Sunday, December 18, 2011

Joyeux Noel & Bonne Annee

Hi all--
I just wanted to wish all of you a Joyeux Noel and Bonne Annee.  In other words, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Even though we don't have family here to celebrate Christmas with, we do have good friends and collegues.  On Christmas Eve we will be gathering together at the home of our WorldVenture team's field leader.  There will be 25 of us celebrating and eating a traditional ham dinner!  Then on Christmas day we are spending the day with other collegues whose children have become our substitute grandchildren.

May your Christmas be filled with many memories and a blessed time together with family and friends.  Don't forget that the celebration of Jesus' birth is the real Reason for the Season.

Aunt Ramona

Please enjoy these pics from the DA Elementary Christmas program and from the 5th grade talibe outreach day.

DA Elementary Christmas Program

Kids from around the world singing about Jesus' birth
Kids from Jim's class playing Uno with talibe boy & worker

Playing playdough

Such a beautiful smile
M'Bayang playing playdough with 2 of the boys

Saturday, December 3, 2011

DA Outreach

Hi all--
This is just an additional bit of info regarding the Fall DA Outreach.  I thought you might like this link to a video that one of our DA people created to show at the Sunday night testimony service following the outreach.  It shows a little bit of everything that the teams did at outreach.  The music is recorded from the Sunday morning service at the church in Diofane that the team stopped at on the way back to Dakar.

Also, I wanted to give you a little update on our talibe boys.  We have been treating quite of few of the boys for malaria; some of them have been very sick.  We are thankful that we have the ministry funds available to be able to buy the malaria cure.  Please pray that these little ones would be healed.  Here are just a few pics from our work at the center:

Having fun with drums

"All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth"

Washing clothes

If you are interested in helping this ministry you may send checks payable to WorldVenture, 1501 W. Mineral Ave., Littleton, CO  80120, writing Special Project – Talibe Street Children - #6403-931 on an attached note – not on the check memo line. You can also give donations online (  For donations click on GIVE, Projects & Ministries, and Project Name.

Aunt Ramona

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tabaski Celebration

Hi all--
How does one describe the great cultural experience we had yesterday?  Our friend Amadine had invited us to come and celebrate Tabaski with him and his family.  Amadine has worked for 20 years at Dakar Academy as a guard. Some days it takes Amadine two hours to get to DA from his home.  He has to take several different car rapides (like a small bus) to get to and from work.

Amadine's family consists of his wife Adjia (oddjuh), and children, daughter Youma (yooma), 15; Mawlouda (mahlouduh), 13; son Ousmane (oozman), 10; daughter Awa (ahwah), 5; and son Cheich(shack), 2.  Other extended family members drifted in and out during the day.  Neighbors stopped in to say hello throughout the day also.  The whole family was very happy that we were there to help them celebrate.

We arrived about 12:30 p.m.  A short time later we had a lunch (pictured below) of roasted sheep with an onion sauce.  Since I was a guest I was allowed to eat with the men and boys. 

After that we spent four hours just sitting visiting, drinking tea, and playing with the children.  Awa was especially fascinated with Jim's skin and beard and kept feeling them. We had brought some small gifts for the children; construction paper, markers, gluestick, scissors, a notebook, and a stuffed animal. During that time Amadine's wife was making the roasted sheep dinner, which consisted mostly of the same as lunch but with bread and fries added.

After dinner Amadine told us that he wanted us to take pictures of his family.  We waited while they all took showers and dressed up in their new clothes that they had gotten for Tabaski. 

Does some of this sound familiar, a little bit like our Christmas celebrations?  We dress up in our nice, and sometimes new, clothes.  We take photos of the whole family together too.

Before we left, Amadine told us how much he appreciated our friendship.  More than that though he thanked us for following through on bringing items from the US to him that we had promised.  He told us that other people promised to bring things to him but never brought them.  We don't feel like we did that much, but to him it was a lot!

Please pray for Amadine and his family to come to know Jesus. 

