by Joy Casey

This week has been long days hosting a retreat for our missionaries and their wives.  Teaching, worshipping and praying together interspersed with times of fun and laughter highlighted our days.  I relished the time I had giving and receiving hugs and speaking to our missionaries (through an interpreter, of course) and getting to know their precious wives. Today was the final day and it was hard to say, “Caio! Xaviar Meskem!” as we dispersed.

Having tea break outdoors was challenging with thieving monkeys!  One toddler monkey was cute, though, sucking his thumb.

The theme of this retreat was (for the women) “Sharing the Gospel Through Hospitality.”  The beautiful bags and what they held blessed each woman and reinforced our theme.  The gifts came from the generosity of many people and churches.  It blesses me so much to see the Body of Christ working together for a common purpose.

Over lunch break we snuck away to the Joyful Place orphanage.  The little guy brought to us last week started vomiting with diarrhea and is in the hospital.  He was a month old when he was found and we don’t know what he could have been exposed to while lying in the dirt prior to being discovered.  One of our nannies stays with him in the hospital 24/7; I am sure he will be alright.

Meanwhile, a new sweetie was added to our menagerie of cute babies.  A teeny-tiny baby girl was left alongside a busy street in the middle of the day (!!) and was rescued by a police officer.  It is a wonder her weak cries were even heard above the bustle of the traffic and thank God she did not get crushed or run over!  I got to name this wee one – we estimate she is about 10 days old – I named her after one of my favorite women in the Bible, Ruth, which means “friend.”  Another miracle!