Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sada's Parents!

We had a wonderful time getting to know Sada's parents, John and Pam, at Thanksgiving. By now they are back home in Houston. We've been blessed with so many new friends! Thank you, Lord!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner!

***Gabe was taking the picture***
From Tom's right around the table:

Christine, from the Philipines...accountant with Hope Centre

Chuck, from Georgia...ministers with "Pioneers"

Chelsea & Mike, from Tenn/Kentucky...UNICEF "Project Peanut Butter"

Gabe & Sada, from Mexico/Texas...dentist and RN with Hope Centre

John & Pam, from Texas...Sada's parents visiting from Houston

Ibrihim and Foday

Old friends!!! We were excited to have the guys with us for dinner this week. Such fun to catch up on all their news!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving 2010!

We trust that you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving week! We truly have so much to be grateful for, and we want to express our thanks to YOU for your prayers and support!

God has blessed us with an easy transition in Sierra Leone as He has surrounded us with new friends at The Hope Centre, missionaries and locals, to help us with every aspect of setting up house, rides to and from the city, permits, banking, internet, etc... We would not have known where to begin, but their experience and willingness to help has been such a blessing!

As of this week, we consider ourselves “at work” as we have had meetings with the Country Director of Buckner International about the agricultural and food securities program that will impact nearly 300 families made up of widows, orphans and foster families. We will be “up country” four times in December for overnight trips at Mile 91 (91 miles from Freetown) and Pujehun (about 200 miles in the interior near the Liberian border) to assess and begin food distribution, skills training and preparations for an agricultural extension program. Ten Social Work Interns from The Evangelical College of Theology will go through orientation and training next week and will assist with this endeavor.

Another program in the beginning stages, with expansion planned for January, will involve 120 young adults in the Jui Community near Freetown with much needed skills training in 6 areas: plumbing and electrical, auto mechanics, computer skills, tailoring, quilting and catering.

Also, we have set dates for two mission teams to come in May and June 2011 to continue work with Hosetta School for children with mental challenges in the Kissy District of Freetown. Details will be coming soon for those interested in being a part of a team!

We have a meal set for Thanksgiving afternoon, chicken and dressing and all the trimmings!! A dozen or so missionaries will be together for a time of celebrating and giving thanks to our Heavenly Father… “Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or even think to ask!”

• Krio language studies – we have our work cut out for us!!
• Vehicle – we have started the process of securing a vehicle and have found two options. One seems to be in fair condition, but priced on the high side. A friend of ours (a mechanic) will look at it today to determine if he thinks it is reliable. We trust the Lord for funds for purchase.
• Plumbing issues – The Hope Centre has had on-going problems since completion. Tom is working daily with the contractor and plumber to find a solution.
• Traveling up country – safety on the roads, arrangements with local guest houses for rooms, the people we will serve.
• Generator – our main generator at the apartment needs repair.

Our best wishes for a happy holiday!
We love you with the love of the Lord!!
Tom and Becky

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Eddie is one of the day guards at the Centre.


Christine, from the Phillipines, handles the accounting for the Centre. She is a DOLL!!!

Prayer Hut

Down the steps at the back of the Centre we have the Prayer Hut...and an amazing view!!!

Shower Facilities in the Dorms


Dorms for Mission Teams

The second story of the Centre houses dorms for mission teams and conference attendees. Matching dorms hold up to 15 men and 15 women.

Conference Area

This open area will serve as a conference center for training opportunities.

Reception Area

This is the reception area and waiting room for the dental clinic in the Hope Centre.

The Hope Centre

A beautiful, multi-purpose facility!

What a blessing!

What a blessing to be partnered with the Restore Hope Project. Multiple projects have either begun or are in the works. Lives are being touched for the Kingdom!

We need a name!!

The night we arrived we caught a glimpse of this little fellow in the apartment. A couple of days ago he was in plain view. So...we need a name for him. Any suggestions??

