The Term 2 trips are officially on the docket, and I (Jenni) am going to Senegal. Kevin is going to Mexico, and we will tell you about that one as soon as I can get him to sit for an interview.
Our team will be serving The Beer Sheba Project, which seeks to provide Christian holistic community development in an impoverished area of rural Senegal, just outside M’bour. The ministry also has a vision to mobilize the Senegalese Evangelical and Protestant church around the issues of poverty alleviation, sustainable agriculture, desertification, and education. To that end our team will be offering a master plan for their site as well as conceptual-level design of a teacher’s training school building, which will likely be the first building constructed.
Incidentally, M’bour is the location for EMI’s future West Africa office, which is how I landed on this particular team rather than Kevin’s. During our time there I will be doing my usual thing with the camera with the end goal of producing a video to highlight the launch of the new office. My last two trips were to East Africa (Kenya and Uganda) and West Africa is quite different. Different is good. In Kenya I got a horrid case of food poisoning on the way out, and in Uganda our room toilet came with a small snake. I realize either (or both) of those things could happen in Senegal, but I am praying for new adventures. Maybe a baboon in my closet.
Let me tell you one other reason I am so stoked: I get to serve with Rex. Until recently I had heard so much negative about the experience of traveling in West Africa (missionaries getting searched, very high levels of corruption, issues in customs) that I had no desire to go there. The day that I was asked how I felt about going on this project I stammered, “Ummmm…Senegal...ummm…with whom?” When I was told it would be led by Rex I was like, “OOOOO! Pick me!” He championed the regular office Nerf Gun battles - who wouldn’t want to be on his team? (that's Rex in the photo)
Also on the team is Dillon, who, along with his wife Kristin, will be living with us for the summer term. Serving on a project team always helps me feel like I’ve gotten to know people on a deeper level so this just makes it doubly exciting.
So as school winds down and the weather here warms up (woot!), we will be making preparations and hoping to share more stories soon. As always, we covet your prayers and thank you for your support!
From the Keiters:
Here is where we share our daily experiences of how God is using our life in the US and abroad with EMI to draw us closer and to make Himself known.