We arrived in Gabon!
Thank you for praying for us! We could tangibly feel that you were praying for us at each part of the journey.
It wouldn’t be international travel if there weren’t surprises and challenges along the way- but we saw God plow through each obstacle and provide for us in every step.
Here are a few examples of how God provided through you praying!
A second COVID-19 lockdown began in France the day we flew out, but they still let us leave the country!
The airline did not want to let us board our first flight out of France to Istanbul because they did not believe our Gabon entry Visas were accurate. After waiting at the check in desk for 2 hours watching the check-in and boarding deadlines roll by, we did not think we would be getting on the flight. However last minute, the airline received confirmation via phone from Gabon that our entry Visas were legitimate and they held the plane for us, escorted us through security and delayed the plane by 15 minutes so that we could be on board!
When we arrived in Istanbul at 11:30 pm for our overnight layover, we found out that the airline was no longer going to provide a hotel for us, but God provided an alternative hotel room for us right in the terminal that was such a blessing!
Our car seats for the kids were lost in transit to Gabon, but 5 days later they located them and delivered them to us while we were still in the capital!
Thank you for praying us through our journey- God responded to your prayers and we felt as though you went with us!
We spent the first week staying at the guest house in Gabon’s capital- Libreville.
We had 3 days of quarantine for COVID-19, began the orientation process for the Libreville area, purchased specific groceries and supplies that are only available in the capital, helped conduct the entrance exams for the Bongolo Nursing school and attended our scheduled appointment for our Gabon resident cards.
While in Libreville, a regime of fresh bananas arrived from Bongolo! They are sweet, flavorful and only about 5 inches long.
It wasn’t until the end of the day that we realized Matthias had been asking both of us for bananas throughout the day, and at the end of the day when we started realizing he had been coming to both of us we realized he had eaten 9 little bananas that day! Oops! : )
Libreville is located right on the coast, and is beautiful.
Gabon sits in the juxtaposition of it’s beauty and the impacts of it’s heat and humidity.
As you can see pictured below- the beautiful coast enjoying a morning walk with teammates – and the reality of the heat and humidity with the rust on the metal ceiling fan and the mold on the lampshade.
The third picture is our weather app- the heat humidity never real vary much from what is pictured below.
Part I of the entrance exams for the Bongolo Nursing School that were held in Libreville took place at the Alliance Seminary.
It was great to meet and interview each of the candidates and proctor 3 exams to determine their learning aptitude for the nursing school program.
It was moving to hear how the Father has revealed Himself to each of them on their life’s path and brought them to Himself- through illness and healing, through provision and hardship, through parents, grandparents and children.
And one young lady, who first heard the Gospel sitting next to her mother’s bed while her mother was treated at Bongolo Hospital several years ago.
After our government appointment for our Gabonese resident cards were completed we started the 8 hour drive down to Bongolo!
3 of those 8 hours looked mostly like this:
The other 5 hours of the drive were incredibly smooth.
We helped to conduct Part II of the entrance exams to the Nursing school for those located down in the southern area of Gabon.
We are incredibly thankful for the 50+ candidates who applied, tested and interviewed. We have never had candidates with this high a level of previous academic completion and we look forward to how God will be providing through this group.
Please pray for wisdom and direction as we consider who to accept into the program.
Thank you for praying us here to Bongolo!
It is such a joy to finally be here on the ground with the Bongolo Team!
Thank you for praying for us as we move in to our new home, unpack and settle in these next couple weeks.
Please pray with us that the Father would guide us into a new rhythm as a family, that He would write our days for us and show us how to do life together with Him here in the jungle, as we minister to each other and to those around us.
Blessings on each of you and your loved ones.
With Love from Bongolo,
Christopher, Amanda, Matthias & Cora
P.S. Thank you for praying for Matthias and Cora as we’ve been in transition!
There has been a revolving door of hellos, goodbyes, friends, and places to call home the past month.
Transition is exciting and exhausting all at once.
We are thankful for our teammates who have welcomed us so well and are already making us feel like family.
(Sometimes an adopted grandma-teammate is just the thing to salvage a rocky start to the day : )
Matthias has struggled to know how to express what he is feeling as a two year old in the midst of all the changes. We’ve been able to talk through some of it together with him. He tells us regularly that he wants the guest house that we are temporarily staying in at Bongolo to be Home – he says, “no new home” – he doesn’t want to move again. When we visit friends for dinner, he says, “no au revoir” (no goodbyes) – because he’s just not sure anymore if that means forever – or just until we can play again tomorrow?
But he seems to be processing things better as each day passes.
Thank you for continuing to pray for him through the chaos as we wait to move into our new home and re-settle.
And Cora? Well she is just happy to be anywhere that we’re all together as a family (and where she can eat cardboard and roar like a dinosaur : )