February 2017

A quick recap and glimpse:

We have officially arrived in Africa – 2 days down. Wow! God is amazing.

Markets galore- in other words, street vendors selling everything imaginable (food, fabric, purses, shoes, undergarments, soaps, – much more than expected). Our favorite things to find include all the fruit and vegetables: strawberries, mangos, papayas, oranges, bananas, plantains, peppers, lettuce, onions, huge carrots, potatoes and more potatoes, rice, beans, millet, and even ice cream. Bikes, mottos, vehicles, pedestrians, police, “round-a-bouts”, few stop lights fill the streets. Women carrying babies on their backs with a simple piece of fabric while driving their mottos or bikes. Women carrying various things to sell on their head, and we did see a woman breastfeeding at the market. Little shops line the streets and if you come to a stop, you will have individuals try to sell you tissues, phone minutes, food, they will try to wash your windows, etc.…

The air is hot, dusty and scented with trash & BO. Trash covers the beautiful deep red-orange colored dirt and randomly and seldom have we seen some beautiful pink hydroniums. Mosquitos not bad, as of now, and lots of lizard friends. So far, the last two mornings we have been woken up by the Muslim prayer calls (not sure exactly what time it is, but its early). Our noses feel burnt on the inside because it’s so dry.

Beautiful bright fabric lines small “stores” making it impossible to decide so we picked two fabrics to start with two everyday skirts. Ashley purchased a handmade purse from a non-profit organization that is a safe refuge for orphans and teaches them skills as they also attend school. The organization runs a restaurant and boutique.

First thought as plane landed: “I am here.” Tears filled my eyes from a heart overflowing with joy, praise and thankfulness. I just feel so blessed and thankful. Thankful for God’s protection and His perfect timing. Thankful for the work He is doing in and through all of you. Without you allowing Him to use you as a vessel, our journey would not be possible. Praise be to Him for each of you. I am still a little in shock and disbelief that I am walking on African soil. His peace surrounds me, and I am very aware the reality of life/living here has not yet set in. I am trusting. – Ash

Surreal. I had to tell myself I am in Africa. I tried not to anticipate anything before coming. My mind goes to what it knows trying to connect familiar things to Martinique and Mexico but Africa is completely its own here. I feel physically surrounded by prayers. The Holy Spirit has reassured my mind and heart that I am completely in God’s will. My mind is overwhelmed trying to intake everything: this is Africa. – Brit

God Sightings along the way:

  • Wonderful send-off at the airport from family and friends. We are blessed!
  • Unexpected and heart-felt letters written to us. (Waiting till village to read)
  • God’s protection for safe travel, easy and successful transitions/layovers
  • “Scrumptious” plane food
  • Surrounded and comforted by our wonderful Sheltering Family
  • Baggage graciously allowed to be checked as a carry-on flight from Chicago to Brussels
  • Given a note of encouragement (a little card with scripture on it) from a Christian sitting in front of us.
  • Accommodations- the sheltering wings missionaries whom live in Ouaga, stocked our fridge with clean water, fruit (oranges, bananas, apples, pineapple, and mangos), milk, orange juice, oatmeal, cornflakes, and coffee! They even bought us pizza for dinner the first night- pizza in Africa! It was yummy, yummy, yummy. We have, a shower, fans and air, water filter, we have electricity and even WIFI at times! Very blessed!
  • The ability to consume vegetables and fruit so far, as well as drink lots of water.
  • He gave us the perfect devotion to begin our first day: discussed being the light and calling out to Him- an important reminder of our purpose and whom to turn to when struggling.
  • Brilliant Sun


  • Matheny’s youngest daughter had to go to the hospital for a seizure which they believe is due to an infection and teething. Pray for Ann’s recovery, doctors’ wisdom, and family’s peace.
  • The Holy Spirit to bring our French back quickly and to have an ear for the Burkina accent. Opportunities to use French, courage when accent is not understood, and patience from native speakers.
  • National buddies especially when we move to the village.
  • Continued protection: mentally, spiritually, and physically (including health).
  • We would be an encouragement and joy to the missionaries and not a burden.

We carry you all with us and praise God everyday for you!

“You did not chose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit-fruit that will last- and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”

John 15:16-17


3 thoughts on “A quick recap and glimpse:

  1. So very glad to hear you both made it to your new home away from home.
    God is good and He will watch over you both while doing His work. Praying for your requests, knowing God hears and will provide. May the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other. P.S., Go slow on all the fruit it may give you the runs. Will pray about that too for you two.
    Your Sister in Christ,
    Connie Thompson


  2. Precious daughters. Your words are so beautifully written and capture the essence of what you are experiencing. We feel as though we are there with you!! We are praying for you continually and trusting God for your protection and adjustment to life in Burkina. You will be blessed by many and many will be blessed by you.

    “May the Lord bless you and keep you; May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; May the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6: 24-26)

    We love you dearly. ❤️ Mom and Dad ❤️


  3. Hi Ashley! I am so thrilled to see pictures of you in Africa. I am so happy you are safe and doing well. It looks like you are having a blessed time. We miss you sooooo much at United Services. God Bless and know that we think of you often. You are in our hearts. Love you!!!!


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