• Jack

A Visit to Germany

Approaching the end of our time here is very bittersweet. We have loved our time here and it is hard to say goodbye. But...we are thrilled to be on our way soon to Côte d'Ivoire!

Since we joined Wycliffe in 2019, all of the training, traveling, and partnership have been in preparation for this move. That gets us so excited to finally arrive on the ground in Abidjan.

This weekend we took a trip up to Kandern, Germany, just a 2-hour drive from Neuchâtel, which built up our excitement even more! Let me explain.

For our time in French Study and our time in Africa, we work under the heading of an organization called SIL. They have partnered with Wycliffe for a very long time and this strategic partnership is a big part of how translation gets completed in all parts of the world. Our supervisor during this year of learning French works for SIL and is based just up the road in Kandern. This weekend we got the chance to spend the day with her and her husband, who also works for SIL.

It was such a joy to get to know them better and to hear about their experiences. Originally from the Netherlands, they now continue to work in Bible translation in French-speaking Africa after having learned French and having raised their kids in West Africa. (Sound familiar?) They had very relevant encouragement and advice for us, spanning from wise housing choices to good malaria medicine. This kind of hands-on, practical advice makes Côte d'Ivoire seem just that much closer and even more real. And while there will be challenges, we are surrounded by so many others with loads of experience who are helping to guide us and to cast the vision for the work that we are joining!

Our family with the Van den Bergs (our supervisor and her husband) playing a little mini-golf around Kandern.

I didn't even mention yet that the office of the president of SIL is also in Kandern! Michel Kenmogne, a native Cameroonian, has been president for the last six years, and after dinner, he and his family came over to meet us and encourage us as we prepare for this next step! He was so excited to hear that we were moving to Abidjan, a place that he knows well and where he has a thorough understanding of the work going on. What a privilege to sit down with this man and listen to his heart for the ministry and the ways that God has been leading him throughout his life! And he shared with us his passion to see all cultures of the world working together for the spread of the gospel, whether that be American, Ivorian, Cameroonian, or Dutch.

Titus decided he wants to be the SIL president someday! But for now he is praying faithfully for this man.

We had a great day with these people!

We walked away from that day with a renewed passion for the work that God has called us to, thankfulness for the partners that he has brought behind us, and eagerness to get started!

Thank you for your continued prayers as we move to Africa!

Also, check out this custom Ticket to Ride - Africa version! This wasn't even staged, but Titus is pointing right to Abidjan in this picture.

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