|Noah's graduating class|
|Another shot from the graduating class|
As for me, I have decided to come back to the States to continue in my same position as West African Regional Facilitator with Partners Worldwide until December of this year. It has been quite a process over the past few months to reach that decision, but through prayer and consultations, I think it is the best decision. During this time, I will be praying about my next field placement. I will be taking an unpaid sabbatical during the months of July and August in order to have a silent retreat, spend some time with my parents as well as Bob's parents, focus on being a parent, and try to figure out this next phase of my life. My father has been in a nursing home in Canada for the past nineteen months and I have only been able to see him once. Bob's step-father, in Lake City, has been seriously ill for the past six months and needs help getting to dialysis three times per week. It will be good to spend time with them and help out where I can. From September - December, I will be both at the central office in Grand Rapids, as well as back on the field, continuing the work of our partnerships in West Africa.
And now in other news...
What was very interesting was that during the two hour reading of the verdict, a rainbow appeared around the sun in Liberia for about an hour, which caused quite a stir. According to the news, this same rainbow around the sun occurred when Taylor was extradited from Nigeria to Liberia in 2006 before being charged with the war crimes. We were in Liberia at that time and I don't remember that, but many are viewing this as a sign of blessing from God.
Ghana has become the first African country to pioneer two vaccines of the most deadly infant diseases: rotavirus, which causes diarrhea, and pneumococcal, both of which kill 2.7 million children worldwide each year. Ghana continues to do well on the Millennium Development Goals and these vaccines will help in cutting child mortality by 2/3rds by year 2015.
In work news, the fiscal year for Partners Worldwide is coming to an end, so all of us are busy looking back at how we did on our plans for the past year, and looking forward to what we hope to accomplish in the new year. It is always an exciting time to take a step back and look at the big picture to see the effects of our efforts. It's also fun to look ahead and imagine what we would like things to look like a year from now. To seen a Reed update letter, as well as a story from one of our businesses in Ghana, please click here.