November Beginnings

My evangelism group

My evangelism group

It’s crazy to think that it is already November! There has been much going on these past two weeks. After fervent prayer about a peaceful Presidential election, the Lord has answered all of our prayers! The same president was elected for another term, which has brought much hope in the people here that he will continue in some of the work that has already been started. During the time of elections, we stayed back at the guesthouse with our supervisors as well as a team that had come from Tennessee. Tiffany and I were invited to work with them in a city where there has been much hope and work for a church plant. Throughout the week, people from the different churches along with translators, our supervisors, the two girls who will be living here and working for two years, and many others all come together to do evangelism in this area. We would go house to house and share the story of Christ. Afterwards, we would talk, pray, and invite them to start coming to the church meetings being held there on Saturday mornings. Throughout the week we rejoiced as many people came to know Christ! Many have also started coming to these Saturday morning services where they look forward to hearing about the love of Christ. I feel so blessed to have been able to see the Lords hand at work through this. The other day I read a paper that our supervisor had sent to us about some of the work that was going to be done during our time here. One of the things listed was to pray for the creation of a church plant in this area, so it has been neat to see how the Lord has been working to build up believers in this specific area.

N'Dotre, the area where we did evangelism and have started a church plant

N’Dotre, the area where we did evangelism and have started a church plant

When we returned to our apartment after the election period, we started back into our routine of things. Saturday was spent visiting some of our ladies we try to encourage each week to come to church and continue in seeking the Lord. It was pouring rain. We were soaked, but it was lots of fun and well worth it for these women to hear about the love of our savior and to help encourage them in their walks. On Sundays, we help with Sunday school at the church and then in the afternoon we have a small ESL class. This past Sunday, we learned that one of the girls that we have been meeting with each week to help with English accepted Christ! We are so overjoyed! The students had a week of vacation this past week, so on Monday we went to visit our new sister in Christ. We spent time talking with her and her family. We encouraged her to take time to read her Bible and share her faith with her friends and family. We have also started a Bible study through the book of John with her and one of her friends, so we are thrilled to get to continue studying together next week. The other days this past week were spent sharing stories with some of our ladies who are unable to attend church and doing evangelism throughout different parts of our neighborhood.

Audrey, our friend who recently accepted Christ!

Audrey, our friend who recently accepted Christ!

Next week we will begin working in the maternal hospital each morning. This is a place that we have been trying to work with since we first arrived and the door has finally been opened. We don’t know what the Lord has in store for us in our time at the hospital, but we pray that the Lord would use us and that people would learn more about him. We have also begun our weekly women’s health program with the women at the church. In our first session we talked about how to care for your body. We all had way too much fun discussing different things and answering the questions that these women aren’t able to ask their doctors. This past week, the baby of our supervisor was very sick, so we weren’t able to have our meeting. He is better now, but please lift him up in your prayers. We will continue in our sessions this upcoming week, which I am super excited about because we will be discussing family planning.

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We got to play Putt-Putt with our African Family yesterday!

We got to play Putt-Putt with our African Family yesterday!

Our time here is getting shorter and shorter each and everyday. My prayer each morning is that the Lord would use Tiffany and I according to his will. I don’t want to sit by idly and let a single opportunity go by. Please pray for Tiffany and I and for the remainder of our time here. Pray that we would lay everything down and completely surrender all things before the Lord. In the last post, I had talked about how we no longer have a translator. Although we still don’t have one, the Lord has been helping us to communicate without one. Pray for boldness as I have let my insecurities get in the way of speaking French at times. Pray for our time studying the book of John with our friends Audrey (the one who accepted Christ) and her friend Fleur. Pray also that we’d be able to begin a Bible study this week with some of the other girls that we help with English. We have tried these past two weeks to start a Bible study with them, but different circumstances have gotten in the way each time. Pray for the church plant and the people of that area (its called N’Dotre). Pray for our work at the hospital that will begin this Monday. We are anxious and excited to see what the Lord has in store. Thank you for all of your prayers! We greatly appreciate all of you!

