The boys wanted Jireh to have a stick for the picture as well, but this twig was all they could find in the moment. He thought he was just like them with his “walking stick”. They are standing in the Olympic swimming pool.
After months of packing, followed by weeks of traveling and living out of a suitcase, this week we started school again! It was a long enough break that my kids were actually asking to do math! It has been an incredibly easy transition back into school, and although we are short on books and art supplies while we wait for our ship to come in, we are still enjoying reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic. I am already seeing big improvements in areas where some kids were stuck, and I know that the consistency we will be able to have here will be a blessing in so many ways.
One of my favorite things about our schedule here is Kenneth’s flexibility! Despite the fact that he’s teaching two classes and coaching soccer and basketball, he still has several full days “off” (other than his doctoral work and prepping for classes!) that allow us to do some things together as a family. Today we went on a stroll down memory lane with him as we hiked toward the Guinea border and saw the ruins of old Yekepa. It was interesting and sad to hear about the way the town used to look and see the ruins of tennis courts, golf courses and an Olympic swimming pool. Seeing the country now, it’s hard to believe those things even existed prior to the war. What an incredibly resilient people Liberians are! We are blessed to hear their stories and to be a small part of God’s work in their lives.
You can see the abandoned road, buildings, silo and tennis courts in these pictures. Someone did a good job building those courts! They have held up incredibly well.
Kenneth started teaching this week, and of course, loves it (no surprise there!)! He tells me stories daily of his students’ hearts for the Lord, and their testimonies are pretty phenomenal. I hope to be able to share some of those soon. Right now he has one of his classes memorizing the Sermon on the Mount, ninety-eight verses in one hundred days! It’s truly our blessing to be around these students and to be able to pour into them and send them out.
Soccer practices have been more of a challenge as he attempts to bring order to a team that has never been coached. It’s a work in progress as he tries to instill discipline and a positive team culture into a group of really talented players. They have two games this week with Zion starting at right back and Izzy at goalie! Good luck to the ABC Lions!
Kenneth and the older boys were able to take a trip to Monrovia this weekend to grab some things for our house that are not available here such as shower curtains, bath mats and honey, among other things. I had a cold over the weekend so the rest of the kids and I spent a lot of time lying around and watching movies, something I love to do, cold or not! After breakfast on Sunday I went to do the dishes and immediately started to feel sick. Dishes can make anyone feel sick, so I tried to keep washing, but I just kept feeling worse and worse. My head was pounding, and my face felt like I had a terrible sunburn, not only hot, but burning! I went to the bathroom and put some cool water on my face, but my breathing kept speeding up, and I began to feel disoriented and confused. I grabbed my inhaler and took a few puffs, thinking it might help whatever breathing problem I was having, but by this time my arms and chest were bright red as well, and my hands and feet began to turn red and itch. This was followed by tingling in my hands and arms, and I felt like I might pass out, so I went to lay down on the couch while Acuka went to get a neighbor to help me. Thankfully she was quick! We realized right away that I was having some sort of allergic reaction, and she ran home to grab some Benadryl for me, followed by instructions to the kids on how to take care of me and behave! Ha! What a blessing she had something that worked! I felt better within the hour and spent several more just sleeping and recovering. What a crazy day! I am so grateful for all of your prayers. Even when you don’t always know what is needed, God does! I am fully recovered and avoiding avocados for a while since they are the possible culprit.
Our brand new oven! What a blessing!
In other news, we received a new oven this week and are enjoying all sorts of goodies! Yesterday I made peanut butter cookies to share with friends (sorry, too busy baking for a picture), and today we had fresh rolls. It’s such a blessing to be able to make things in an oven! Now we just need to buy some pans for it!
To finish up, our kids have begun swimming in the river here on campus and are loving it. They also continue to play football and volleyball every day with neighborhood kids and take turns riding each other on the bike that a kid brought to share with them. One of these neighborhood kids stole Jireh’s backpack off our back porch earlier this week along with all of the toys he brought with him. I told my kids to start asking around and assured them it would turn up, and sure enough, within the morning a few toys were spotted. I sent a message to the boy that we would be coming the next day to talk to his parents, and Lo and behold! The backpack showed back up! Community living at its finest. There are no secrets! All in all, they are enjoying it here and making friends. The culture can overwhelm them at times, but I encourage them to take breaks and spend time with their siblings instead, and they always head back out, refreshed and ready to play.
Praises this week:
We love you all dearly and thank you for being here with us in spirit. We feel your prayers daily. Please reach out when you have time, and be sure to let us know if there’s any way we can pray for you! Much love and many blessings!
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Kenneth and Kristi Williams
The Williams Family
Kenneth and Kristi
Nevaeh, 20 years old
Rikot, 19 years old
Ezra, 19 years old
Zion, 17 years old
Izzy, 16 years old
Selah, 13 years
Acuka, 12 years
Benaiah, 9 years
Jubal, 6 years
Jireh, 2 years