Aunt Ramona

Eating lunch around a common bowl

Some of Amadine's family members

Mawlouda, Amadine, Awa, Youma, Cheich, Ousmane & Adjia

Ramona & Awa

Jim and Amadine's family

Ramona with Amadine's family

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Unusual sights seen in Senegal

Hi all--
Here are a few pics of very unusual sights seen here in Senegal.  These sights aren't unusual to the Senegalese, but to us they are very strange!

Goat on top of car (gotta reach those leaves)

Woman walking her do....oh woops, I mean sheep

Woman wearing African dress and a cowboy hat

First time we ever saw this in Senegal

Interesting ways to carry your Tabaski sheep:

Please pray for the Senegalese people as they feel required to spend lots of money for Tabaski, buying sheep and all the food to go with it for a feast, new clothes and gifts for the family, etc.  It is sad to see!

Aunt Ramona

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Life as a Street Boy

Hi Everyone--
Imagine that you are a young boy aged four through 15 and living on the street.  You have to beg for money to give to your teacher plus you have to beg for your food for the day. 

People give you some food to eat, but mostly bread.  They also give you rice, however you have no way to cook it, so you give it to your teacher and he uses it to feed his family.

At our center we have had boys bring us raw eggs to cook, chickens, and yogurt.  When they get yogurt they come and ask us for a cup and spoon so they can eat it. (However, we did not cook the chickens; they were going to somehow find a way to cook them themselves) Sometimes they bring a small bag of yogurt or water and ask us to put it in the freezer while they are at the center.

The boys depend on our center for showers and clean clothes, for toothbrushes and toothpaste to brush their teeth, for needle and thread to mend their clothes, for first aid, etc., etc.  The boys can also just be boys for awhile and play basketball, soccer (football), Sorry, and Legos!

Next time you turn on your stove to cook something, or brush your teeth or take a shower, just think and pray for these boys.  Also, pray for our national workers and missionaries who work at the center, that we would be able to show the love of Christ to these boys.

Eating millet & yogurt

Harvesting corn the boys planted in the center backyard

Cooking the corn they all got to share

Playing with Legos is so much fun
Aunt Ramona

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

40th Wedding Anniversary

Hi everybody--
I just wanted to write briefly about the recent celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary which was on August 14.  We sure never thought that when we got married 40 years ago we would be celebrating our 40th in Africa!

Our anniversary was on a Sunday and after church we went out to our favorite restaurant here to celebrate.  The following Friday the staff at Dakar Academy had a special open house to help us celebrate.  They had flowers and many wrote notes of encouragement and blessing.  Many came and greeted us and wished us well; it was really nice!

Here are a couple of pics from our wedding and a current pic taken the day of DA's open house.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers on our behalf!!
Aunt Ramona

Friday, August 5, 2011

Back in Africa

Hi Everybody--
We are back in Africa after a whirlwind trip to the US.  We were able to share with many of you, but for those of you we couldn't see, here is a short video of some of the ministries we were involved in last year.

Aunt Ramona

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fun in the USA

I haven't updated my blog for awhile, but just wanted to let you know how things are going. 

We arrived in the USA on June 5 and hit the ground running.  We have met with many friends, family and supporters since arriving.  We have also eaten at just about every fast food place imaginable; yeah!  Of course, that means we will probably gain 20 pounds before returning to Africa!

Here are a few pictures from our time in Colorado and Arizona.

Aunt Ramona

Our daughter Sarah's 2 boys, Brandon, 7 and Dylan, 6

Grandpa with Brandon & Dylan on Dylan's birthday

Beautiful Colorado mountains

Aunt Cay, Jim's 91 year old aunt

Jason's kids, Caleb, 12 & Sierra, 9 & his girlfriend's daughter, Marisela

Caleb, Sierra, my mom, their great-grandma Rita, & Marisela

Not too sure about that cactus in the background!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Having Fun at DA

Hi everyone--
I'm putting some pics on of some of Jim's fifth grade class and other elementary children as well.  In some of the pictures, the students were preparing to perform at the elementary Easter chapel on Good Friday.

Happy belated Easter!

Aunt Ramona