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October

The month of October has brought much joy but also much challenge. The beginning of the month had been spent telling stories to our friend, Jan, and then meeting with some girls in the afternoons to help with their English homework. Our friend and translator Enoch would come to our house each morning and help us as we would go out and share stories with Jan. I may have mentioned her in the last post, but she is a woman who is a new believer. She wants to grow in her faith, but like many women here, their husbands forbid them from going to church if they follow a different religion. In the case of Jan, she is a Christian but her husband is a Muslim. She cannot read and doesn’t have access to a radio, so we had been going over to her house in the mornings to share Bible stories. One of her neighbors even asked if she could start to listen to the stories too!

Love these two girls

Love these two girls

We were also taken on a retreat for three days on the coast. We got to spend time relaxing, swimming, and then at night we would do a devotion with Mama K and Heather. They both encouraged us to keep on with our work and to seek the Lord in all that we are doing. Our last day of the retreat was Tiffany’s 22nd birthday!!!

On retreat

On retreat

When we got back from the retreat, we learned that our translating friend has taken a second job. Previously, he had just been working nights, which allowed him to go out with us and share stories with Jan and others. However, we are now without a translator and just trying to trust in the Lord for guidance in the remainder of our time here. Without a translator, we will not be able to continue storying or do many of the things that we had planned for. However, we are learning to trust in the Lord during this time. There is a Sage Femme (or a Midwife) at one of the hospitals who had said that we could come work with her. Maybe this is the direction that the Lord wants to take us for the remainder of our time here? We are still continuing with helping our girls with English and we are also hoping to start a Bible study with them soon.

Precious being too cute as always

Precious, our favorite little tag-along 

Right now, we are at the guesthouse because the Presidential Elections for Cote d’Ivoire begin tomorrow. We are praying for peace during this time. Last time there was an election, a war began. So, we are praying against that. Once we hear that things are peaceful, we will be going back to our house, which is in another area of the city.

Next week will also start our health program that we will be starting with the woman at church. Each week will cover a different topic. This week we will be talking about how to care for your body. Some of the other topics include how to eat well, family planning, first response, and how to identify/ care for big illnesses.

Our prayer requests would be that the Lord would guide us in what we should be doing without the use of a translator, whether that is the Lord providing another translator or working at the hospital or something that we haven’t even thought of. Please also pray for peace during the election as well as for our health program. Pray that the Lord would work through us in all that we do during our time here. Tiff and I have also had moments this past week where we really feel like we are missing our families, so pray that we would be focused on our time her and not overwhelmed with thought of being back with family. Also, we have our next round of blood tests on Monday, so pray that they would continue to come up as negative. We finished our antivirals this past week and are so thankful to be done! Please also pray against sickness in all ways, shapes, and forms.

Thanks!!

Salt and Light

At the hospital (the woman we helped isn't pictured)

At the hospital (the woman we helped isn’t pictured)

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven” Matthew 5:13-16

Before coming to Africa, the Lord had given me a vision. In this vision, I was rubbing the belly of a pregnant woman. We were smiling and there was much joy in the moment. This past week, Tiffany and I were placed in a situation where we were able to help a pregnant woman in distress. However, the circumstances were much different than the vision that had been given to me many months before.

Our day started out like many other days. Our friend and translator arrived at our house in the morning and we made our way to church. At church, we prayed together and they even made Tiffany and I get up in front and sing an American worship song. We sang Prince of Peace, which is one of my favorites! After all of this, we made our way to the area that we have Sunday school. Tiffany and I had come prepared to help share the story of Jacob’s dream with the class. I had noticed a woman lying down nearby, but I didn’t think too much about it. However, as we started the story with our class, I noticed the woman motioning to me. So, I got up and walked over to greet here. She looked very tired and told me that she was sick. When I began to look closer (it was somewhat dark in the area we were), I noticed that there was a lot of blood near her legs. She had just given birth prematurely. I’m assuming the baby was about 3 months old, so it didn’t make it. She began to ask me to cut the cord of the baby. So, I ran to get one of our friends who was out in the church service. In the best French I could muster, I tried to explain the situation and how I needed gloves and something to cut the baby’s cord. My friend brought me children’s craft scissors and two thin plastic bags to be used as gloves. So, I cut the cord and wrapped the baby in a piece of cloth. I wasn’t sure how long ago the woman had birthed the baby, so I was concerned when she still had not birthed the placenta. I began to massage the fundus, but she was too tired and had lost too much blood, so she wasn’t contracting. She needed to get to a hospital.

