This photo is from an orphanage here in Cotonou, Benin – named Jardin d’Eden (Garden of Eden in English). We follow a similar plan as with the orphanages in Liberia – a time of singing (and dancing), sharing of a Bible story (involving them in the story) and a time of arts and crafts. This week they were using paints and making drawings. Many times the artwork and drawings are displayed up on the wall in the home – similar to us in the US putting the drawing on our refrigerator. I do not have the same relationship connection here as in Liberia, but I was there for two years and had more time on building the relationships.
On Saturday, many of the crew of the Africa Mercy traveled to Lome, Togo (next country over to the West) for the wedding of our friends Israel (Togo) and Esther (Switzerland). It was a privilege to celebrate with them in their marriage ceremony and receptions. This photo was taken following the wedding.
As part of our training of trainers in Biblical agricultural principles, we invited and hosted Grant who serves with Farming God’s Way in Southern Africa. He aided us with training and sharing with them training ideas that they can use to train others. The man in the middle with the yellow shirt is Jean Claude from Congo Brazzaville – he is our agriculture trainer and will continue the training with these men.
Currently we only have one construction project underway – it is a hostel-dormitory for a training facility in the Hevie area – about one hour and 15 minutes from the ship. This is part of our agriculture project – at the same time we are training trainers to train others and this building will be the housing and classroom for the participants. In the photo with the blue hard hat is Jean Kamano from Guinea who is one of our site supervisors.
Last night in our International Lounge, I attended the Academy Graduation Class of 2009. Though for this year, we only had one graduate – Tashwell Myers from South Africa. Tashwell actually assisted in creating the graduation ceremony and then we had a party afterwards. The Academy has 46 students this school year which ends tomorrow. In this photo, Tashwell has his father, mother and younger sister with him. Congratulations Tash.