy! It was such a wonderful blessing. God knows exactly how to spoil me. ;)

We are now officially done with language school – woohoo! I enjoyed the time, but was definitely ready to finish classroom study. ;) Please continue to pray that we would learn Malagasy well.

Thank you for your prayers that God would continually have first place in my life. He has been encouraging me daily through His Word. How true the verse in Jeremiah 15: "Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts!"

In one week we head out to Zambia for our wilderness survival training called 40/40. We’ll spend 12 days in dorms at the seminary, 12 days in a safari tent, 3 days with a Zambian family, and then have 3 days of debriefing. This, combined with 5 days of pre-devotions and post-devotions, equals 40 days…and thus the name. :0) During this time I will NOT have my laptop. I heard a rumor we might be able to get to an internet cafĂ© once or twice, so an update might be possible, but don’t worry if you don’t hear from me for a month! Do keep emailing, however, because I love getting all of your encouraging notes!

After 40/40, I am thrilled to be able to take a quick trip down to Victoria Falls with some friends. One of the seven natural wonders of the world AND great company? You betcha! :D We fly back to our beloved Madagascar on May 25th and head down to the rain forest.

Prayer requests:
1. For the many transitions we have coming up with packing up our house here in Antsirabe, traveling around Africa, and moving down to the rain forest.
2. That Heather and I would continue to learn the Malagasy language.
3. That God would receive glory in all that we do!

I love you all,
Cara :)
2 Corinthians 4:1-7

Friday, April 2, 2010

We introduced our teacher to the Easter bunny…

Heather and I went to jail again, but I decided not to put that as the title due to the outcry tamin’ny lasa (last time). Figured the Easter bunny was much less scary (for most people – CALI!). We also taught Edouard about Santa Claus. :P

Anyway, with our final language study week coming up, we have been taking lots of field trips, which I love! Yesterday we visited a orphanage and my heart was SO blessed by the joy of the children. They quizzed Heather and I for a while with questions like, “Do you know Michael Jackson?”, “What are your parents’ names?”, “Have you seen snow?” and danced and played games with us. :) The girl in the picture wondered about our favorite colors because she wants to be a seamstress someday.

We were curious about what a Malagasy prison is like and wanted to investigate possible ministry opportunities, so we headed back to jail. A couple of the guards took Edouard back and interrogated him regarding why these American girls wanted a tour, apparently because a fonja (jail) in a nearby city was recently busted by a journalist for their poor treatment of prisoners. Edouard came out smiling after only a few minutes, so that was good. :P After chatting with the chief of police for an hour and a half and agreeing not to take any pictures or question those inside, he agreed to show us around. For those of you who are visual people, the jail looked like The Hiding Place meets The Inn of Sixth Happiness. There’s a women’s side (their children are allowed to stay with them), a children’s side (teenage boys who were studying French at the time we entered), and a place for the men. It seems like our new BFF (see above picture of us with the chief) is trying to help the men out by providing education, medical attention, and assisting them in selling crafts, but the area is drastically too small for 105 men. All who can fit sleep in one room on wooden boards and the rest stay out in the courtyard.

On top of all this wonderfulness, it’s Easter time! Surprisingly, our town has become the hub of the season’s celebrations. Since we live in the center of town, we merely step outside into a fair-like atmosphere complete with a Ferris wheel and cotton candy on a bamboo stick – yes! The air is thick with excitement. And well deserved excitement, too, for that brings me to the most wonderful thing of all…

I love you all, am continually grateful for your prayers, and bid you a fond arahaba tratry ny Paska – Happy Easter!

Cara :)
Philippians 1:3,9-11