I rushed over to Tiffany who was doing Sunday school throughout all of this. I told here we needed to finish and get this woman to the hospital. So, we gathered up people to help us and we made our way to a nearby clinic. At the clinic, we continued trying to birth the placenta, but even with the use of some medications, it still wasn’t happening. At this point, she had lost lots of blood and was in need of fluids. She needed to go to the maternal hospital. While the nurse of the clinic and I tried to help this patient, Tiffany was nearby praying and searching for our translator so that he could help get a taxi to take all of us to the maternal hospital. As we tried to get the woman off of the table and cover her before heading to the next location, she ended up passing out on us three times. However, we ended up getting her into a taxi and making it to the maternal hospital.

At the maternal hospital, the woman was taken into a room where they ended up performing a c-section. Unbeknownst to us, the woman had been carrying twins, which is why we were having trouble getting the afterbirth out. We also found out that this had been an intentional abortion. Our hearts ached as we learned that two beautiful creatures lives had ended. However, we were thankful that the woman made it through the operation. After some time of waiting, we were told that it was time for us to leave.

This woman is not a believer. We hope and pray that throughout the circumstances of that day, she would have felt the love of Christ and that she’d come to know the Lord. We haven’t been able to find her after that day. But we pray that whether it is us or another believer, they’d find her and help encourage her to put her trust in the Lord.

Salt and light. That is what Tiffany and I strive to be. That is the verse the Lord revealed to Tiffany while she prayed at the clinic. That is the verse that we want our lives to imitate. We want the people around us to see the light in us and question why our lives look different than theirs.

Tiffany and I were both exposed to blood. We have since been tested and our results for different things such as AIDS, Hepatitis, and Syphilis have come back negative. However, we will need to continue to be tested throughout this upcoming year. We have also started taking antiviral medications as immediate prophylaxis. We don’t know if this woman was carrying any of these things, but its better to be safe than sorry in these situations.

We have peace knowing that the Lords hand has been over this whole situation. From the people that the Lord provided around us during the time of need to the efforts taken to get the tests and medications needed in the right amount of time, the Lord has been so good to us.

“Greater love has no one than this, that somebody lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13

We are learning what it looks like to lay down your life for the sake of the gospel. Whether these tests continue to come up negative or if by chance they become positive, we know that the Lord is in control and we also rest in the fact that He is truly worth it.

Please pray for this woman. Pray that the love of the Lord would surround her and that she would come to know him. Pray for Tiffany and I as well as our supervisor. Our supervisor has had a busy week and also hasn’t been feeling well, yet she selflessly drove us around and made sure that we were taken care of. We are so blessed and thankful for her and the sacrifices that she makes for those around her. The meds don’t make us feel too great, so please pray that this would not be a hindrance to our time here and that there would no longer be any side effects. I hadn’t mentioned this, but we have been storying with some Muslims. Please pray that the Lord would speak through us and that the Muslims in our neighborhood would come to know the Lord as well. Love you all so much and am so blessed by each and every one of you who continually read these blog posts and pray for Tiffany and I. We feel so loved and lifted up!

One Month Already?!

WE LOVE ICE CREAM AND SMILES (jk they're laughing because they felt silly smiling for the picture with their ice cream)

WE LOVE ICE CREAM AND SMILES (jk they’re laughing because they felt silly smiling for the picture)

It is crazy to think that I took off on this journey a month ago from today. Since our arrival in Cote d’Ivoire, we have been spending lots of time in French lessons, going on walks in out current neighborhood, playing games with the kids of our M family, and growing in relationship with the nationals. Plans have been sporadic since our arrival. The original plan was to have two weeks of French lessons and then we would be moved to our more permanent place of residence, which is in the area that we will be doing the majority of our work. However, last week, the father of one of our French teachers, who is also the best friend of our supervisor and a Mama to us all, passed away. Grieving is never an easy process and due to cultural responsibilities, the whole process can take anywhere from weeks to months. We just recently found out that the funeral will be held next weekend. Because of this, we will be moving to our new home on Friday. Tiffany and I are excited to be moving to this area. We are hoping and praying that as we move, the Lord will continue to help us in our language abilities so that we can have good conversations with those we will be living near. We are also praying that the Lord would soften the hearts of those that we will come in contact with and that we would be sensitive to all that the Lord is doing in us and in those around us. We continually pray that the Holy Spirit would speak through us in all that we do because we are not able to do any of this alone. There have been a few times when I’ve felt the push to start into the Gospel, but I became flustered with the language and let the opportunity pass by. I don’t want this to be the case again. I don’t want to waste another opportunity to share the love of Christ because I am making it about my insecurities rather than about the power of the Lord. I have been praying for boldness in that as well as patience. Learning a language takes time and I find myself getting frustrated because I just want to be able to share all that I can! I am constantly reminded during my time here that the Lord is faithful and that trusting in Him is much greater than anything I could ever do for myself.