Out The Front

Looking over the balcony from our front door. You can see the security wall and gate. Just up the road is a bakery, so we have fresh bread daily.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Notice our "closet" in the corner. There is a chest just to the left inside the door. All the windows in the apartment stay open 24/7 to catch whatever breeze is available.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Apartment Building

This is our quad apartment building. We live in the upper right. A well has been dug for water, and there is a pump run by generator to fill tanks on each end of the building.


The view from our backyard after the sun dipped behind the mountian!

War Widows For Christ

I had the chance to visit a few ladies at the War Widow's Camp yesterday. This group consists of 86 women, their children and an orphanage that houses 26 kids (one severly handicapped). The organization was formed after the civil war and has continued to grow. It is common in Sierra Leone for people with similar concerns to band together. It gives them the opportunity to petition the government for assistance. Their leader showed me their gardens in Grafton which are made up of 12 acres, and they have access to 50 acres near Waterloo several miles away (they have to travel by poda poda (taxi/van service)). Although the women work hard, they barely have enough to feed the camp. A part of the project we will help with will provide a high yield seed for better crops. They will also be given food supplements for several months to help get them over the hump until crops come in.

The picture above shows one of the ways the women are learning new skills to help provide additional income for the group. A couple of ladies from Arlington came in October and taught them how to quilt American style, but with African fabrics. They picked it right up and have made some beautiful things. They work in a downstairs area of our apartment building with tables that have been set up for the women to come 4 mornings each week. The items they are producing are very out of the ordinary here in Sierra Leone, and we hope they will draw interest in the local market.

Please be in prayer for the War Widows. While founded by a Christian woman, about half are Muslim. The chaplain for the Hope Center has started a Wednesday afternoon Bible study. We trust that God's Word will not return void!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pa' Hassan...Our Day Guard (Mon-Sat)

Looking at Hassan's gardens in the backyard of the apartment.

Gabe & Sada

Words can't describe what Gabe and Sada already mean to us. They have been a part of the Restore Hope Project as far back as January 2009 when Gabe came to Sierra Leone with an advance team. They moved here in April '09, and have been instrumental in planning and development. They've been a part of the construction of the Hope Center, and today the dental clinic officially opened! Gabe saw his first patients TODAY!! When I think of the hard work they have done, which has made our adjustment so easy, I can only praise the Lord!!

View From Kitchen Window

The kitchen window is fast becoming my favortie place in the house. The view is spectacular! Mountains as far as you can see in either direction. Hassan, our day guard, likes to keep busy, so he has done all the work in the flower beds and gardens inside the security wall. We love Pa' Hassan already!

Apartment Kitchen

As mentioned in the update below, the apartment is furnished and stocked with kitchen necessities. We are blessed!

Apartment Living Room

One of our daughters requested photos of our apartment so she can picture us about our daily routine.

Sierra Leone Update 11.15.2010

Day by day, we are settling into our new home…Sierra Leone. We’ve been blessed by Gabe and Sada Herrera as they have cared for us and helped us get familiar with our surroundings, permits, banking, grocery shopping, etc… Everything takes time here. On Friday we went into the city and I later counted 7 different places we visited just to buy groceries. THERE ARE NO WALMARTS HERE! Small stores and street stands sell specific things, not a variety, so numerous stops are necessary. Today we marked 2 more significant things off the list, and Tom went to several shops for plumbing supplies. Once again, there is no one-stop shopping for building materials.

We’ve met most of the people we will be working alongside at the HOPE CENTER and look forward to getting all the loose ends tied up so we can dive into the action. We also can’t wait to visit old friends that we’ve met over the last three years at Hosetta School and other organizations, as well as Alison Marsh of Mission Direct.

Our apartment is very nice. FBC Arlington has sent crates over the last 18 months with supplies for the Center and clinic, and furnishings for three apartments. We are quite comfortable and have more than we need. The kitchen is stocked with dishes, pots & pans, etc…and there is even a refrigerator. A generator is run from 7pm till 7am, so if we avoid opening the frig door during the day things stay plenty cold and we can buy food for several days as opposed to daily for perishables. We have a water filer that cleans the tap water, but we also keep bottled for when we go out.

We’ll close for now, but please know that we thank you for your prayers and support! Without YOU none of this would be possible!! It’s all for the Kingdom!