Unable really to process my thoughts.  I am hot and sweaty.  Frustrated by how selfish I feel.  I am also overwhelmed by a since of helplessness.  I like the idea of seeing change, but discouraged by reality.  I almost want to go home and forget because I don’t feel like I can make a difference.  “Where there is life, there is hope!”  Not sure I believe that right now.  As we talk with Sarah and Kristen, I am discouraged by the lack of people with integrity.  The goal is to build relationships with them and empower them.  Not sure it is possible, not sure how.  I do not feel hopeful right now.

Lord, I need you to show me your Kingdom here.  What does it mean for Your Kingdom to reign here? 

(I feel bad posting this journal entry.  I want to display Sierra Leone is a positive light. But I figured you would like to share in the whole scope of our experience, emotions and all. )

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We went to church. Heard a zealous young man speak. Then we hit the beach! Each couple from Joanna’s family is sponsoring a child here and we were able to take them all too! One of the highlights of our time!

Jay and Laurie – Jody Isata / Jon and Kari – Sallay / Jody and Andy – Andrew / Jessica and Nate – Isatu / Us – Hawa

On our flight from Gatwick to Freetown, we met a photographer named Chris from Canada. He lives in Liberia with his wife, she works for the UN. He was helpful in easing our fears about making our way through the Freetown Airport. You can check out his photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/herwigphoto.

Plane delayed, we arrived in Sierra Leone under the cover of darkness. A six hour flight from London to SL via Liberia. We had received instructions on what to expect at the airport and with game face on acted like we had done this all before. Passport stamped, we waited for an hour as beyond our view the baggage handlers checked any unlocked bags for items they fancy. Luckily our bags were locked and boring. Finally strapped and loaded, we cleared customs and were moved into a mob of nationals all vying to become your personal assistant. Eric became ours. Two helicopter tickets later we spent the next hour in a humid hangar as the two waves of travelers ahead of us took the quick hop across the inlet. It was finally our turn to hop. I gave Eric a two dollar tip having no idea at the time what that translated into for him. We came to realize it wasn’t huge (3 liters of cold bottled water, a side of fries, 8 bars of laundry soap, etc). Better than nothing. The helicopter ride was smoother than expected and we were anxious to see a familiar face. Sarah and Kristen granted us that couple with big hugs. Their body guard, now our friend, Quami assisted us with our luggage and we headed out. The only lights were the few powered by generators and the wicks of candles. Engaged in conversation, we looked out the right window to see the white foam of the ocean break the darkness of the night. As the ocean faded from view, a couple of rough roads found us at what would be home for the next three weeks. We were tired from the trip but excited to be with Sarah and begin this adventure we had been preparing ourselves for. We quickly talked, ate, and got settled in, and around 2am the candles were blown out. We had arrived in Sierra Leone.

The Sun Rise at 38000 ft.

The View from “Home”
This was the view from our beloved veranda.  We spent as much time as possible out here.  Mornings, meals, and nights.  The best view and the coolest breeze!  The building off to the right is the school/home where all the children stayed(88) and way out past it is the Atlantic Ocean!  The tree right in front is a papaya tree and they had banana trees as well.  So Cool!

Little Eyes
We constantly were watched from the children’s home.  Little eyes would peer out to keep tabs on what the white folk were up to.  Smiles and waves were frequent.

Our journey didn’t start in Sierra Leone. On our way there, we had night about 45 minutes outside of London (London Gatwick Airport). So we went for a walk and ended up at a Carvery. I’m pretty sure we don’t even eat that healthy back home…look at those fresh veggies. Don’t get used to seeing Taylor, this was a rare case when he wasn’t behind the camera. So it begins……

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For some reason, high speed internet is not a top priority in a third world country:). Since we were limited in how often and to what extent we could inform, we will attempt to do so now. Over the next few weeks, we will replay our experience as best we can. Pictures, stories, journal entries, and our thoughts as they continue to process will hopefully be daily uploaded. We would love for you to process with us and let us know what you are thinking. As we do this here, we will put anything current worth posting back at http://www.thespragues.blogspot.com. We hope you enjoy.

We would like to thank all of you who prayed for us while we were in Africa and as we traveled back and forth.  Your prayers were extremely noticed.  Neither of us have ever had such a smooth travel as we did coming from Sierra Leone back home.  We felt lifted up and covered as we experienced Salone (Sierra Leone).  Many Many Thanks.

A quick note to inform that we are home safe. It is 2am here and 6am in Sierra Leone time. Either way we’re tired and will post more later today. Thanks for all your prayers. Goodnight.

jo3.jpgOne more full day.  Today has one foot out the door and Monday has reserved itself for travel and goodbyes.  We are looking forward to home but we will miss this place as well.  Sarah and Kristen have been amazing, we have met some of the most inspirational people here, and this is an adventure that we will certainly tell our grandkids about.  It is going to take much time to sort through the blur that has been the past three weeks, but we are excited to share our heart and our thoughts as they pour out.  Thank you to all of you who have supported and prayed for us.  They have been apparent and appreciated.  Please continue to pray as we end our time here and travel back across this amazing world.                                                                 

p.s. many many more pictures to come once home!

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