Sita, my French tutor

Sita, my French tutor

Mama K helping Tiff with French

Mama K helping Tiff with French

So, as far as the next few days go, we are getting everything ready to move tomorrow and then on Friday we will head out. Saturdays are the days that we do follow-ups with the new believers in the different areas around where we will be living. Tiffany was sick last Saturday and my Supervisor needed to be with Mama K (our French teacher and friend), so I said that I would do the follow-ups. I was told to be at the house early in the morning and that their 16-year-old son would go with me to be my translator. I had somewhat of an idea about what I was doing, but I was so nervous. I spent the majority of the night and the morning praying that the Lord would speak through me during our time. It ended up being a really wonderful day. God always provides. When we showed up at the meeting point, it was me, Caleb (the 16 yr old), and four guys from the church. One of them really wants to work as a translator and knows some English from school, so he talked with me the majority of the time and translated throughout the day. I don’t think Caleb really even had the chance haha. It was a lot of fun and it was really neat to see how the Lord is working in the lives of these guys and in the lives of those we did follow-ups with. We may even have a chance to do ESL classes with some of them! My prayer is that the Lord would continue to work in the hearts of these new believers. Although they have accepted Christ, many of them are still falling into old ways due to hard circumstances, bad relationships, etc.

I could write on and on and on about all the ways in which I feel so blessed and humbled to be here. Please pray for Mama K and her family as they continue to grieve the loss of her father. Pray for my Supervisor as she has many responsibilities and people that she is accountable for. Stress is high at times, but I have learned so much just by being around my supervisor. Pray that peace would surround her and help to carry her through this time. She is an amazing woman and I am so thankful that the Lord brought all of us together. Please pray for Tiffany and I as we move into our new location. We are excited but there are also feelings of uncertainty. To describe it best, it kind of feels like we are little kids about to be dropped off at summer camp. You know the feeling, you cant sleep, you’ve been waiting for this moment, and then it gets close and you get butterflies, and then you get there and you’re like OK, OK, WE CAN DO THIS but at the same time you’re kind of like, OK, OK, WHAT IS HAPPENING, CAN I REALLY DO THIS? I know that the Lord will continue to guide us through the rest of our time, but if you ever think of it, say a prayer for Tiff and I.

The baby, whom I love

The baby, whom I love

Karis and Tiffany

Karis and Tiffany

Thanks for reading this super long post. Because we are about to move, Internet will be very minimal. So, I’d love to get emails if you want to hear more or if you just want to say hi! But know that if I don’t respond, its not because I’m ignoring you, it’s because I probably don’t have the ability to respond at that moment.

We’ve Arrived!

On our way to the coast!

On our way to the coast!

Tiffany and I have officially arrived in the Ivory Coast! The previous week and a half was spent doing orientation where we were thrown into African culture, built new relationships with the other teams, and much much more. I was really excited to finally get to meet my partner face-to-face. In the months leading up to our departure, Tiffany and I had been talking, but we hadn’t met in person. She is from Florida and is full of so much life! There are several similarities that we share, one of which is laughing way too much. We have enjoyed our time together thus far and we are looking forward to seeing how the Lord plans to use our partnership in the months to come.

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Our orientation group

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Our last night of orientation

We have been told of many different opportunities in which we can be a part of. Please help us in praying that the Lord would guide us where He best sees fit and that we would be obedient to His call, no matter the circumstances. Today was spent following-up with those who recently accepted Christ. Pray that their hearts would continue to soften towards Christ and that they would continue to seek after the Lord.

This upcoming week Tiff and I will be going through French classes. We want to be able to learn the language well so that we can better communicate with all those we come in contact with. Please help in praying that we would be able to learn the language so that when it is time, we can be sent out on our own to share.

