Posted by on Nov 13, 2011 in Blog, Personal Stories | 1 comment

My parents definitely rank at the top of the many blessings God has given me. If you know them you’re aware of how amazing they are, and if you don’t know them… I pity you. What’s more, I have the rare privilege of having my dad visit me a few times a year in Africa as part of his job. He works with Mercy Ships training long-term staff in the Gateway program, and then brings them to the ship through a two to three week field service in country.

Jay-and-Nils-near-Freetown

Nils-on-motorcycle-taxi

Growing up I don’t think I ever fully appreciated how much my dad did for me. I probably still don’t (sorry dad), but ever since I left home there’s been a dad-shaped hole in my life. I’m really really glad that even though I’ve moved half-way around the world I still get to see him from time to time.

riding-motorcycle-taxis-out-of-Freetown

Nils-Frances-and-Stuart

Building-a-school-near-Yams-Farm

Nils-at-the-construction-site

Nils-golfing-in-Freetown

We got to spend some good time together in the field too. He was building a school out near Yam’s Farm with his Gateway class, and I accompanied the Eye Team out there to do a screening. We also left the city to visit one of the agricultural school’s sites.

Dental-screening-at-Yams-Farm

Eye-screening-Yams-Farm

Freetown-Mercy-Ships-agricultural-site

Mercy-Ships-Agricultural-site-near-Freetown

I miss our regular times together studying scripture and talking about life. My dad is one of those wise people who gently sets you straight before you realize you were wandering in the first place. While he was here we had some good time together. It was fun to visit Yam’s Farm, the Tacugama Chimpanzee Reserve and the play the national golf course together. Granted I had a migraine driving the land rover back and threw up in the middle of traffic. But that’s half of the… fun… right?

In any case, not only do I get to experience a bit of the madness of life in Africa but I get to share some of those experiences with my dad.

Nils-teeing-off-in-Freetown

Nils-putting-on-the-browns

Chimpanzees-make-good-acrobats

chimpanzees

I really do have a lot when you think about it. Especially with a family like mine. The world may not think I’ve got much, but I’m pretty happy with it. And I’m truly grateful for the time I got with my dad while he was here. Until February!