Tuesday, November 21, 2017

WI Deer Hunting opener 2017

As has been the tradition the last few years, Josh and Duncan head off to western wi for the opening of deer hunting weekend and Kate and I get some time just to ourselves! The boys left Friday early afternoon and that night we made tacos and hung out at home. Saturday am we headed to the gym at church and too a total body conditioning class, good workout! Then Kate went to babysit at some friends of ours as the mom had a few things to do and needed a little time to herself while her husband was away hunting and I did some grocery shopping. From there we came home, showered, and headed out for lunch at one of our favorite places Panera! Can't beat good food and great company :)  We went to old navy next to look for Christmas PJ's and each found a pair of pants and shirt. They actually had some pretty good deals going on, was hard to not spend more! The next stop was hobby lobby and we looked around for decorations for the house and even ventured to the Christmas aisles. We only had one thing in our hands and the lines were super long so we decided we would come back during the week. After this stop we went to the mall, crazy right?!?!? We weren't after much, Kate wanted a sweater. We did walk most of the halls and ended up with white chocolate peppermint tea from Teavana, wonderful by the way! and some fizzy fruit drink to have with our pizza that night. We picked up pizza next and headed home to put on our Christmas jams and watch the movie A Christmas Story, along with a Hallmark movie :) We both fell asleep on the couch! Sunday was church and then lunch at Atlanta Bread, another of our favorite places. Who needs to cook when the boys are gone?!?! It is so much fun to be able to hang out with each other.

Kate also turned 15 this past week! Seriously where has the time gone! She wanted crockpot mac and cheese for supper so that is what we made :) She got some earrings and a sampler pack of mascaras and a winter jacket from us. We were able to celebrate with our MN families a couple weekends ago.
                                                                 MN birthday parties!

Kate snuggling with our dog Emmy :)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Meeting Dani--Compassion Child

While I was in Africa I had the awesome opportunity to meet Dani.  Dani is the child that we sponsor through Compassion International.  We have been sponsoring Dani for 4 years and it has been a blessing to get to know him over the years.  Monthly we write letters, send him Birthday/Christmas presents and pray for him.  When I said yes to go to Africa on our well drilling trip and did a little research that Dani lived in Burkina I started asking the questions to see if we could meet.  After a couple emails it was all lined up and planned for the end of our trip to Africa.  Below are a couple pics of our meeting and what a great time that we got to spend together.  My hope and wish is that Kim/Duncan/Kate are able to get to Africa to meet Dani soon.

I suggest that you check out Compassion International and sponsor a child.  It is life changing and the need is great across the world.

Josh's Trip to Burkina Faso Africa

So I had some technical difficulties and had to go to plan B.  So hopefully you found this page and can get some insight to our trip.  Enjoy


Thank you for joining me in my journey to Burkina Faso as we have arrived back and I believe I have gotten back into the swing of life back in the States.  First I want to apologize for the delay in getting this letter out to you, but it was a wild last month as we returned, got sick and the busy schedule consumed my time.  In the following letter along with a few pictures I hope to give you a glimpse of the trip and hopefully, in the near future, we can chat about the trip in more detail because it will be hard to fully communicate the experience in this letter but let me try….

Couple of take aways for me as I reflect on the trip: 
1.      The Burkina people are so warm and welcoming.  Even though we had a language barrier we all felt very welcomed from the local people.  The Burkina people are very sociable and relational.  It was such a blessing to interact with them in the capital city and in all the villages we visited.
2.     I have a new appreciation for full time missionaries.  We had an opportunity to work shoulder to shoulder with 5 full time missionaries during our trip and it gave me great insight into their world.  They are really committed to their work and calling to serve God in Africa with the Burkina people.  Pray for them as they are away from family, in foreign, and often dangerous lands. 

Once again thank you for your support both financially and in prayer.  If you remember in the last letter one of my prayer requests was that we would be 100% successful in digging wells.  God provided and we had 100% success in all our wells! We drilled 6 wells in 5 days.  God is good and it is hard to imagine the impact this will have on the people of the villages.  We did hear of a story of a young lady that traveled 8 hours for water, so to put this in perspective, we started drilling one well in a village around 9am and we finished in 8 hours, so 5pm we were finished with this well.  That will be the last time that young lady will spend 8 hours traveling for water.  Now it is in her village and she can get fresh water which will only be ~100 yards from her home.  I can’t imagine walking 8hrs for water. 
            The wells and work that we did were incredible! Just think about being in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of Africa.  I think we all have an idea where nowhere is and we actually were next to nowhere in the middle of Africa.  Rolling into a village, which had little means of transportation, in a huge caravan of heavy equipment, large trucks/trailer and land rovers with trailers full of supplies.  As we pulled into the village the people greeted us with warm smiles and friendly welcoming waving.  I think as awesome as it was for us to come into their village it had to be even more overwhelming for them as we came into their village with all our equipment.  We would take about 30 minutes when we arrived to talk to the local pastor and village leaders about where we were going to drill and place the well.  We didn’t do much talking as each village had their own language but most were pretty fluent in French and the local missionaries that we were with spoke French and did all the talking and communicating. 
            The next few pages will give you some insight on the trip, and remember this is a small snapshot of the trip.  Hope you enjoy them and can get a taste of Africa through the pictures.

Kids of Burkina

Women Carrying Water

Sleeping arrangement in the African bush

Well Drilling Rig

Drilling pipes—10’ sections and average well we drilled was 150’ deep.  At the end of each of these pipes were the other sections and drill bit.  If you look close you can see the others at the bottom of the rig with the yellow cap on the threads.

We hit water, usually we hit the first water around 80’ and would continue to drill 


Picture of the crew after finishing drilling at the first site—more work to complete the well.

Jetting the well.  We all had the opportunity to jet a well, this is a high pressure air hose down in the well and to clean it out.  The air pushed the water out and cycled the water, we would do this for about 20 minutes and then pump the well to get clean water.

After each well was complete we would pray over the location and that God would work in big ways for the people of the village and spreading the gospel within the village.

Coming back to the well site after the concrete was hard and installing the hand pump 

Village kids very excited to have fresh clean water.  Everyone was very excited to have the well.

Fresh clean water for the village. 

Map of where we were at in Africa
Teaming with the local pastors
Next steps-awareness and next teams going to dig wells for the African people

Hope that you enjoyed the pictures and letter.  I’m sure many of you have many more questions and I hope that we can chat at some point very soon about the trip.  I’d love to tell you the countless stories.  I’ll leave you with this note that we received a couple days ago about a close encounter with a viper snake at one of the locations. 

An email from the team from Minnesota
Chris shared a sweet thing with me at our debrief meeting. He said when we were gone, at 2am, Wednesday morning (CST), his dad woke up and God pressed hard on his heart to pray. He asked God what he was to pray about and God just told him to pray, so he did. Well, where we were, it was about 8am our time, and we would be packing up camp soon in Tora to drive up to Dakuy. Well, in about 1.5 hours, (9:28 Burkina time) Travis was to discover the viper under his suitcase.

Just wanted to share another amazing story of how God stirred someone to pray for us in the middle of the night, and not too much after that we needed it for protection.

We did kill the snake and nobody was harmed, what a great reminder of how we all need to be prayer warriors for those in harm’s way if it is in the bush of Africa or right here in the states.


Bonus video!