There are many prayer requests but one of the biggest ones currently is against spiritual warfare. There has been a lot of sickness in this area the past few months, there has also been much rain on the days that the national believers go out to do follow-ups on the newer believers (side note: Africans don’t tend to like rain, so when it rains things tend to shut down, plans get delayed, etc.), Tiffany has also been experiencing some crazy dreams since we arrived in Africa almost two weeks ago. We don’t want anything to keep us from sharing with those around us, so please help in praying against these things!

Please also pray for the three other groups who are sharing in different countries! Thanks for all of your prayers and support!

Baby Steps

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I have officially graduated. It is such a strange feeling to know that my four years of college are officially up, and it is time for me to dive into the real world as a “grown-up”. The only problem is, I don’t think I’m ready. Facing the unknown is a daunting idea, but it is one that forces us to cling to our Creator. On the daily, I am learning how to hand over people, things, circumstances, and the list could go on and on. As it mentions in Psalm 91, I want ALL of my refuge and ALL of my strength to be found in Him. As each day goes by, I am a step closer to Africa. As each day goes by, I want to grow in a deeper understanding of my Heavenly Father. As each day goes by, I ask that you would join me in praying for the people of Cote D’Ivoire. Pray for open hearts, pray for opportunities, pray for truth to be spoken, pray that all glory would be lifted up to the Lord, pray that the Lord’s will would shine through in all circumstances and that there would be no barriers to sharing the gospel, pray for my partner, Tiffany, and I as we raise prayerful support as well as financial support, pray for our hearts, pray for the missionaries and the local believers that we will be working with, and pray that we would be open to all the ways in which the Lord wishes to use us and teach us during this time. Please also pray for me as I begin studying for the NCLEX licensure examination in order to become a Registered Nurse. This is THE test of all nursing tests and I will be taking it June 22nd, which is in just THREE (way too short) WEEKS!

In regards to raising support my partner and I are selling t-shirts if anybody would like one. You can order it as a tank ($22), long-sleeves ($26), or with regular sleeves ($20). Email me at mollybforeman@yahoo.com for details. This is what they look like:

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Furthermore, if you’d like to donate and get a tax-exempt receipt, then you can make out your donation and send it to the Grace Missionary Society. Just be sure to add a note that the donation is for Molly Foreman and her trip to the Ivory Coast. The address is:

Grace Missionary Society
PO BOX 999
Mcloud, OK 74851

*This address is just for donations. Make sure to email me if you’d like a t-shirt!

Thanks for your time, prayers, and your encouragement, but especially your time as you’ve read through quite a lengthy post 😉

Hello!

This past year has been absolutely insane. It is crazy to think that in just a few short weeks I will be graduating from college with a degree in Nursing. A question that many people have asked is, what will you be doing after graduation? Well, I plan on taking the NCLEX licensure exam in June and then in August, I will be leaving to serve in Africa for five months.

These past two summers I have served in Zambia. On the way back to America this past summer, I could feel the Lord stirring in my heart a desire to return to Africa. However, I did not think that I would be going back for quite some time. When I arrived back to school in August, I began to feel as though I needed to look into nursing opportunities abroad. I came in contact with an organization who was seeking out nurses to come and help set up clinics. We began discussing several ideas, and we ultimately decided that I should apply to spend a semester serving with them. At the time, I still felt like this was crazy. I had this idea that after I graduated, I would begin a nursing career and then when the time felt “right” I would go back to Africa. Once again, the Lord changed my heart. One morning, I was reading through Psalm 22. As I read verse 27 where it says, “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you,” and verse 30 where it says, “Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generations; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it,” I had this overwhelming sense that I needed to go back to Africa to share with the woman and young girls about the beauty of the Lord and the truth of the Gospel. Later that same day, I had a vision of myself rubbing the belly of a pregnant African woman and I felt the Lord speak over me saying that I was to go and that everything would be ok because he has gone out before me. I know this post is long and it seems like a lot, but I tell you all of this to show that when we open our hearts to hearing what the Lord has planned for our lives, there is much joy. All of my plans that I had previously made for my life have changed, every bit of comfort has been taken, but I am learning how to truly trust in the Lord and it has been one of the hardest but also one of the most joyous of times!